Softball Sports

Cougars steal one from No. 1 Texas in weekend series

UH softball grabbed its first-ever win over a No. 1-ranked team when it defeated Texas over the weekend. | Oscar Herrera/The Cougar

The UH softball team completed its weekend series with No. 1 Texas having knocked down the country’s top team in one of three matchups, marking the first time in program history the Cougars have defeated a top-ranked team.

Game 1 

Houston started the game off fast as junior infielder Lair Beautae gave Houston a 1-0 lead in the first inning by hitting a bomb over the left-center field fence.

In the following at-bat, graduate catcher Kennedy Thomas doubled and graduate infielder Jazmyn Rollin delivered her first home run of the contest to right-center. Junior Turiya Coleman would go on to give the Cougars a 4-0 lead after bombing a home run to end the first inning scoring for the Cougars.

The Longhorns would jab back at the Cougars scoring five runs in the third and two runs in the top of the fourth to take a 7-4 lead.

However, the Cougars weren’t going down without a fight. 

Senior outfielder Amanda Carden scored a run and kept the bases loaded. Beautae scored her second run of the game when she singled home junior outfielder Ja’Naiya Thomas. Kennedy Thomas then reached after another Longhorn error allowing Carden and sophomore Mandy Esman to score. Rollin would put the Cougars up four by emptying the bases with a three-run home bomb to left center. Graduate Shelby Smith would single through the left side to bring home graduate Bree Cantu, giving the Cougars a demanding 12-7 lead.

Redshirt sophomore pitcher Paris Lehman was not going to allow Texas to cut their deficit in the seventh inning despite their best efforts resulting in three runs scored in the sixth. Lehman would complete the remarkable inaugural Big 12 victory for the Cougars by striking out the Longhorns to take the first game of the series.

Game 2

Texas started off on a roll, taking a 1-0 lead thanks to a leadoff double from Texas freshman Kayden Henry, who also stole third base and scored after a throwing error.

After a flyout, the next two hitters reached base and moved to third and Texas junior Mia Scott scored from a single by Katie Cimusz. After the first, Texas led by five runs when they concluded the inning with a three-run home drive.

In the third, Houston loaded the bases thanks to two singles and a walk. Coleman forced a home run on a hit-by-pitch and Smith’s single would cut the margin to three. 

Texas Senior Alyssa Washington hit a two-run home run in the seventh to give the Longhorns a 9-2 lead and seal the rebound victory for Texas.

Game 3

The Cougars got in on the board first after junior outfielder Ja’Naiya Thomas flew out to infield to send Cantu home, giving Houston a 1-0 lead to conclude the second inning.

Texas responded right back in the third inning by tallying two points of their own. In the bottom of the third, Beautae homered a bomb to left center evening out the score to 2 apiece.

The Longhorns went on a run, scoring three in the fifth and one in the fourth inning. Smith hit a single in the bottom of the sixth, and Coleman and freshman outfielder Jordee Wilkins scored on errors to reduce the lead to two. Graduate outfielder Katy Repa was sent home as sophomore infielder Esman doubled to left center. Esman would come home to finish the Cougars’ four-point inning and tie the game at six.

The Longhorns responded with two runs at the top of the ninth to win 8–6, as Houston was unable to rally. 

The series marked Houston softball’s first three in-conference games as members of the Big 12, ending 1-2 and dropping its overall record to 17-7 despite the game one victory. Next up the Cougars will travel to Ames, Iowa to take on Iowa State in a weekend series.

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