Houston Defeats Louisiana-Lafayette 4-1 to Capture NCAA Austin Regional Title
May 22, 2011
AUSTIN, Texas - Freshman catcher Haley Outon hit a pair of home runs and recorded three RBI to lead the University of Houston softball team to a 4-1 victory against Louisiana-Lafayette in the championship game of the NCAA Austin Regional on Sunday afternoon at Red and Charline McCombs Field. With the win, Houston (43-16) advances to next week's NCAA Super Regional for the second time in program history.
The Cougars will face Oklahoma State, the champion of the NCAA Knoxville Regional, in Stillwater, Okla. next weekend. Louisiana-Lafayette concluded its season with an overall record of 51-11.
Senior Amanda Crabtree (21-8) earned the victory in the circle for the Cougars, going the distance and allowing one run on six hits while striking out eight and walking three. Junior Ashley Brignac (32-7) took the loss for the Ragin' Cajuns, working 7.0 innings and allowing four runs on nine hits while striking out three and walking two.
Houston, playing as the visiting team, got on the board in the second inning. Outon notched the first of her two home runs, launching a solo shot with two outs over the centerfield wall.
Louisiana-Lafayette drew even in the fifth with a single run. With one out and Katie Smith on first after reaching on a fielder's choice, the Ragin' Cajuns used back-to-back singles by Nerissa Myers and Christi Orgeron to load the bases. Gabriele Bridges produced a sac fly that brought home Smith with the tying run. Crabtree avoided further damage by retiring Sarah Draheim on a ground out to short.
The Cougars seized control with a pair of runs in the top of the sixth. Melissa Gregson led off the inning with a single to left. She advanced to second after a Jennifer Klinkert sac bunt and moved to third on a ground out by pinch-hitter Baillie Lott. Outon then delivered the biggest blow of the game, hitting a towering shot over the left field wall to give the Cougars a 3-1 lead.
Houston added an insurance run in the seventh. With one out, Reina Gaber reached on a fielder's choice and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Erin Martin pinch-ran for Gaber and came around to score the game's final run on an RBI single to center by Gregson.
The Ragin' Cajuns threatened in their final at-bat. Smith reached on an infield single with one out and advanced to second after Myers drew a walk. With the tying run at the plate, Crabtree induced a pair of fly outs by Orgeron and Bridges to close out the game and secure the regional title.