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Friday, May 27, 2022

Softball

UH softball sweeps ECU, extending winning streak to six


Kenna Wilkey tossed 13 shutout innings with 16 strikeouts for UH softball in her two starts against East Carolina over the weekend. | James Mueller/The Cougar

Kenna Wilkey tossed 13 shutout innings with 16 strikeouts for UH softball in her two starts against East Carolina over the weekend. | James Mueller/The Cougar

UH softball swept it second consecutive, going 3-0 against East Carolina over the weekend to extend its winning streak to six.

Senior pitcher Kenna Wilkey led the charge for the Cougars, striking out 16 Pirates in her two starts to help the Cougars improve to 7-1-1 in the American Athletic Conference standings.

Here’s a closer look at each game:

Friday

On Friday, Senior pitcher Kenna Wilkey set the tone for the series, leading UH to a 5-0 shutout victory of ECU.

After a quiet first inning, the game’s first score came from senior catcher Kati Ray Brown as she slammed a home run to put the Cougars up 2-0 at the top of the 2nd.

UH continued their offensive attack at the top of the third with four consecutive hits leading to a 5-0 lead. A double by graduate second baseman Becca Schulte’s and a single by senior outfielder Aspen Howie led to three more runs for the Cougars.

After the top of the third, neither team mounted much offense for the remaining four innings.

The Pirates were held in check all evening by Wilkey’s brilliant pitching as she only allowed three hits over the course of seven innings while striking out seven.

This was Wilkey’s second complete-game shutout of the season.

Saturday

Saturday’s 6-3 comeback victory for the Cougars secured the series win.

The Pirates led the first inning after consecutive hits, including back-to-back doubles, and a sacrifice bunt from sophomore infielder Bailey Wilson put them up 3-0 after the first inning.

The Cougars started their comeback in the third when Howie hit a two-out RBI single.

A single with base loaded by senior outfielder Bethany Busch cut the deficit to 3-2.

ECU tried to mount some offense but the Cougars tied a school record with three double plays in the game that stifled the Pirates’ offense on multiple occasions.

After struggling in the first inning, graduate pitcher Hannah Todd held the Pirates scoreless for the next six innings to help allow her team back in the game.

The Cougars took the lead at the top of the fifth when Busch launched a three-run homer to give UH a 5-3 lead.

The game’s last run came on a miscue by the Pirates that lead to the Cougars adding another run to score six unanswered and win 6-3.

Sunday

UH ended the series with the Pirates with a dominant 8-0 victory, securing the series sweep.

UH had a scorching first inning with three consecutive hits that led to a Schulte single for the first run of the game.

After a Shulte stole second base, back-to-back home runs by Busch and junipr infielder Britaney Shaw put the Cougars up 5-0 in the first inning.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Pirates had bases loaded and threatened to score before back-to-back strikes out by Wilkey got the Cougars out of trouble and prevented any runs.

After a stalemate between both teams, the Cougars again found offense at the top of the sixth with three more runs.

Hits by multiple Cougars including sophomore infielder Amanda Carden and redshirt Senior infielder Rock Benavides led to Houston taking an 8-0 lead at the bottom of the sixth.

After ECU failed to find any offense, the game came to a close with the six-inning run rule.

Wilkey put up another masterful performance as she held ECU scoreless for the second time in the series and struck out nine batters.

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