Tenacity shows as Cougars win two in dramatic fashion


Senior pitcher Summer Groholski set up sophomore pitcher Shelby Miller for her second win of the season after pitching five innings allowing four runs and earning four strikeouts. | Brittaney Penney/The Cougar

Perseverance was the theme for the Cougars through day two of the Houston Hilton Plaza Invitational following two come-from-behind victories against UMass and DePaul.

The Cougars (6-5) started the afternoon off on the right foot with a thrilling 5-4 walk-off victory over UMass (1-2).

After getting the scoring started with an RBI single in the first, senior designated hitter Jaime Edwards came up in the bottom of the seventh with runners on first and second with no outs.

“I knew that I’ve been swinging well the past few weeks,” Edwards said. “I personally like outside, and they brought in a curveball pitcher so I knew I was the one that needed to be up in that situation.”

Edwards got her pitch and knocked it up the middle for the walk-off RBI single, scoring junior outfielder Katie St. Pierre.

The Minutewomen put the Cougars in the hot seat just before as they tied it up with one run in the third and went ahead 2-1 in the top of the fourth after Tara Klee hit a home run to right center over a jumping St. Pierre.

The Cougars wouldn’t be down long, as they rallied back in the bottom of the fourth, scoring three runs on four hits.

The Minutewomen wouldn’t go down without a fight, though, as they put up two in the top of the fifth to tie it up at four and looked hard to beat as Caroline Raymond retired the next six Cougars she faced.

Extra innings wouldn’t be needed, however, as St. Pierre, senior outfielder Tiffani McKnight and Edwards fired off straight singles to win it for the Cougars.

Sophomore Shelby Miller (2-0) recorded the victory for the Cougars, pitching two innings of hitless ball in relief for senior pitcher Summer Groholski, who went five innings giving up four runs on five hits.

Following a short intermission, the Cougars took the field to take on the defending Big East champion DePaul Blue Devils (3-5).

The game got off to a quick start through the first two innings, but a costly error by the Cougars in the top of the third led to two Blue Devil runs.

A solo home run in the top of the fourth gave DePaul a 3-0 lead that looked unsurmountable, but the Cougars never gave up.

Freshman outfielder Kaylin Crumpton led off the Cougar fifth and junior first baseman Courtney Klingler made it count with a two-run home run that brought Houston within one.

The first six Cougar batters of the sixth reached base safely, leading to three more runs and a 5-3 lead that was never squandered.

Junior pitcher Julana Shrum (2-2) picked up the win for the Cougars, only allowing three runs, one earned, over a complete seven innings while striking out five.

“We have to scratch for everything… I think that we do have a lot of fight and it showed in today’s games,” Edwards said.

Houston returns to the diamond for the final day of the Houston Hilton Plaza Invitational Sunday against in-state rival SFA, with a first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m.

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