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Sunday, June 20, 2021

Sports

Cougars use arms, clutch hits to tame Bearkats in Huntsville


The Cougars needed solid pitching and timely hitting to end their three-game losing streak. That’s exactly what they accomplished as they swept their doubleheader with Sam Houston State, winning game one 3-2 and game two 3-1, Wednesday in Huntsville.

In the opener, the Cougars fell behind in the third inning when Sam Houston’s Morgan Mikulin homered to right field.

UH tied the game in the sixth when Katie Bush led off with a single and scored on a Melissa Gregson two-out single.

The game remained tied through the seventh, forcing extra innings. The Cougars took the lead in the eighth when Bush and Elaina Nordstrom led off the inning with back-to-back singles. Jenny Krause pinch ran for Nordstrom and after Laurie Wagner reached on a fielder’s choice, Haley Valis smacked a two-run double to left field to give the Cougars a 3-1 advantage.

In the bottom of the frame Amanda Crabtree came in to pitch, but was removed after walking the first two batters, forcing Lott (7-6) to return to the circle. Lott retired the next two batters, bringing the winning run to the plate in Casie Everitt. Lott induced a Mandy Gegen fly out to left field to preserve the win.

UH carried its momentum into the second game, jumping out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Christa Raley led off by reaching first on a wild pitch that occurred on her third strike. One out later, she stole second and advanced to third on a Nordstrom groundout. Laurie Wagner followed by lacing a double to right-center that scored Raley.

UH head coach Kyla Holas credited the momentum in the early part of the second game to the Cougars rally in game one.

‘It was one of those things where offensively we kind of put things together and got a little bit of our confidence back,’ she said. ‘(We) definitely took that into the first inning of the next game.’

Raley and Wagner teamed up again in the third inning when Raley led off with a walk and, two outs later, scored on Wagner’s double down the left-field line. Wagner’s second two-bagger of the game upped the Cougars’ lead to 2-0.

UH kept the Bearkats (14-17) off the board until the fifth. Kendra Spivey singled with one out and advanced to second on an error by Jessica Valis.

UH added an insurance run in the sixth to take a 3-1 lead, and Lott allowed only one hit the rest of the way to seal the sweep.


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