Tigers Fall in Extra Innings after Late Heroics
Feb. 21, 2009
For Immediate Release
Buffalo (2-1) 000 100 001 - 2 4 0 Memphis (5-6) 000 000 100 - 1 4 1 W: Diaz (1-0) L: Walle (2-2) HR: MEM - Gross (1)
MARIETTA, Ga. - A one out home run by University of Memphis senior Tori Gross in the bottom of the seventh inning knotted the game at one, but the Tigers fell in extra innings to Buffalo, 2-1, on Saturday morning in the K-Club Classic.
The Bulls (2-1) scored the winning run with an RBI single by Erin Zilka in the top of the ninth as Memphis (5-6) couldn't counter in the bottom of the frame.
Both pitchers battled back and forth in the game with each team recording just four hits in nine innings.
The U of M went into its final at bat in regulation down 1-0 and struggling to figure out Buffalo's freshman pitcher Terese Diaz, who was making her season debut. Diaz entered the seventh inning holding Memphis to three hits and striking out seven. But Gross hit a 1-0 pitch over the right center fence for her first dinger of the year and pushing the momentum into the Tigers' favor.
In extra innings, both teams started with a runner at second base. Candice Sheehan led off the eighth for Buffalo and in an attempt to lay down a sacrifice bunt to move the runner to third, popped it up to a charging Maddie McKinley from third. Memphis junior pitcher Vanessa Walle then retired the remaining two batters in order to give the Tigers a chance to score a walk-off run in the bottom of the frame.
However, sophomore Heather Mott missed on her attempt to sacrifice, and with two strikes, was forced to swing away and flied out to center field. Senior Leila Dolfo drew a one-out walk, but the Tigers stranded runners on first and second.
Buffalo scored the winning run in the ninth after moving the runner on second to third with a sac bunt by Sharon Barr. Zilka then singled her in with a hit to left field.
Memphis again failed to advance the leadoff runner with a sac in the bottom of the ninth and Diaz ended the game by getting the final two Tigers to strike out swinging.
Diaz (1-0) finished with one run on four hits and had 11 strikeouts in the game with five walks. She also had an RBI single that scored the first run of the contest for the Bulls in the fourth inning.
Walle (2-2) was almost equally effective in the circle for Memphis and allowed one earned run on four hits in nine innings of work. She struck out a career high six batters and allowed just one walk.
Memphis will next play tournament host Kennesaw State at 4 p.m. (EST) today. The Tigers close out the tournament on Sunday against Miami (OH) at 12 p.m.