Softball Sports

Big 12 Softball Championship concludes

Shelby Smith pitched a complete game for the Coogs in round one of the Big 12 Conference Championship. | Oscar Herrera/ The Cougar

The tenth-seeded Houston softball matched up against the seventh-seeded Kansas Jayhawks in the first round of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Softball Championship at OGE Field at Devon Park in Oklahoma City last week to bring the season to a halt.

The Jay Hawks struck first in the bottom of the first inning thanks to a two-run blast from sophomore shortstop Hailey Cripe on a 3-2, two-out pitch.

Houston responded in the top of the second inning when graduate designated hitter Katy Repa hit a sacrifice fly that allowed freshman second baseman Bethany Aguilar to make it a 2-1 ball game.

Kansas would respond right back when senior center fielder Angela Price flew out to the center field, which allowed graduate third baseman Ashlyn Anderson to cross the plate and make it 3-1.

Things would only get further out of reach for the Cougars at the bottom of the fourth when Cripe launched a pitch into center field for a three-run RBI double as Kansas would take a 6-1 lead.

However, the Coogs stayed resilient. At the top of the sixth, graduate first baseman Bree Cantu hit a sacrifice fly, which allowed graduate third baseman Jazmyn Rollin to score, making it 6-2.

In the top of the seventh inning, with the bases loaded, junior left fielder Lair Beautae hit a pitch down the middle, allowing two ladies in red to come home to make it 6-4.

The Cougars continued their comeback run with junior catcher Turiya Coleman reaching first base on a fielder’s choice. With the bases loaded graduate outfielder Paige Husley scored to make it 6-5. 

Houston later had the bases loaded again for the third time in the inning thanks to an error, but a pop-out ended the comeback as Kansas moved on to the quarterfinals.

Grad student pitcher Shelby Smith was awarded the loss, bringing her record to 10-15. She pitched all six innings and gave up 12 hits and six runs, with only one strikeout.

Four Coogs players finished the game with at least one RBI, with Beautae getting two. Oklahoma went on to win the Big 12 Tournament, defeating Texas in the finale. 

The first season of Cougar Softball is complete, and Houston departs with a 25-30 record and a lone four wins in conference plays.

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