Tigers complete sweep of Belmont
Go Tigers! Alyssa Palmieri had two RBIs and two runs scored in Memphis' sweep of Belmont.
Go Tigers!
Alyssa Palmieri had two RBIs and two runs scored in Memphis' sweep of Belmont.
Go Tigers!

Feb. 23, 2010

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Three hits don't always equal a big-scoring day in softball, but Memphis won't be complaining after a 12-4 five-inning win against Belmont in game two of its mid-week doubleheader on Tuesday at the Tiger Softball Complex.

Memphis took advantage of seven bases on balls allowed by Belmont pitchers Ashley Byers and Devon Schmidt, as well as five errors by the Bruin defense, to rack up 12 runs on three hits.

"They started a pitcher that has had some control problems in the past," Memphis Coach Windy Thees said. "We let the kids know that early on to let them get comfortable, but we started chasing balls out of the zone ... They made some errors to help us out, and ugly wins are wins too I guess."

Vanessa Walle (3-1) picked up her team-high third win of the season on the mound after not allowing a hit or a run in her 2.1 innings pitched, after coming in to relieve Janelle Valle in the third.

Belmont took its first lead of the afternoon when pitcher Ashley Byers singled home Brooke Babington in the top of the first.

Memphis got on the board when Alyssa Palmieri's sacrifice grounder scored Leigh Rowan, who had singled. The RBI was the second of Palmieri's Tiger career. Keenah Prestridge would then put the Tigers on top when she scored from third after a Byers wild pitch.

Belmont tied the game in the top of the third when Erin Grier drew a walk from Valle, scoring Babington. The Bruins then took the lead when Julie Harmon singled to center scoring Ashley Byers and Kelley Cash. That prompted Thees to replace Valle on the mound with Walle.

In the bottom of the fourth Leigh Rowan led off the inning with a walk. Shanna Brown would come into run for Rowan and score two batters later after three wild pitches from Byers. Then Kailey Kassner drove in her sixth run of the season when she singled to short scoring Prestridge.

Kim Sirman then got her first RBI of the season when she hit a grounder through Elrod's legs at short scoring Maddie McKinley and giving Memphis a 5-4 lead. Next, Lelani Bernardino hit a grounder to short with the bases loaded. Babington, playing first for Belmont, couldn't handle the throw from Elrod making Bernardino safe and allowing Kassner and Sirman to score. Then Belmont pitcher Devon Schmidt's throw to third on Jessica Phillips' grounder ended up in the Belmont dugout, resulting in Mott and Bernardino crossing home.

In the fifth, Heather Mott's triple would score Cheyenne Mascarenas and Alyssa Palmieri to make the score 11-4. Then Mott scored her team-high sixth run of the season on a Berardino ground ball to end the game thanks to the eight-run rule after five innings.

"This is just a starting point, and there are a lot of things we need to do better," Thees said. "The pitchers all have pitches that they need to work on and improve to become more consistent. The defense made a few errors and that's not really acceptable. We have to bear down and make sure we don't make those little bobbles to give opponents base runners. Hitting wise we just need to get better at identifying strikes and balls."

The Tigers will return to action this weekend beginning Friday at the UCSB Gaucho Classic in Santa Barbara, Calif. They'll take on Drexel Friday at 1 p.m. Pacific Standard Time in the first of five games they'll play at the Gaucho Classic.

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