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Sunday, May 28, 2023


Cougars rally in finale to capture sweep of Memphis

Freshman Bailey Watts tossed her first career no-hitter in UH’s 5-0 win over Memphis on Saturday, and the Cougars went on to sweep the three-game series from the Tigers. | Kendra Berglund/The Daily Cougar

After opening their three-game Conference USA series against Memphis by taking both games in Saturday’s doubleheader, the Cougars finished off the sweep with a 7-4 victory Sunday at Cougar Softball Stadium.

The Cougars (23-19, 8-7 C-USA) defeated the Tigers 4-0 in Saturday’s opener before taking the nightcap, 5-0. The wins came via dominant pitching performances from junior Amanda Crabtree and freshman Bailey Watts and extended UH’s win streak to five.

In the second game, Watts delivered her first career no-hitter, fanning nine batters in the process.

“Well, I think we had better pitching performances, and we finally scored some runs,” head coach Kyla Holas said.  “That is the key.”

Righthander Baillie Lott started Sunday and allowed one run and three hits in the first frame, prompting Holas to send Crabtree into the game to relieve Lott.

Crabtree gave up a three-run homer to give Memphis (19-16, 6-8) a 4-0 lead going into the bottom of the second inning, but found her command from there. She finished the game with nine strikeouts and allowed only two hits.

The Cougars left runners stranded in each of the first three innings until Ashleigh Jones registered UH’s first run of the game in the fourth. Holly Anderson also scored to cut the Cougars’ deficit to 4-2 with runners on first and second and a comeback in progress.

Designated hitter Reina Gaber followed with her first career home run, a three-run blast to center field that gave the Cougars a 5-4 lead.

After a pair of heated exchanges with the home-plate umpire, Tigers head coach Windy Thees was ejected from the game before the inning could expire.

The five runs UH scored in the fourth inning gave the Cougars a dose of confidence to finish the game strong. Katy Beth Sherman doubled in a pair of insurance runs in the fifth to complete the scoring.

“I think the runner at second was the big difference in this game,” Holas said. “In the past, we have been leaving that runner there with one out, so that was another obvious adjustment we had to make.”

The Cougars will travel to face C-USA opponent Tulsa in a three-game series beginning Friday. With three more conference series left in the season, the Cougars are preparing to build on their win streak.

“We are going to be on our best game,” Holas said.

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