Memphis Overpowers Belmont in Doubleheader Sweep
Feb. 27, 2007
For Immediate Release
Game One Belmont 100 11 - 3 4 5 Memphis 001 46 - 11 11 1 Win-Johnson (4-3). Loss-Batte (0-5) Save-None 2B - (BEL) Hoeye (2) (Mem) Dolfo (6) HR - (BEL) McMillian (2), Stanley (1). (MEM) Kelso 2 (2), Pridgen (1)
SOUTHAVEN, Tenn. - Coming into the day with eight team home runs, the University of Memphis softball team belted five homers in route to a doubleheader sweep of Belmont at Greenbrook Park on Tuesday.
Junior transfer Lindsay Kelso hit three home runs and knocked in seven RBI, while scoring six runs. The catcher went 3-for-5 in the two games as Memphis improved to 10-6 on the season after beating Belmont 11-3 in five innings and 9-1 in six.
"I felt really good in batting practice today and hit a couple out," Kelso said. "It just felt good and carried over with me."
Kelso raised her season average to .309 and is tied for the team lead in RBI with 11. The Phoenix, Ariz., native hit a walk-off two-run home run in the fifth inning of the first game after hitting a three-run shot in the fourth. Kelso then just missed a home run in her second at-bat of the second game as Belmont centerfielder Meghan Pipkin caught a hit with home run distance at the wall. In her next at-bat, Kelso hit a two-run shot to left-center in the fifth inning for her third homer of the day.
"The good thing about her is she's so smart," said Memphis head coach Windy Thees. "The bad thing is she's so smart and analytical. I think today she just said that she was going to hit it and hit it hard. When she does that, that's what happens. There is a reason she was an All-American in junior college. I'm just really happy to have her here."
Thees picked up her 200th career victory with the first win of the doubleheader. The second-year Memphis coach now has an overall record of 201-124 as a head coach and is 38-32 with the Lady Tiges.
"That's pretty special for me," Thees said. "It's special for me as a coach and special for the girls and the way they did it. I'm pretty proud. My 100th win was a run rule, and I'm glad my 200th win was a run rule as well."
Four of the Lady Tigers' eight home runs entering the day were hit by freshman shortstop Heather Mott who is out for the season after breaking her leg in a practice. After hitting five home runs in the two games, Memphis now has 13 for the season. Senior centerfielder Lindsey Pridgen hit her first home run of the year in the first game, a leadoff home run to begin the fourth inning. Senior third baseman Bridgette McNulty added her second homer of the year in the first inning of the second game, a three-run shot that proved to be the game winner.
"I challenged my players and told them that Heather Mott is still leading our team in home runs," Thees said. "We really needed to make that change. The team took up the challenge, and hopefully they keep the momentum going for the rest of the season."
Senior Memphis Nicki Johnson (4-3) pitched all five innings for her fourth win in the first game. Johnson allowed three runs on four hits and walked one with three strike outs.
"Nicki fought through some things and didn't have her best stuff today," Thees said. "But to come out and get a run rule win and be able to hold them off, she did a really good job."
Senior Jenna Kubesch (6-3) had a no hitter going through the first four and two-thirds innings before allowing a two-out hit in the fifth. The Weimar, Texas, native struck out seven and allowed only two hits for her team-leading sixth victory. The only Belmont run off Kubesch was unearned in the sixth.
"Jenna found her good stuff today," Thees said. "She looked like a whole different pitcher from this weekend. Today's Jenna. This was the Jenna that was at LSU and at Florida State. She really had great stuff and great command of her pitches. All her pitches were working."
The Lady Tigers were trailing 1-0 in the first inning of the first game after a Belmont solo home run. Memphis tied the game in the bottom of the third on an RBI single by senior first baseman Kara Ross to score Kelso. The Bruins then took a 2-1 lead in the fourth before Memphis put four runs on the board in the bottom of the inning on home runs from Pridgen and Kelso. The Lady Tigers scored six runs in the bottom of the fifth capped by Kelso's walk-off two run shot.
In the second game, Memphis took an early three-run lead in the first inning on McNulty's home run after sophomore Leila Dolfo's second double of the day and a Kelso walk. The Lady Tigers were held scoreless until the fifth inning when Kelso hit a two-run shot. Memphis then scored four runs in the sixth inning. After Pridgen led off with a single and freshman outfielder Leigh Rowan doubled, sophomore second baseman Tori Gross hit a two-run single. Belmont then put Kelso on with an intentional walk and then walked McNulty to load the bases with two outs, allowing Ross to hit a walk-off two-run single.
Memphis will next travel to California as the team participates in the University of San Diego Tournament in San Diego. The Lady Tigers will open the three-day tournament on Friday against San Diego at 4 p.m. (PST).