Valle One Hits ECU as Memphis Wins Series with 1-0 Victory
March 13, 2011
GREENVILLE, N.C. – The University of Memphis softball team took two of three in their conference-opening series with East Carolina, culminating in a 1-0 victory Sunday afternoon.
Senior Janelle Valle (4-2) was on cruise control throughout the day, keeping East Carolina off-balance with speed and location changes. She tossed a complete game shutout, the fifth of her career, allowing just one first-inning hit and striking out three. The shutout lowers Valle’s ERA to a team-leading 0.73. It is her first complete game one-hitter.
The series victory was the first for Memphis (15-5, 2-1 C-USA) against the Pirates (19-8, 1-2 C-USA) since 2006, the Tigers inaugural softball season. Memphis held East Carolina, the defending C-USA champions, to one hit in the rubber match.
The game was scoreless after three innings, but Memphis drew first blood in the fourth. After a stand-up triple from senior Maddie McKinley, junior Jessica Phillips lined a single into left, scoring McKinley.
The triple was the second of McKinley’s career, and first since 2009.
For Phillips, it was her team-leading 12th RBI of 2011. She continued to swing a hot bat, collecting her second RBI of the weekend on her way to a 2-for-3 day at the plate.
The Pirates mounted their only serious threat early, getting runners in scoring position in the first. Kristi Oshiro reached on an error and moved to second on a wild pitch. A Sissy Jimenez single moved her to third, but she was stranded when Valle got Jordan Lewis to strike out swinging and Suzanne Riggs to ground out to third.
East Carolina tried to mount a comeback in the seventh, with Kai Clark getting hit by an errant pitch. Pinch-hitter Alex Fieldhouse hit a liner to third that was snared by Maddie McKinley, who doubled off pinch-runner Chelsea Kaluhiokalani-Glackin at first to end the threat and the game.
In 10 innings of work this weekend, Valle picked up a win and a save, striking out six and not allowing a single run. The victory was the 21st of Valle’s career.
Memphis tagged preseason all-conference selection Toni Paisley (14-4) with her fourth loss of 2011.
Memphis will head back to Memphis and for a five-game home stand. The U of M will play a mid-week doubleheader with Mississippi Valley State on Wednesday. The Tigers will get back into conference play next weekend when they host 25th-ranked Houston for a three-game series.