Cougars hungry to continue winning streak

Looking to extend their two-game win streak, the Cougars (19-14, 6-4 Conference USA) will hit the road to face off against Louisiana-Lafayette in a doubleheader today.

Earlier this season, UH hosted ULL at the Houston Marriot Invitational and defeated the Ragin’ Cajuns 2-1 in eight innings.

Meanwhile, the Cougars come into the midweek doubleheader after closing a three-game series with an 8-5 victory over UTEP on Sunday.

Head coach Kyla Holas does not believe that the wins are something that the team should take for granted.

“There is so much history between us and this team,” Holas said.  “They have one of the toughest environments to play in, and those Cajuns are known for their fans, known for their rowdiness and known for their home-team advantage.”

ULL (19-11) is 6-1 at home this season. Under co-head coaches Michael and Steni Lotief, the Cajuns are coming off of a 45-13 season in 2009. They returned 15 letterwinners and are coming off a winning streak of their own. They won their three games against Western Kentucky over the weekend to carry their own momentum into Tuesday’s game.

At the plate, the Cajuns have two players batting over .350, one of whom has 13 homers on the season. To win today, the Cougars will have to play their best ball of the season.

“We are going to need to have really good offense,” Holas said.  “We are going to have to match them offensively, which is something that is hard to do.”

Holas made it clear that her team must play mistake-free.

“You have to show up with your bats and score runs,” Holas said, “because their pitching staff is not going to give up a lot and their offense is really good.”

Junior pitcher Amanda Crabtree was diagnosed on Monday with an abdominal strain, and Holas said she could be out for a week. Battling the Cajun offense on the mound will be Baillie Lott and Bailey Watts, who have a combined record of 12-7.

“I still feel like we are a young team,” Holas said. “Age, maturity and experience allows you to stay in the center so that you don’t get too high or too low.”

Adding a bit more history between the two teams facing off this week, Holas graduated from ULL in 1994 and was a pitcher for the Cajuns.

“Every game we play against them is huge,” Holas said.  “There is no advantage.”

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