Houston Defeats Louisiana-Lafayette 7-2 in Game One at NCAA Austin Regional
May 20, 2011
AUSTIN, Texas - A five-run explosion paced by seven consecutive hits in the third inning helped the University of Houston softball team to a 7-2 victory against Louisiana-Lafayette in the opening game of the NCAA Austin Regional on Friday night at Red and Charline McCombs Field.
With Friday's win, Houston (41-16) advances to Saturday's winner's bracket game at 1 p.m. Central against the winner of Friday night's Texas-Texas State contest. Louisiana-Lafayette (49-10) will play in an elimination game on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. Central against the loser of Friday night's Texas-Texas State contest.
Senior pitcher Amanda Crabtree (19-8) earned the win, working 4.2 innings and allowing two runs (one earned) on one hit and adding six strikeouts against three walks. Freshman Diedre Outon relieved Crabtree in the fifth and tossed a perfect 2.1 innings with one strikeout to close out the victory. Junior Ashley Brignac (30-6) took the loss for the Ragin' Cajuns, going the distance and allowing seven runs (six earned) on 10 hits while striking out seven and walking five.
Houston broke the game open in the top of the third inning, using seven consecutive base hits with one out to plate five runs. The Cougars started the rally with back-to-back singles from Stesha Brazil and Ashleigh Jones, before Katy Beth Sherman's two-run triple to left center gave Houston a 2-0 lead. Holly Anderson followed with an RBI double to center to bring home Sherman. After another single by Reina Gaber put runners on the corners, an infield single by junior Melissa Gregson plated Anderson. An RBI single from Jennifer Klinkert closed out the scoring in the frame and gave the Cougars a 5-0 advantage.
Houston added a single run in the top of the fourth to increase its lead to 6-0. Brazil reached on a one-out walk and advanced to second on an illegal pitch. After a Jones single and a walk by Sherman loaded the bases, Brazil came home on an RBI fielder's choice from Anderson.
Louisiana-Lafayette got on the board in the bottom of the fifth by scoring a pair of runs without the benefit of a base hit. The Ragin' Cajuns loaded the bases courtesy of two walks and a hit batter. With two outs, Crabtree hit Nerissa Myers on a 3-2 pitch to plate Briana Cherry. After Outon replaced Crabtree in the circle, Christi Orgeron's sharply-hit ball was misplayed by shortstop Brooke Lathan, allowing Natalie Fernandez to score and cut the lead to 6-2. Outon escaped the inning without further damage by inducing a groundout by Gabriele Bridges.
Houston closed out the scoring with a single run in the top of the seventh. Anderson led off with double to the wall in right center and advanced to third on a single by Gregson. After a walk by Klinkert loaded the bases, Outon reached on a two-out error by third baseman Granger that brought home Anderson.