Lady Tigers Open Inaugural Season with a Win
Feb. 11, 2006
LAFAYETTE, LA - The University of Memphis softball team opened its inaugural season with a 19-0 win over Grambling State in the 20th Annual Louisiana Classic tournament hosted by the University of Louisiana-Lafayette.
The Lady Tigers, which were supposed to open their first-ever season with a game against Ole Miss, were rained out of the first day of the tournament, and opened the second day of the event early Saturday morning with GSU. GSU dropped 12-1 and 22-0 decisions to Ole Miss and ULL, Friday.
Memphis opened the game with two runs in the first inning after Leila Dolfo led off and reached base on an error by GSU third baseman Tina Calandres. Dolfo eventually scored when Bridgette McNulty struck out and reached base on a wild pitch. Cara Stiles recorded the first-ever hit in program history and later scored on a fielder's choice by Kimmi Hayden.
GSU was held to just three batters in each inning, except the second. The only base runner for the GSU Tigers was Calandres who recorded the team's only hit of the game, but was left on base in the second inning.
"This was a good game to get our jitters out," said Head Coach Windy Thees. "We played solid and pitched very well, and I am certainly pleased to open the season with a win. We came around offensively, adjusting to the speed of the pitching, and we made all of our plays defensively."
Pitcher Jenna Kubesch recorded her first win of the year, allowing just one hit and striking out nine of the 16 batters she faced.
Memphis scored four runs in the second inning, five in the third, and four in both the fourth and fifth innings as the game was called on the run rule at the end of the fifth inning. GSU totaled seven errors, while the Lady Tigers were flawless in their first-ever meeting.
Hayden blasted the program's first-ever home run over the leftfield wall and picked up two RBI off that hit. Hayden was 3-of-5 in the game with two runs and six RBI, and also recorded a double in the second inning. Stiles led the offense with a 5-of-5 effort with five runs and two RBI. She also totaled a double and a stolen base. Leandra Hines was also consistent from the plate with a 3-of-3 effort, and crossed the plate three times. She also led on the base path with three stolen bases.
Also recording multiple hits for the Lady Tigers were Bridgette McNulty who was 2-of-4 with three RBI, and Kubesch who was 3-of-5 with one RBI.
Jackie DeLeon was credited with the loss for GSU, giving up 14 runs off 15 hits and one walk in 3.2 innings of work. Kassy Garsee gave up five runs on six hits in 1.1 innings on the mound.
Memphis will face host UL-Lafayette at 5 p.m. Saturday evening. The tournament concludes on Sunday with Memphis playing Ole Miss at 10 a.m., and Grambling State at 12:30 p.m.
The Lady Tigers will have their first-ever home game next weekend, hosting the Lady Tiger Classic at Greenbrook Park in Southaven, Miss. Featured teams include Memphis, Southern, Alabama A&M and Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Memphis' first game in the tournament will be against Southern at noon on Saturday, Feb. 18.