Shrum powers Cougars in sweep over Huskies

It was an offensive onslaught for UH as the Cougars swept a doubleheader against the crosstown rival Houston Baptist University Huskies Tuesday night.

The Cougar offense never took their foot off the gas as they outscored the Huskies by a combined 31-8 in both games taking game one 12-5 and game two 19-3.

Junior shortstop Selena Hernandez got the scoring started for the Cougars with her 2-RBI double in the bottom of the first, bringing home junior centerfielder Katie St. Pierre and freshman left fielder Kaylin Crumpton.

The Huskies fought back, scoring four runs in the top of the second on three hits as the first six batters reached safely before Cougar starter Summer Groholski was pulled after giving up four runs on four hits in an inning of work.

The Cougars rebounded quickly as junior pitcher Julana Shrum, in relief of Groholski, tied it up 4-4 with a 2-RBI homerun.

That was only the beginning for the Cougars, however, as they added three more runs in the bottom of the fourth on another 2-RBI homerun from Shrum and a bases loaded walk for senior right fielder Tiffani McKnight.

“If we went out and got an error or they got a hit, we responded with a hit to make up for that, and I think we played really well today,” Shrum said.

HBU got one back in the top of the fifth on an error but that was all the offense they could muster off Shrum. She was credited with the win, giving up one unearned run on three hits in 6.0 innings of relief, lowering her ERA to 2.82.

“I think I could’ve done some things different to get a little more strikeouts, but overall I felt really good out there,” Shrum said.

The Cougars put the game away in the bottom of the sixth, scoring five runs on four hits and two walks, including a bases loaded pinch hit triple by senior Sydney Gerbracht.

Following a short break, the teams headed into game two and the Cougar offense picked up right where it left off in the first game, scoring nine runs on seven hits and seeing three Huskies pitchers in the bottom of the first.

After a bases loaded walk to McKnight, senior catcher Kris Davila and Shrum hit back-to-back 2-RBI hits and were followed up by RBI hits from third baseman Savannah Martin and Crumpton. Sophomore pitcher Shelby Miller got an RBI hit following a Hernandez walk and the inning finally ended on a bases loaded strikeout on first baseman Courtney Klingler.

The Cougar offense wasn’t held to the first inning though as McKnight added an RBI single following a Miller triple in the bottom of the third and back-to-back RBI hits by Crumpton and Hernandez in the bottom of the fourth made it 12-3.

The powerhouse Cougars weren’t done, though, as they added seven more runs in the inning, giving them 19 in the game and 31 on the day.

Shrum continued on her strong day with a grand slam in the bottom of the fourth and finished her game going 5-7 with 10 RBI and scoring three runs to go along with her performance on the mound in game one.

“I felt like I saw the ball really well tonight,” Shrum said. “I felt really good hitting tonight and when I got in the game I was really calm.”

Miller scored the win for the Cougars, her only blemish coming in the top of the fourth with a three-run Huskies homerun. She finished with a complete game giving up only three runs on five hits.

The Cougars will look to continue their strong play into this weekend in Las Vegas as they play five games in the UNLV Classic. Shrum said she hopes their winning ways continue.

“We’ve got to go out there and take care of business and bring back wins.”

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