Houston Defeats Texas 1-0 in Winner's Bracket Game at NCAA Austin Regional
May 21, 2011
AUSTIN, Texas - Senior pitchers Donna Bourgeois and Amanda Crabtree combined on a three-hit shutout to lead the University of Houston softball team to a 1-0 victory against host Texas in a winner's bracket game of the NCAA Austin Regional on Saturday afternoon at Red and Charline McCombs Field.
With Saturday's win, Houston (42-16) advances to Sunday's regional championship game at 1 p.m. Central. No. 3 national seed Texas (46-9) will play in an elimination game later tonight at 6 p.m. Central against the winner of this afternoon's Louisiana-Lafayette vs. Texas State contest. Houston will have two opportunities on Sunday to secure the NCAA Austin Regional title.
Bourgeois worked the first 3.1 innings and allowed three hits while striking out two and walking two. Crabtree (20-8) earned the victory by tossing a perfect final 3.2 innings while striking out six and walking two. UT sophomore All-American Blaire Luna (28-7) took the loss, working 6.0 innings and allowing one run on six hits while striking out six and walking one.
Houston, playing as the home team, plated the only run of the game in the bottom of the first. Katy Beth Sherman led off the frame with a bunt single and advanced to third on a Reina Garber double. Melissa Gregson then hit a slow roller to third baseman Nadia Taylor, and Sherman was able to beat Taylor's throw home to score the first run. Luna avoided further trouble with an infield pop to short by Jennifer Klinkert and a groundout back to the circle by Brooke Lathan.
Texas mounted a threat in the top of the fourth but could not push any runs across. With one out, Courtney Craig singled to left center and advanced to third on a Taylor double to right center. Crabtree then replaced Bourgeois in the circle and walked Torie Schmidt to load the bases. But Crabtree recovered to record consecutive strikeouts of Lexy Bennett and pinch-hitter Shelby Savony to retire the side.
Houston had an opportunity to extend its lead in the bottom of the fifth. Ashleigh Jones reached base safely to lead off the frame on an error by second baseman Raygan Feight. Jones then stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. But Luna recorded back-to-back strikeouts of Sherman and Holly Anderson and then retired Gaber on a ground out to short.
Crabtree closed out the game by retiring the final eight Texas batters she faced to secure the victory.
UT freshman Brejae Washington set the school single-season record for most stolen bases with her steal of second in the first inning. It marked her 36th stolen base of the year, topping the previous mark of 35 set by Shannon Thomas in 2007. Washington later added her 37th steal of the season in the fifth.