Cougars Sweep Herd Friday, Snapping Eight-Game Home Winning Streak

April 14, 2006

HUNTINGTON - The Houston Cougars snapped Marshall's eight-game home winning streak, sweeping the Thundering Herd in Conference USA action Friday at Dot Hicks Field.

For the second weekend in a row, the Herd (24-20, 10-7 C-USA) lost both ends of a C-USA doubleheader. The Cougars (28-17, 9-5 C-USA), however, extended its conference winning streak to three games, while also becoming the first C-USA opponent this season to win in Huntington.

Senior Amanda Williams (Powder Springs, Ga./Harrison) snapped her team-best 12-game hitting streak in game two of the twin bill. Williams combined to go 1-for-7 on the afternoon, while twin sister Jessica Williams (Powder Springs, Ga./Harrison) went 3-for-6 with an RBI.

Ashley Mitchell (Kennesaw, Ga./Harrison) extended her hitting streak to a season-best 10 games, recording a hit in both contests.

Elaina Nordstrom, Jaci Gonzalez and Christa Raley each drove in two runs on two hits. Angel Shamblin scattered seven hits in nine scoreless innings.

Game 1 (Houston 3, Marshall 0)

Game 1 Box Score

Houston took advantage of a pair of costly Thundering Herd errors in the first inning, never looking back en route to a 3-0 game one victory.

Shamblin (11-6) earned the complete-game victory, scattering five hits, while striking out two batters.

Marshall's Abigail Harter (Monmouth, Ore./Santiam Christian) suffered the loss, surrendering three runs on eight hits in seven innings. Harter (10-9) struck out one, while walking another batter.

Amanda Williams extended her hitting streak to 12 games in the first game, going 1-for-3.

Raley paced the Cougars offensive attack, going 2-for-3 with two RBI. Jessica and Haley Valis registered two hits apiece.

The Herd got off to a rough start in the opening inning, as the Cougars pushed across one run thanks to two Herd fielding errors.

Jessica Valis and Katie Bush reached base on a fielding error by Sara Spenia (Las Vegas, Nev./Durango) and a throwing miscue by Rachel Folden (Baldwin Park, Calif./Diamond Bar), respectively. Two batters later, Raley plated Bush with an RBI double to right-center field, giving Houston the early 1-0 lead.

Houston added to its lead in the ensuing inning. Laura Durham led off with a double down the left field line. Haley Valis' one-out RBI single to left field scored Durham for the 2-0 advantage.

The Cougars scored their third and final run of the opening game in the fifth inning. Haley Valis led off with a single to left field. With one out, Jessica Valis singled to the short stop, advancing sister Haley to second. Raley later sent an RBI single through the left side, plating Jessica Valis for the resulting 3-0 score.



Houston 3, Marshall 0 (Apr 14, 2006 at Huntington, W.Va.) (Game 1)
Houston............. 110 010 0 -  3  8  0      (27-17, 8-5 C-USA)
Marshall............ 000 000 0 -  0  5  2      (24-19, 10-6 C-USA)
Pitchers: Houston - Shamblin. Marshall - Abigail Harter.
Win-Shamblin(11-6)  Loss-Abigail Harter(10-9)  T-1:42  A-162

Game 2 (Houston 6, Marshall 2)

Game 2 Box Score

Trailing 1-0 in the third inning, Houston scored six unanswered runs to take a 6-2 win over the Herd in game two, earning the twin bill sweep.

Carla Kennimer (6-1) earned the win, allowing two runs on five hits in five innings. Kennimer walked two batters, while striking one. Shamblin scattered two hits in two complete inning of scoreless relief.

Veronica Ralston (Tucson, Ariz./Catalina Foothills) suffered her fourth consecutive rough outing. Ralston (12-11) allowed six runs on three hits in 4 1/3 innings, while walking five batters. Ralston did not strikeout a batter for the first time since March 3 against Connecticut.

Amanda Luers (Dover, Ohio/Dover) allowed three hits in 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.

Jessica Williams went 2-for-3 with an RBI in game two, extending her hitting streak to six games. Deanna Tourville (Rescue, Calif./Ponderosa) went 1-for-2 with two runs scored, while Courtney Kacenga (Sierra Vista, Ariz./Buena) accounted for the Herd's other RBI.

Nordstrom went 2-for-3 with two RBI, while Gonzalez went 2-for-2 with two RBI and two runs scored for the Cougars.

Unlike game one, the Herd took the early 1-0 lead in the second inning. After a Samantha Rodriguez (Oakley, Calif./Freedom) drew a lead-off walk, Tourville reached on a throwing error by Raley. Jessica Williams then popped up to Gonzalez. Pinch runner Noelle Adams (Wheeling, W.Va./The Linsly School) was then thrown out at home on a Leigh Wintter (Acworth, Ga./North Cobb) fielder's choice.

After Gina Guzzo (Virginia Beach, Va./Kempsville) was hit by a pitch, Kacenga drew a similar verdict, which allowed Tourville to score.

However, the Cougars would score six unanswered runs to key the doubleheader sweep. The Cougars scored a pair of runs in the third, taking a 2-1 lead on Gonzalez's two-run home run.

Houston extended its lead to five runs, 6-1, in the fifth inning. Nordstrom's two-RBI single to center field scored Jessica Valis and Gonzalez. Two batters later, Shamblin scored Bush on an RBI single to center field.

The Herd cut the Cougars' lead to four runs, 6-2, in the sixth inning, but it would be all Marshall could muster. Tourville led off with a double to left field and scored on Jessica William's RBI single to right field.

Houston 6, Marshall 2 (Apr 14, 2006 at Huntington, W.Va.) (Game 2)
Houston............. 002 040 0 -  6  6  2      (28-17, 9-5 C-USA)
Marshall............ 010 001 0 -  2  7  0      (24-20, 11-6 C-USA)
Pitchers: Houston - Kennimer; Shamblin(6). Marshall - Veronica Ralston; Amanda Luers(5).
Win-Kennimer(6-1)  Loss-Veronica Ralston(12-11)  T-1:58  A-211

The Marshall Thundering Herd concludes its three-game Conference USA series with the Houston Cougars Saturday. First pitch is slated for 10 a.m.

Fans can catch all the live action on WMUL 88.1 FM or log onto the web at Live stats will also be available at