Hines' Defensive Play Helps Memphis Top Utah, 5-1
March 11, 2009
For Immediate Release
Utah (10-16) 000 001 0 - 1 8 3 Memphis (12-11) 000 113 x - 5 5 0 W: Bossom (5-1) L: Smuda (7-5)
HONOLULU, Hawai'i - Two defensive plays by senior Leandra Hines prevented the University of Utah from scoring six runs as the University of Memphis softball team overcame the Utes, 5-1, on Wednesday at the Chevron Spring Fling Tournament in Hawai'i.
The left fielder made a diving catch for the final out in the top of the sixth inning with runners on second and third and Utah already having scored one run in the frame. Then in the top of the seventh with two outs and the bases loaded, Hines robbed Staci Hemingway of a game-tying grand slam with a catch above the fence.
Memphis (12-11) finished 1-1 in the opening day of the tournament hosted by the University of Hawai'i. The U of M allowed just two runs in the two games.
Hines also came through on the offensive side for the Tigers, scoring the first two runs of the game, including the eventual game-winner in the fifth inning. The McDonough, Ga., native finished 1-for-2 with a walk, a stolen base and two runs scored.
Sophomore Kimber Bossom (5-1) earned the victory in the circle, allowing one run on five hits with five strikeouts and a walk. Junior Vanessa Walle pitched the final inning in relief and held Utah (10-16) to a scoreless seventh.
Memphis scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the fourth. Hines led off the inning with an infield single and advanced to second on a sac bunt by senior Leila Dolfo. Hines then scored from second on an error by the second baseman off a hard hit groundball by Walle.
Hines scored the second run for Memphis in the bottom of the fifth in nearly the exact same way as her run in the fourth. She reached first on a two-out walk and stole second. After Dolfo was hit by the pitch, Walle hit a groundball to shortstop that was booted allowing Hines to score from second.
Utah scored one run in the top of the sixth to draw within one of Memphis. Brooke Olson was hit by the pitch to lead off the inning and reached third on a single by Kara Foster. Foster was thrown out at second by freshman Kamri Chester trying to stretch the single up the middle into a double. Whitney Holm later hit a one-out single through the left side to score Olson from third.
The Utes had runners on second and third with two outs when Brittany Parker hit a line drive to left field that Hines made a diving catch to end the inning.
The Tigers exploded with three runs on four hits in the bottom of the sixth to take a four-run lead. Chester led off the inning with a double down the left field line. After a wild pitch moved her to third, sophomore Maddie McKinley knocked Chester in with a groundball to short.
Freshman Lelani Bernardino then hit a two-out triple down the right line to score freshman Jessica Phillips from first. Junior Leigh Rowan ended the scoring with a pinch hit RBI double to right center to score Bernardino.
Utah loaded the bases with one out on three hits in the top of the seventh. Walle got Foster to strike out looking and then Hemingway hit a ball deep to left field that Hines caught above the fence to end the game and take away the grand slam.
Ashley Smuda (7-5) took the loss for Utah, allowing one run on one hit in three and a third innings. Joni Cook pitched the final two and two-thirds for the Utes and allowed four runs on four hits.
Memphis will continue its play in Hawai'i on Thursday. The Tigers will play St. John's at 9 a.m. (Hawai'i Standard Time) and Radford at 1 p.m.