Memphis Upsets #22/24 Ohio State for First Win Over Ranked Opponent
Feb. 12, 2011
MIAMI, Fla. - Facing a ranked opponent for the first time since February of the 2009 season, the University of Memphis softball squad used extra-innings to earn their first win over a ranked team by defeating No. 22/24 Ohio State on Saturday at the FIU Combat Classic.
Carly Hummel earned the victory in the circle for Memphis with eight innings pitched and allowed three runs on seven base hits. Hummel improves to 2-0 on the young season.
Lelani Bernardino and Alyssa Palmieri each had two RBI's for the Tigers and Jessica Phillips led Memphis with two hits. The Tigers produced seven runs for the first time since a 7-1 victory over North Florida on March 10, 2010.
After scoring three runs in the first inning of each of the first two games this season, Memphis tallied one run in the top half of the first inning on Saturday. Phillips picked up where she left off Friday, driving in Heather Mott from second base on a two-out RBI single through the left side. Mott drew a one out walk and stole second for her 24th career steal.
Looking to increase on a 1-0 first inning lead, Memphis used a two-out RBI single by Bernardino to increase the lead to 3-0 in the top of the fourth inning. A lead-off single by Phillips was followed by Keanah Prestridge reaching on a fielder's choice after a grounder was fielded by Ohio State pitcher Kasie Kelly. Kelly's throw to second was in the dirt to set up Ijiah Hargrove with a two-on-two-out situation. Hargrove hit a grounder to third base that was bobbled and Bernardino stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs.
After an error allowed Megan Colette of Ohio State to reach first base in the bottom of the seventh, Cara Longworth hit a one out single up the middle. Buckeye freshman second baseman Julia Pecina stepped to the plate and hit a three-run home run to knot the game at 3-3. Hummel kept the Tigers in the game retiring 2011 USA Softball Player of the Year Top 50 Watch List honoree Alicia Herron on a pop-out to second base.
The Tigers would be faced with extra-innings for the first time since May 2, 2010 and senior Maddie McKinley laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance Mott to third to start the eighth inning. Kailey Kassner stepped to the plate next for Memphis, and Ohio State countered by replacing their starting pitcher Kelly with sophomore pitcher Melanie Nichols. With her first pitch, Nichols threw in the dirt allowing Mott to score the go-ahead run for the Tigers.
Kassner would draw a walk and Alex Marshall pinch ran for Kassner. Phillips was next up for Memphis and Nichols again threw a wild pitch that allowed Marshall to advance to second with one out in the inning. Phillips drew a second walk in the inning and on ball four, Nichols threw a wild pitch setting up redshirt-sophomore Kamri Chester with runners on the corners with one out.
The Buckeyes re-entered Kelly prior to Chester's at-bat, but Chester drove a 1-1 pitch just over the Buckeye second baseman to drive in Marshall for a 5-3 lead. After a Prestrige fly out to left field, Palmieri would add a two-out, two RBI double to increase the lead to 7-3. Freshman Ashleigh King, making her collegiate debut, pinched hit for Hargrove and hit a long fly ball that was caught on the warning track in left field.
Kelly (1-1) suffered the loss for Ohio State, allowing five runs on six hits with seven strikeouts.
Memphis next plays tournament host FIU in the second game of a doubleheader at the FIU Combat Classic.
Game Notes: With a steal in the first inning, Heather Mott moves into sole possession for fourth place all-time with 24th career steal. Mott was tied with teammate Maddie McKinley prior to today's game... Memphis has scored seven first inning runs this season...Carly Hummel went 9.2 innings without allowing a hit, including a no-hitter in the season-opener against North Florida on Friday. Ohio State catcher Cara Longworth singled through the left side for the Buckeyes first hit... Memphis picks up its' first win over a Big Ten Conference team...The seven runs by Memphis are the most the Tigers have scored against a ranked opponent. The previous high was two in a 7-2 loss to No. 3/2 Alabama in 2009... Jessica Phillips has collected at least one RBI in each game.