May 22, 2011
IRVING, Texas -
Houston advanced to the NCAA Super Regionals with a 4-1 victory over No. 24/25 Louisiana-Lafayette to claim the NCAA Austin Regional Championship on Sunday at McCombs Field. The Cougars will make their second Super Regional appearance in program history, and they are the first C-USA team to reach the next round since 2008. UH (43-16) will face Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Okla., next weekend in the best-of-3 format. The Cougars beat the Cowgirls, 3-2, during the regular season.
Tulsa pushed Oklahoma to the brink and forced a winner-take-all game at the Norman Regional. But the Golden Hurricane fell short in the finale and lost 5-0 after beating the Sooners 4-3 earlier in the day to force the decisive game at Marita Hynes Field. The Golden Hurricane concludes one of the most successful seasons in school history with a 46-15 record. Tulsa had to fight through the loser's bracket after losing to OU on Saturday afternoon. The Golden Hurricane rebounded to eliminate Missouri State with an 11-0 victory Saturday night.
East Carolina finished the season with a 41-22 record after suffering a 1-0 loss to Baylor in the College Park Regional at Megan Turk Park. ECU reached the 40-win plateau for the third-straight season and became the first C-USA program with three consecutive 40-win seasons since Houston did it from 2006-08. It's only the fourth time in league history that's happened (USF/2003-05; DePaul/2000-03). Back-to-back regional final appearances also made East Carolina one of only two C-USA schools (Houston/2007-08) to play on the final day of the regional two straight years since the tournament went to its current format in 2005.
HOUSTON 4, LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE 1
AUSTIN, Texas - Houston needed just one game to defeat No. 24/25 Louisiana-Lafayette and claim the NCAA Austin Regional Championship, Sunday at McCombs Field, 4-1.
Houston (43-16) is now a perfect 2-0 in NCAA Regional Championship games as the Cougars advance to the NCAA Super Regionals for the second time in school history. With the possibility of ULL forcing an if-necessary second game on Sunday, Houston took care of business in the first game of the day to punch its ticket to the Super Regionals against OklahomaState in Stillwater, Okla., next weekend.
Head coach Kyla Holas' alma mater, and the team that kept the Cougars out of its first Women's College World series in 2008, would not repeat the performance at the Austin Regional. Houston took down the Ragin' Cajuns for the second time over the weekend to go a perfect 3-0 in their fourth NCAA Tournament appearance.
Senior Amanda Crabtree (21-8) put forth another All-Region Team performance as the senior struck out eight and surrendered just one run. In15.1 innings over the weekend, Crabtree allowed two earned runs and struck out 20.
The story of the day, however, came from battery mate, freshman catcher Haley Outon. Playing in her first NCAA Regional Championship just minutes from her hometown of Pflugerville, Texas, Outon shined. The Conference USA All-Freshman Team honoree homered twice and drilled in three RBI to power Houston at the plate.
Conference USA Player of the Year Melissa Gregson accounted for the other RBI in the 4-1 victory, when she singled in the top of the seventh to provide the final insurance run. She went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored in the championship game.
OKLAHOMA 5, TULSA 0; TULSA 4, OKLAHOMA 3
NORMAN, Okla. - Tulsa pushed No. 9 seed Oklahoma to the brink, taking the NCAA Norman Regional to the winner-take-all final in the championship round, but fell short in the finale, 5-0, at Marita Hynes Field.
The Golden Hurricane concludes one of the most successful seasons in school history with a 46-15 record. TU won the Conference USA regular season championship, and its 46 wins are the second most in school history, while the 15 losses are the fewest in school history. The Hurricane also received votes in all three major polls and was awarded a No. 2 seed in its fourth NCAA Regional appearance.
Senior Jordan Kinard was outstanding in her final NCAA Regional, earning two wins in elimination situations, and allowing just one run in 15.1 innings over four games.
Sophomore center fielder Caitlin Everett, who had seven hits in the regional to raise her total to 79 for the season, broke the single season school hits record, previously held by Lauren Lindsay (2007-10), who had 76 in 2009.
TU starter Lacey Middlebrooks (11-5), who was clutch in four Regional appearances, took the loss after allowing three runs in 2.2 innings. Kinard threw the final 4.0 innings, allowing just two hits.
Tulsa fought through the loser's bracket after opening the tournament with a, 9-7, win over Missouri State Friday night, and falling to Oklahoma, 6-0, Saturday afternoon. The Golden Hurricane rebounded to eliminate Missouri State with an 11-0 victory Saturday night, and forced the deciding contest with a thrilling, 4-3, nine-inning win over the Sooners Sunday afternoon.
BAYLOR 1, EAST CAROLINA 0
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - A double off the wall in left field by Holly Holl in the top of the sixth inning drove in Megan Turk and provided the game's only run as Baylor edged past East Carolina 1-0 Sunday to advance to the NCAA Super Regionals.
Despite the loss, the Pirates finished the season with a 41-22 record, reaching the 40-win plateau with for the third-straight season. ECU became the first C-USA program with three consecutive campaigns of 40 wins or more since Houston from 2006-08 and only the fourth in the history of the league (USF/2003-05; DePaul/2000-03). Back-to-back regional final appearances also made East Carolina one of only two C-USA schools (Houston/2007-08) to play on the final day of the regional two-straight years since the tournament went to the regional-super regional-Women's College World Series format in 2005. The Pirates enjoyed these accomplishments with 10 freshmen on the roster, eight of whom started in Sunday's regional final against Baylor.
Senior Toni Paisley (32-13) took the loss after scattering five hits and striking out seven. She walked two in the complete-game effort. Paisley finished her career as the Conference USA career record holder in wins (118), strikeouts (1,290), innings pitched (1,088.0) and appearances (183). Her final record sits at 118-39, a .752 winning percentage. She also finished fifth in C-USA history with a 1.22 earned run average. The Lakewood, Calif., native ended her career with the 18th most victories and 17th most whiffs in NCAA Division I history. Canion (27-9) struck out six in the blanking.
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS
Sun., May 22
Houston 4, No. 25 Louisiana-Lafayette 1
No. 11 Baylor 1, East Carolina 0
Tulsa 4, No. 9 Oklahoma 3
No. 9 Oklahoma 5, Tulsa 0
Sat., May 21
No. 6 Georgia 9, UAB 2
Houston 1, No. 3 Texas 0
No. 11 Baylor 2, East Carolina 0
No. 9 Oklahoma 6, Tulsa 0
No. 2 Alabama 7, Memphis 1
Florida State 13, UAB 1
East Carolina 2, Maryland 0
Tulsa 11, Missouri State 0
Chattanooga 2, Memphis 1
Fri., May 20
UAB 2, Florida State 0
Houston 7, (25) Louisiana-Lafayette 2
College Park Regional
East Carolina 5, Maryland 1
Tulsa 9, Missouri State 7
Memphis 4, Chattanooga 1
Houston at No. 22 Oklahoma State TBD
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