Cougars come up short in close game with Lobos

Sitting in the away dugout at their own field, the Houston softball team couldn’t end their three-game skid against the New Mexico Lobos.

Thursday’s game was the first of the Hilton Houston Plaza Classic as Houston welcomes New Mexico, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Illinois.

New Mexico was threating early in the second inning before a heads up double play by senior second baseman Kayla Holland. The solid fielding by the Cougars continued in the fourth when senior catcher Kris Davila gunned down Shelbie Franc trying to steal second base.

Houston was first on the board when junior designated hitter Courtney Klingler sent a home run over the left field wall. The homer marked the third of the season in Cougar Softball Stadium.

The Lobos tried to answer back with one out and runners on the corners, but senior pitcher Summer Groholski showed poise under pressure and with solid fielding escaped the inning untouched.

In the bottom of the sixth, New Mexico pulled ahead after Mariah Rimmer hit a two-RBI single over a stretched-out junior shortstop Selena Hernandez.

The Cougars responded quickly putting runners on second and third with only one out, but weren’t able to scratch any runs and extend the game, falling 2-1.

The Cougars fall to 6-9 overall while the Lobos improve to 5-6 on the season. Groholski took the loss for the Cougars despite pitching five shutout innings.

Houston returns for day two of the Hilton Houston Plaza Classic on Friday as the Cougars host Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at 4 p.m. followed by a game against Illinois at 6:30 p.m.

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