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Sunday, January 16, 2022

Softball

Cougars looking to bounce back against Golden Eagles


With the bulk of the remaining schedule being conference games, UH (18-12, 2-4 in Conference USA) looks to claw its way to the top against Southern Miss (10-17, 0-3) with the first two of a three-game series being a double-header that starts at 1 p.m. Saturday in Hattiesburg, Miss., at the USM Softball Complex.

The Cougars were originally supposed to play a double-header against Texas State on Wednesday but it was rescheduled to April 22 at the Bobcats’ request, leaving UH with six days between games.

That bodes well for the Cougars, as they will send Amanda Crabtree (11-6) to the mound fresh off of her electric performance that broke a school record with her 17 strikeouts against Memphis.

Head coach Kyla Holas will send a Cougar offense looking to light up The Golden Eagles’ pitchers, who are lead by Beth Dietrich (5-8).

“They’re very clear on how important conference is,” Holas said.

“Every series we’re ready to go and excited to get on the field.

The Golden Eagles have won only one of their last five games, but Holas’ team isn’t looking past them, and will not be discounting their recent performances.

“Southern Miss is one of those really scrappy teams,” he said.

“They try to bring a lot of offense, so we’re going to have to have a good performance on the mound and we’re going to have to play some good defense behind it and stay focused at the plate and put a lot of balls in play.”

After winning the series against Memphis but losing the third game in a pitchers’ duel 2-0, Holas is confident the bats will come alive as long as the Cougars stick to the basics.

“Right now we’re working on putting the ball in play and limiting our strikeouts so that teams have to field 21 outs.”

The road-weary Cougars will finish a month of March that saw them play only three of 17 scheduled games at Cougar Softball Stadium.

After their second-best start in program history (15-6), they’ve won five of their last 14 games.

After the series with Southern Miss, UH will come back to Houston for some home cooking and a series against Marshall.


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