April 1, 2012
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. –The UAB softball team fell, 6-5, to the Houston Cougars in the series finale at the UAB Softball Field on Sunday afternoon. UAB falls to 20-13 overall and 7-2 in Conference USA, while Houston improves to 20-15 and 9-3 in league action.
The Blazers outhit the Cougars, 13-8, in the loss, but it was extra bases and UAB’s five miscues that handed Houston the win.
“We gave up 10 free bases. They scored in almost every inning and we just spotted them runs,” head coach Marla Townsend said. “We had quality at bats, but it doesn’t matter if you hit the ball all day if you’re spotting them runs.”
UAB struck first in the opening frame. With two outs, Kayla Orr doubled to right center. In the next at bat, Mandy Lowman launched a two-run homer over the left field wall.
Houston retaliated in the top of the second inning, scoring two runs on two hits and two costly UAB errors.
The Cougars added to their advantage with one run in each of the third and fourth innings to take a 4-2 lead.
The Blazers got within one run in the fourth inning. Back-to-back singles from Hayley Davis and Heather Pearson worked to score pinch runner Hailey Glynn, who ran for Erica Sisson. Sisson reached base on a fielder’s choice.
After plating two more runs in the top of the fifth, the Cougars took a 6-3 margin. But the game wasn’t over yet, as UAB threatened to come back in the bottom of the sixth inning. With two outs, Davis, Pearson and Catherine Crawford strung together three hits to score a run. K. Orr walked the bases loaded and Lowman’s patience at the plate walked a run home to close the gap to 6-5.
It wasn’t enough as Cougar pitcher Bailey Watts struck out Kristen McGrath to end the sixth inning and retired the side in the bottom of the seventh.
"I was proud of the team for battling back, but you have to protect the lead to start the game,” Townsend said.
Watts relieved starter Diedre Outon (7-3), who earned the win, while Watts tallied her first save of the season. Outon allowed 13 hits, five earned runs and struck out four batters in 5.1 innings pitched.
UAB starter Amber Torres (3-3) was tagged with the loss after allowing four runs in 3.1 innings pitched. She was relieved by Lannah Campbell, who pitched 1.0 inning, followed by Leigh Streetman who tossed the last 2.2 innings.
“It was a lack of focus. We are going to get back at it tomorrow and welcome Troy on Tuesday,” Townsend said.
The Blazers return to action on Tuesday, April 3 when they host the Troy Trojans for a 4 p.m. CT matchup.