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Volume 68, Issue 136, April 18, 2003


Coogs keep pressure up

By Keenan Singleton
The Daily Cougar

It could have been the ongoing construction, struction, uction, at the Cougar Softball Complex. Maybe, be, be, it was this writeris notoriously bad hearing. But in speaking about preparation for this weekendis series against conference foe East Carolina, the Cougars bounced echoes of each other left and right, ight, ight.

"We canit take them lightly," freshman pitcher Crystal Briscoe said. "We canit look past them."

"We canit take them lightly," junior catcher Arelis Ferreris said. "We canit look past them."

The echoed statements show an added importance to this series. If the Cougars, just a half-game behind South Florida for second place in the conference, sweep the Pirates, they position themselves for a first-round bye in the Conference USA Tournament.

"We have to sweep, itis not an option," head coach Kyla Holas said.

UHis first option to carry the broom and the Cougars is sophomore third baseman and C-USA Hitter of the Week (her third such honor this season) Kristin Glowacz. Last weekend against Alabama-Birmingham, Glowacz out-blazed the Blazers, smacking four home runs and driving in eight. Her teammates, designated player Jenilee Skender (.340, 6 HRs, 21 RBIs), second baseman Jeanie Davis (.299, 9 HRs, 26 RBIs) and Ferreris (.280, 6 HRs, 25 RBIs) know how to clean up as well.

Glowacz wasnit the only Cougar to smother UAB. Pitcher Briscoe struck out nine and only surrendered two hits for sixth career no-hitter.

"Iive learned so much from Jamie (Falco) and Jenny (Johnson)," said Briscoe, who is 8-4 with a 2.41 earned run average. "Pitching on Sunday makes my job easier. I know about the other teamis weak and strong points before I take the mound."

In the first-ever meeting between the schools, ECU made the Cougars the plank.

"They beat us like stepkids last year," said Holas, who has an 86-75 record as the Cougarsi skipper. "This part of the season last year, we were on a downhill skid. Weive worked hard and prepared to get them back for last year."

To be successful, the kids are going to have to beat the parents this year.

"Weill expect some average pitching and decent defense from them," said Ferreris, who has only missed one start (159-of-160) in her three-year career at UH. "They have some problems with pitching, but they are a very good hitting them. They can score, so we canit look past their hitters."

Says Briscoe: "We donit want to give up any bombs, because theyive got some hitters with pop."

One of those hitters is Christine Sheridan. The freshman shortstop leads the Pirates in most offensive categories, including batting average, RBIs and hits. Sophomore Maggie Lingo (4-11, 3.46 earned run average) and freshman Brently Bridgefor (7-9, 3.10 ERA) anchor the Pirate pitching staff.

So, if things go to plan, the Cougars will echo new sentiments, ments.

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