Anderson pokes game-winner in sixth
Cougars’ Bourgeois throws complete-game, three-hitter
STILLWATER, Okla. -- Houston broke through a pitcher's duel against Oklahoma State with Holly Anderson's game-winning single in the bottom of the sixth at the NCAA Stillwater Super Regional. The Cougars' 1-0 win forced a deciding Game 3, where a victory would hand Houston a berth into the College World Series for the first time in program history.
Houston refused to lay down as the second game of the series was a clinic in defensive power as neither team allowed the other to score until the Houston's scoring combo of Katy Beth Sherman and Anderson connected for back-to-back hits in the bottom of the sixth.
Senior Donna Bourgeois (17-6) took the circle with a 12-0 mark in her last 12 decisions on the line. Feeding off of the pressure, Bourgeois threw the Cougar pitching staff's 23rd shutout of the season. In her complete game performance, Bourgeois allowed just three hits and struck out two.
Despite racking up 10 hits in game one, the Cougars came up empty handed in the run column for the first time this season when posting double-digit hits. Houston's hitters posted a more efficient effort in game two, scoring one run on four hits.
Cowgirls' All-Big 12 First Team third baseman Mariah Gearhart led off the game with an infield single to a diving Brooke Lathan at short. Two batters later, second baseman Alysia Hamilton took a pitch off the arm to put two runners on with only one out.
Lathan made a pair of heads up plays as the next two batters smacked ground balls her way. The sophomore shortstop turned each of them into outs to finish the top of the first unscathed. She led the Cougars' flawless defensive effort with five assists and one put out.
Bourgeois surrendered her first walk of the game to left fielder Tamara Brown to kick off the second inning, but Lathan again came through. She turned a ground ball over to second baseman Jennifer Klinkert at second, to turn Houston's 21st double play of the season.
As she waited for her offense to provide her with run support, Bourgeois worked around Gearhart's second hit of the day in the top of the third to keep the Cowgirls off the scoreboard.
Kat Espinosa matched the senior Cougar's effort, as she sat the Cougars down in order for the third consecutive inning to send the game into the fourth locked at zero.
In the Cowgirls ensuing at bat, Bourgeois ran into a tough spot when two consecutive walks led off the top of the fifth. With two on and none out, Brown laid down a sac bunt to move them to second and third with big hitter Ashley Boyd coming to the plate. It was Boyd's two-run double that gave the Cowgirls the 3-0 lead on Friday night.
However, Bourgeois would have none of it, striking out Boyd for the second out of the inning. Sherman tracked down a long fly ball for the third out to end the threat. Through the game's first four innings, the Cowgirls left five runners stranded.
Sherman followed her pretty defensive effort by recording Houston's first hit of the game. She sped down the first base line to beat out a bunt single and darted to second on a throwing error. Anderson did the job she has all season, putting down her team-leading 20th sac bunt of the season, moving Sherman to third with only one out.
Espinosa buckled down, however, and coaxed a pair of groundouts out of Houston's homerun leaders Lathan and Gregson to end the threat with the game still scoreless. Klinkert drilled the team's second hit of the game, giving both teams a pair of hits through the fifth, but would quickly come off the bases on a double play. The game moved into the sixth knotted at zero.
Answering the effort, Houston's defense turned its second double play of the day to negate shortstop Chelsea Garcia's single.
Wasting no more time, Houston's hitters ended the run drought in the bottom of the sixth. Sherman drilled a two-out double off of Gearhart's glove at third base. Anderson followed and drove in her 17th two-out RBI of the year after aggressively falling behind 0-2 in the count.
Needing just three outs to force a third game, Bourgeois trotted back out for the top of the seventh. Lathan was the stopper again, fielding all three groundouts to clinch the 1-0 victory.