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Volume 71, Issue 137, Friday, April 28, 2006


Race for C-USA title is up in air UH vs. UAB

The Daily Cougar

As if stressing over final exams weren't enough, members of UH softball must worry about two three-game series against Conference-USA opponents. 

In order to accomplish their goal of finishing on top of the conference, the Cougars first need to knock off the Blazers at Alabama-Birmingham before taking on Marshall at home during the last game of the season. The first pitch of Saturday's doubleheader against UAB (27-18, 11-7 C-USA) is set for 1 p.m. C-USA play will continue on Sunday at 1 p.m.

"I feel good and confident about this weekend," head coach Kyla Holas said. "We got a scouting report on UAB, and I think a lot of the pitching that we saw in the last four games (against Texas Southern and Grambling State) is what we are going to see."

Freshman catcher Elaina Nordstrom could be a huge factor in the series against UAB. Nordstrom leads the team with 42 RBI's and head coach Kyla Holas has a feeling UH will be able to get some hits against the Blazers.

Stephen Pinchback/The Daily Cougar

The Cougars (35-18, 12-6) are coming off back-to-back doubleheaders against Texas Southern and Grambling State in which Houston completely dominated. UH currently holds a seven-game winning streak.

Against TSU on Monday, the Cougars registered 9-0 and 8-0 victories in a total of 11 innings. Sophomore Barbie Love fired her first career no-hitter in Game 2, while junior Candi Kloecker allowed only one hit. 

Against Grambling State on Tuesday, UH registered a season-best 21 hits and scored a season-high 13 runs during the 13-0 Game 2 victory, shortly after seeing a Game 1 8-0 shutout. 

Freshmen Jessica Valis, Elaina Nordstrom and Christa Raley and sophomore Angel Shamblin each added career-highs of three hits apiece. 

Senior Crystal Briscoe improved to 3-0 after setting a new career-high with 12 strikeouts, while Shamblin improved to 14-6 after striking out eight and allowing two hits. 

UAB (27-18, 11-7) will welcome UH after defeating Alabama A&M 8-0 and 5-0. In Game 1, Chelsea McCall finished with three runs on four hits, while Lindsay Stanley added two runs on three hits. 

"The (UAB) pitching is a little bit slower than we've been facing, but they are just as good of a team. They could come out and beat us, but we are not going to let them do it," Valis said. 

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