Hello American Athletic Conference: We Are Memphis Softball GoTigersGo.com continues an introduction to the American Athletic Conference with Softball
July 24, 2013
Hello American Athletic Conference, We Are Memphis:
On July 1, the University of Memphis officially became a member of the American Athletic Conference. Beginning July 8, GoTigersGo.com brings a daily introduction of each sport at the University of Memphis to the American Athletic Conference. The sport schedule is below with links to previously featured programs.
Memphis gained entrance into the NCAA Regionals for the first time in school history in 2011, after finishing the regular season 36-12 with a No. 44 ranking in the RPI. The .720 winning percentage was the best in school history. Playing in the Tuscaloosa Regional, Memphis won its first NCAA Tournament game with a 4-1 one-hit victory over Chattanooga. The Tigers then fell to No. 3/4 Alabama, 7-1, and then were eliminated with a 2-1 loss to Chattanooga.
Memphis softball prepares to play in its first NCAA Regional appearance in 2011 at the Tuscaloosa Regional.
In 2011, Janelle Valle became the first Memphis Softball player to earn Academic All-American honors. Valle was selected to the Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-America second team. As a senior, the former southpaw pitcher boasted a 1.62 ERA with three shutouts and a 6-2 record to help Memphis make its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 2011. She graduated with a degree in biology and a minor in criminal justice.
Former southpaw Janelle Valle is the program's only Academic All-American.
The Tigers have placed three players on the NFCA All-Region second team. Leila Dolfo became the program’s first selection after the 2006 inaugural season as a utility player. Vanessa Walle earned the honor as a senior in 2010, and shortstop Heather Mott was named to the second team in 2011 after helping lead Memphis to its first postseason appearance.
Leila Dolfo was the Tigers' first NFCA All-Region selection in 2006.
Seasons of Memphis Softball
Softball is the youngest varsity sport at the University of Memphis. The program completed its eighth season in 2013 after beginning play in 2006. The Tigers prepare for their ninth season in 2014 in the new American Athletic Conference. Memphis enters the year with a 216-224 overall record.
Natalie Poole is entering her third year as the Tigers' head softball coach.
Perfection in the circle is rare, but beautiful when it happens. There have been nine no-hitters thrown in Memphis history, beginning with four by Jenna Kubesch from 2006-07. Kubesch also has the program’s only perfect game. In 2011, Carly Hummel threw three no-hitters beginning with the season opener against North Florida. Senior Ellen Roberts threw the last no-hitter with a 1-0 shutout against Murray State in 2012.
Jenna Kubesch threw four no-hitters, including the program's only perfect game, during her two-years at Memphis.
Memphis has garnered 21 all-conference honors during its eight-year history. Leila Dolfo (2007) and Heather Mott (2011) are the Tigers’ only All-Conference USA First Team selections. Memphis has had nine selections on the second team and 10 players named to the C-USA All-Freshman Team. In 2013, outfielder Lelani Bernardino was named to the all-conference second team for the second time in her career and outfielder Hannah Harrell was named to the all-freshman team.
Outfielder Lelani Bernardino earned Conference USA Second Team honors in 2010 and as a senior in 2013.
Wins at Tigers Softball Complex
In 2013, the Tigers completed its sixth full season in their $1.7 million Tigers Softball Complex. Located on the University of Memphis’ Park Avenue Campus, the Tigers boast a 79-59 all-time record in the stadium. Plans are underway to begin construction in the fall on the expansion of the team clubhouse that will include indoor hitting/pitching areas and coaches offices.
Memphis Softball plays its home games at the beautiful Tigers Softball Complex.
With its first pitch, the University of Memphis softball squad demonstrated it would not be taken down easily in its inaugural season. The new kids in town burst onto the scene with a 19-0, one-hit blanking of Grambling State in the program’s debut at the Louisiana Classic Tournament in Lafayette, La. The Tigers showed that a promising future was in store for the program, finishing the 2006 season above .500 with a 28-26 overall record and a seventh-place finish in Conference USA.
Memphis is nearing the 10-year anniversary of the program's inaugural season in 2006.