Late runs not enough to knock off Missouri
The Cougars saved their best for last, but were still unable to knock off USA Today No. 13 Missouri, dropping the finale of the two-game set, 4-2, Wednesday at Cougar Softball Stadium.
After being no-hit through the first six innings, the Cougars (13-16) staged a seventh-inning rally that fell short as they dropped their third consecutive game.
‘ ‘You’re still in the same frustrating spot of (having) waited too long to do something,’ UH head coach Kyla Holas said. ‘This is the first time our pitching staff had given up only four runs in a long time. They did it early instead of late, and you had plenty of time to (score).’
The game started out promising for UH, as pitcher Lindsey Olson (0-1), in her first start of the season, struck out four Tigers during the first three innings to keep the game scoreless.’
Things quickly got worse for Olson in the fourth as the Tigers (28-4) took advantage of three free passes (two walks and a hit batter), two hits and an error to break the scoreless tie. With one out, Olsen hit Marla Schweisberger and walked Lindsey Ubrun. After throwing out one of the two in a double steal attempt, Olsen walked Andee Allen.’
Ashley Fleming followed with a single to left field and Ubrun, who advanced to third on the hit, scored on an error by left fielder Katy Beth Sherman to give Missouri a 1-0 lead. Megan Christopher gave the Tigers some breathing room by smacking a three-run homer over the center-field wall, pushing the Tigers’ advantage to 4-0. Amanda Crabtree, who relieved Olsen, struck out Abby Vock to stop the bleeding.
The Cougars had a chance to chip away at the lead in the bottom of the fourth when Christa Raley led off with a walk and advanced to third on two consecutive groundouts. That brought reigning Conference USA Hitter of the Week Laurie Wagner to the plate, but she popped up to third to end the inning.
UH broke up Kristie Nottelman’s no-hitter bid when Elaina Nordstrom doubled down the right-field line with no outs in the seventh. One out later, Haley Valis drew a walk.’
Nottelman struck out Melissa Gregson and was relieved by Jana Hainey. Baillie Lott met Hainey with a double down the left-field line that brought in two runs and reduced the Cougars’ deficit to 4-2. Jessica Valis singled to place runners at the corners and bring the winning run to the plate. Casey Willow, however, struck out swinging to end the game and the Cougars’ comeback attempt.
UH hopes to bounce back when it travels to Huntsville for a doubleheader against Sam Houston on Tuesday. The first game is schedule for 4 p.m.
The Cougars have struggled this season, and Holas said shefeels her team could do a better job of reacting to adversity.
‘I still don’t think we’re responding how we used to,’ Holas said. ‘We have a standard that we established at this program, and this team right now seems to keep falling below that standard consistently.’