Host Cougars Defeat Illini, 8-1

Mychko was 4-for-4 in plays at the plate, saving at least four runs from scoring.
Mychko was 4-for-4 in plays at the plate, saving at least four runs from scoring.

Feb. 15, 2013

Box Score

Houston, Texas - The University of Houston Cougars used consistent offense to earn their first-ever victory over the Illini, 8-1. The Illini had 14 runners on base, but the majority of their offense came with two outs, as only one member of the Orange and Blue made it home. Houston improves to 6-2, while Illinois falls to 3-4.

"They had 10 hits, we had eight," said Head Coach Terri Sullivan. "The difference was Houston scored in all but one inning, and we didn't get any of those hits with runners on that win ball games. Those are going to come, and we get a chance to do that tomorrow."

Brittney Sanchez and Jess Perkins each went 2-for-3 with a walk, and Perkins added a double and an RBI. Allie Bauch scored the Illini's lone run after tabbing Illinois' first hit of the game. Jenna Mychko made four plays at the plate, helped in part by leftfielder Alex Booker, who had two outfield assists, both through Katie Repole at third base.

Holly Anderson was the player of the game for Houston, going 4-for-5 with a double, four RBI, two runs, and three stolen bases. Haley Outon was 2-for-3 with a two-run homer, two runs, two stolen bases and three RBI.

Shelese Arnold started in the circle for the Orange and Blue, allowing three runs, two earned, on five hits and two walks in the first 2.1 innings. Jackie Guy replaced her in the third, allowing the final five runs, four earned, on five hits and six walks. Both pitchers also had one strikeout.

Cougar hurler Bailey Watts through the complete game, allowing just one run on eight hits and six walks.

Arnold began the game with a strikeout, but a dropped third strike led to a runner on first. Kendra Cullum laid down a sacrifice bunt, to move Holly Anderson to second. A groundout by Reina Gaber put Anderson on third, and Haley Outon picked up the first RBI of the day with a double to shallow right.

Julia Pecina led off the top of the second by getting hit with a pitch. She advanced to second on a passed ball, then a Kayla Holland single moved her to third. Holland stole second, then Jennifer Hooker walked to load the bases with nobody out. Katie St. Pierre smoked it to the left side, but a diving snag by Repole saved a run, throwing home for the force at the plate. Anderson followed with a single down the left field line, scoring Holland, but perfect relay from Booker to Repole to Mychko nailed Hooker at the plate. Cullum walked to re-load the bases, but Gaber grounded to short, as Arnold escaped the jam with just one run.

Outon began the third inning with a hit by pitch, she stole second and advanced to third on an illegal pitch. Duplechain singled to third, but a diving stop by Repole held Outon at third. Duplechain stole second, and a dropped throw at second allowed Outon to score. Pecina smoked a ball to leftfield, but another Booker-Repole-Mychko relay caught Duplechain at the plate. Jackie Guy then took over in the circle, and got the final two outs, ending the third down, 3-0.

The Illini put together a two-out rally in the bottom of the third, picking up their first run of the game. After two hard lineouts, Allie Bauch got the first hit for Illinois, a single to left. Sanchez followed with another single to left, and a Perkins single to left drove in Bauch. Repole walked to load the bases, but after fouling off several pitches, Mychko popped up to end the inning.

Anderson hit a leadoff single in the top of the fourth. Guy got the next two outs, but a two-run homer to left-center by Outon made it 5-1 Houston.

After Booker made the first out of the fifth, three walks loaded the bases for Anderson, who singled to left, scoring Holland, to put the Cougars up, 6-1.

The Illini offense heated up with two outs in the fifth, started by a walk by Perkins. Repole singled to left, and Mychko followed with another single. As Perkins came around third, she initially stopped, but then saw the leftfielder had dropped the ball and decided to head home. Meanwhile, Repole rounded second and headed to third. Pecina retrieved the ball and fired it to third, catching Repole for the third out just before Perkins could cross the plate, saving a run and leaving the score at 6-1.

Hooker walked to start the seventh. St. Pierre beat out an infield single, then the runners advanced on a throwing error by Jami Schkade. Anderson drilled a two-run double down the left field line to put Houston ahead, 8-1. Anderson stole third, but got thrown out at the plate by Perkins on a ground ball by Gaber.

Sanchez singled with one out in the bottom of the seventh. Perkins hit her second double of the day, deep to left, and Repole walked to load the bases. However, Watts struck out the final two batters to claim an 8-1 victory.

Illinois is back in action Saturday morning, facing DePaul at 10 a.m. followed by No. 6 Texas.