Hi 81 / Lo 61
|Volume 68, Issue 132,
Monday, April 14, 2003
Coogs sweep away Blazers
By Keenan Singleton
Itis an offensive statement and a statement about offense: Chicks dig the long ball.
The Cougarsi Kristin Glowacz dug it so much this weekend; sheis about halfway to China.
She blasted four home runs over the weekend, including a two-run shot in the bottom of the seventh inning in Sundayis finale, a 4-2 Cougar victory, to clinch a three-game sweep over Alabama-Birmingham (21-23, 6-12).
Her three-game rampage beefed up her stats to near-Ruthian status (.354, 11 HRs, 39 RBIs) and, probably most importantly, lifted the Cougars (29-17, 11-4) into sole possession of third-place in the conference standings.
"I was just trying to get a hit," said Glowacz, the reigning Conference USA Freshman of the Year. "But she threw a fat change-up right over the plate. It was the fattest pitch youill ever get.
"I went up there and just relaxed. I think I kind of got away from that. I just went up there and hit the ball and everything came together."
Enter Glowacz. Exit Blazers.
A two-run, two-out single to centerfield from sophomore designated player Jenilee Skender in the bottom of the third inning gave the Cougars their first lead of the game, 2-1. UABis Kris Lara took a leisurely stroll around the bases when she slammed freshman Crystal Briscoeis pitch over the centerfield wall to tie the game at two in the bottom of the sixth. That would be the extent of UABis damage.
Briscoe extinguished the Blazers for her eighth win of the season, striking out nine and holding them to just two hits for the complete game.
"Itis the best Iive ever seen Crystal pitch," said Jenny Johnson, who held the Blazers to just two hits on Saturday.
A fielding miscue in the first inning from second baseman Jeanie Davis led to a 1-0 lead for the Blazers. The Cougars tried to respond in the bottom half of the inning, but would leave two runners stranded.
A damaged water hose down the leftfield line was the biggest problem the Cougars faced this weekend.
Briscoe wasnit the only pitcher taming the Blazers. Johnson (9-6, 1.75 earned run average) chilled the Blazers in Saturdayis second game, shutting them out over five innings for the complete game.
Officials had to halt UHis demolition of the Blazers in Game 2. The Cougars scored 10 runs at the end of five innings, prompting the "eight-run mercy rule." Glowacz hit two homers and knocked in five. UH won 10-0.
"The very first pitch I threw was a hit, but it was smooth sailing after that," Johnson said. "Itis a lot easier to pitch when our offense is on and they did phenomenal."
Staff ace Jamie Falco (11-7, 1.35) scattered six hits over seven innings and yielded three runs, helping UH take the first game of the series, 4-3.
"We got the pitching performance we needed," head coach Kyla Holas said. "We got some solid defense. It wasnit perfect, but it didnit cost us big. We got some big outfield plays."
Including a diving grab in centerfield from Kim Nesloney in the top of the third that is worthy of being a "Web Gem" on ESPNis Baseball Tonight.
Catcher Arelis Ferreris said the Cougars didnit want to beat the Blazers, they wanted to hurt them. But the Blazers did the dirty work for UH.
Game 1 was halted after a ghastly collision involving Blazers shortstop Candice Hithe and leftfielder Sara Christophel in shallow leftfield. The game was delayed for 35 minutes while Hithe and Christophel were given medical attention.
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