UH falls flat on road against UCF

After eight consecutive wins, the Cougars were humbled this weekend in Orlando and swept by Central Florida in their first Conference-USA road trip. Stranded base runners and a lack of offense proved to be UH’s downfall.

Sunday the Cougars took the Knights to extra innings after a scoreless game through seven innings. In the bottom of the ninth, UCF’s Hillary Barrow hit a walk-off home run off Amanda Crabtree to cap the Cougars’ frustrating weekend.

Head coach Kyla Holas said the team needs to do a better job of adjusting to in-game situations and making the necessary changes on the fly.

“We’re pretty frustrated with the team not making the adjustments we asked them to make,” Holas said. “This team has to have a little bit more fight. You have to make sure that you’re wanting this bad enough — more than the other team, and I just didn’t see that from them.”

In the first game of Saturday’s double-header, the Cougars (15-12, 3-3 C-USA) got on the board in the second inning when Reina Gaber hit a single to the left, scoring Angela Spittler from second. Unfortunately, it ended up being the Cougars’ only run. UCF answered with five runs in the bottom of the frame to put the game out of reach and cruised to a 5-1 victory.

Game two was closer but the Cougars still came up short, losing 2-1. The Knights (17-11, 4-1) scored in the first inning on a sacrifice bunt. The Cougars tied it up in the fifth when Holly Anderson scored on Brooke Lathan’s sacrifice fly. With the game still tied in the bottom of the fifth, Natalie Land drove in Morgan Bullard from third for the winning run.

Holas said she was satisfied with the team’s pitching but indicated that the lack of offense will be the top priority in practice this week. Despite this weekend’s underperformance, Holas said she feels the league is up for grabs.

“This conference is pretty wide open this year; there’s not any one dominating team,” Holas said. “I think there’s going to be a lot of this back and forth with teams who win one weekend and lose the next.”

The Cougars return home to face off against the No. 9-ranked Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in a doubleheader Tuesday at Cougar Softball Stadium. The first game will begin at 5 p.m., and the nightcap is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.

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