Cougars drop rubber game

Baillie Lott and the Cougars defeated Conference USA rival Texas-El Paso in the finale of Saturday’s doubleheader with their highest-scoring game of the season, but lost the final game of their series with the Miners, 9-6, on Sunday at Helen of Troy Field in El Paso.

The Cougars (13-14, 4-4) held a 5-2 lead after the top of the fifth inning in Sunday’s loss, but UTEP responded with five runs in the bottom of the fifth to take a 7-5 lead. The Miners’ Becky Smith singled to score Chelsea Troupe, who reached base on a double, to cut UTEP’s deficit to 5-3.

UH pitcher Amanda Crabtree struck out the next two batters, but walked Shea Lodes with the bases loaded to score shortstop Jennifer Davis. Ashley Ellis scored on a wild pitch during the next at-bat to tie the game, and Camilla Carrera singled to bring home Smith and Lodes, giving UTEP (15-16, 4-5) a two-run advantage.

Smith hit a two-run homer in the sixth to extend the Miners’ lead to 9-5, but UH responded with a run in the seventh when Christa Raley singled to bring centerfielder Katie Bush home. The Cougars’ comeback fell short, as they were unable to score again.

Crabtree (7-9) finished the game with 10 strikeouts, but gave up six earned runs on seven hits in five innings. Lott struck out one and gave up two earned runs on two hits in one inning of relief.

Lott did everything she could for the Cougars as they battled to take Game 2 against UTEP on Saturday. Lott recorded her first hit of the year, struck out a season-high seven batters on the mound and capped off her performance with a grand slam that helped UH to a 17-9 victory.

The Cougars jumped out to an early 6-0 lead after the first two innings and added another four runs in the top of the third when Elaina Nordstrom hit UH’s first grand slam of the season to give UH a 10-0 lead. The Miners put their first runs on the board when Davis singled to score Troupe, who reached base on a single, but ended the inning without another run.

The Miners outscored the Cougars 5-0 in the next three innings to put the game at 10-6, but Houston launched another offensive attack with seven runs in the seventh inning.’ Jessica Valis reached first on a single to left field and scored when Nordstrom reached base on a throwing error, and Bush – who reached base on a walk – was brought home by Raley’s single. Lott followed with a grand slam to end that gave the Cougars a 17-6 lead.

UTEP responded with three runs in the bottom of the seventh, but could not overcome its double-digit deficit.

Lott improved to 6-5 after allowing six runs (five earned) on 11 hits with seven strikeous in 6 1/3 innings.

Houston dropped game one of the series, 7-6, in eight innings. UH held a 6-2 lead going into the seventh, but UTEP scored four runs to send the game into extra innings..

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