Tigers Battle Back To Beat McNeese State in Extra Innings, 2-1
Feb. 21, 2010
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -
The Tigers came back in extra innings on Sun., Feb. 21 to pick up a 2-1 victory over 2010 Blues City Classic champions McNeese State at the Tiger Softball Complex. Memphis improves to 3-3 with Sunday's win. The Cowgirls fall to 6-6 on the year with the loss. McNeese State finishes the tournament with a 4-1 record.
Lelani Bernardino reached base on a high throw from Cowgirls third baseman Dani Price causing a collision at first.The collision allowed Alyssa Palmieri to score the game-winning run from third base in the bottom of the eighth inning.
The win came just in time for the Tigers as the game would have more than likely been called due to rain that hit the Mid-South area less than 15 minutes after the conclusion of the game.
Heading into the bottom of the seventh inning, the Tigers had left five runners stranded on base, while recording a hit in each of the first six innings. Memphis had runners in scoring position in four of the first six innings.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Maddie McKinley doubled to center field. The junior from Chickamauga, Ga., advanced to third on a wild pitch. With one out, designated player Kailey Kassner drove the ball to deep center for a sacrifice fly, allowing McKinley to score from third to tie the game 1-1 and send the game to extra innings.
The Tigers defense stepped up in the top of the seventh, preventing McNeese State from building on its 1-0 lead at the time. After a leadoff single by the Cowgirl's Price, Keanah Prestridge made a quick-twitch grab of a pop out behind the plate to give the Cowgirls their first out of the inning. Tiffany Denham then singled to right center, moving Price over to second. With one out and two on, Vanessa Walle, the Tiger pitcher, got Whitney Corbello to ground into a double play stopping any chance of scoring more runs for McNeese State.
Walle improves to 2-1 with the win. The Tiger pitcher has a 1.45 ERA in three games this season. Walle allowed one run on seven hits and had five strikeouts. This is the second-straight game the Phoenix, Ariz., native allowed only one run for the opponent.
The Tigers only allowed one run in three of four tournament games. Against Appalachian State, the Tigers allowed two runs.
Walle joined Carly Hummel as the U of M's two representatives on the 2010 Blues City Classic All-Tournament team.
Memphis' rally in the seventh and eighth innings prevented the Tigers from being shut out in three-straight games. The Tigers lost 1-0 to IPFW and 1-0 to Indiana State earlier in the 2010 Blues City Classic.
McKinley and Bernardino both had two hits for the Tigers in the game. Kassner had the team's lone RBI in the contest, while McKinley and Palmieri scored the two runs. The RBI was Kassner's fourth of the season.
Prestridge, a junior from Moore, Okla., threw out two McNeese state base runners on Sunday. It was the first time since April 12, 2008, that the Tigers have thrown out two runners in the same game. Kimmie Hayden, the current head coach at Christian Brothers University in Memphis, was the catcher for the Tigers who last caught two opponent base runners stealing.
The loss goes to McNeese State's Kelsey McClain. The Cowgirl pitcher allowed two runs on seven hits and had one strikeout. McClain falls to 2-3 on the season and has a 1.48 ERA.
Memphis tied Appalachian State and SEMO for second in the tournament, marking the third time the Tigers have finished second in the Blues City Classic.
The Tigers will have a day off tomorrow and will return to action with a double-header against Belmont on Tues., Feb. 23 at the Tiger Softball Complex. The first game is slated to commence at 3 p.m. (CST).
Blues City Classic Results
1. McNeese State (4-1)
Blues City Classic All Tournament Team
Meagan Bond (McNeese State)