DePaul Rallies for 6-5 Victory over Tigers
Feb. 11, 2011
MIAMI, Fla. - Despite three home runs, two by Jessica Phillips, the University of Memphis softball team dropped to 1-1 on the season as the DePaul Blue Demons topped the Tigers 6-5 in the FIU Combat Classic.
After scoring three runs in the first inning against North Florida, the Tigers put three early runs on the board against DePaul. Shortstop Heather Mott drove a 0-2 pitch over the left field fence for her 16th career home run. Clean-up hitter Kailey Kassner drew a walk and first baseman Jessica Phillips drove the first pitch she saw over the left center field fence for her eight career home run.
DePaul rallied from a 3-0 deficit to tie the game in the bottom of the third inning. After a two-base throwing error by pitcher Janelle Valle allowed Blue Demons centerfielder Alex Morocco to reach base, Valle induced a line-out to shortstop for the second out. A wild pitch allowed Morocco to advance to third and Kristen Verdun walked to put runners at the corners with two outs. DePaul catcher Marla Matthews drove a 0-1 pitch over the center field fence for a three-run homer to tie the game.
The Blue Demons added two runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 5-3 lead. Left fielder Samantha Dodd led off with a bunt single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. A Katelyn Braget single advanced Dodd to third, Lauren Carley threw a wild pitch to allow DePaul to take the lead at 4-3. A grounder to short by Alex Morocco was fielded by Mott and thrown home to keep runners from scoring and Morocco advanced to second. After a walk loaded the bases, Carley struggled to find the strike zone and a bases loaded walk drove in another run to give DePaul a 5-3 lead. Carley was able to pitch out of the bases load jam, striking out Brittney Yniguez.
Phillips, who drilled two home runs on opening day against Wichita State in 2010, lined a game-tying homer over the left field fence in the top of the sixth to knot the game at 5-5. Kailey Kassner drew a walk to start the inning for the Tigers. Freshman Ijiah Hargrove scored her first career run as a pinch-runner for Kassner. A bases loaded hit batter resulted in DePaul taking back the lead in the bottom half of the sixth inning. Carly Hummel, coming off a no-hitter in game one of the day, entered the game with runners on first and second. After an illegal pitch advanced the runners, Verdun drew a walk to load the bases. Hummel retired Yniquez on a pop-up to short before Matthews earned her fourth RBI of the game when she was hit by the pitch. Hummel retired Bree Brown on a grounder to short stop to keep the DePaul lead at 6-5 after six innings.
The Tigers attempted to tie or take the lead in the seventh inning with a single up the middle by Mott and a dropped third strike allowed Kassner to reach first base on the passed ball. With two outs and runners on first and second, Phillips grounded out to third and the rally was ended.
Lauren Carley suffered the loss for Memphis after allowing two runs on two hits with three K's in 2 1/3 innings of relief. Janelle Valle started the game for the Tigers in the circle and allowed four runs, one earned, on three hits and struck out two.
Memphis returns to action on Saturday at 10 a.m. (EST) against Ohio State followed by a match-up with host FIU.
Game Notes: Memphis scored three runs in the first inning for the second-straight game... The Tigers had two home runs in the same inning since the opening round of the C-USA Tournament against Tulsa on May 13, 2010...Jessica Phillips has hit two home runs on opening day for two-straight seasons...Phillips is first player to hit two home runs in one game since Vanessa Walle hit two against Tulsa on March 27, 2010...The Tigers hit three home runs in one game for the first time since March 27, 2010 against Tulsa.