Lady Tigers Open Conference with Victory Over UTEP
March 17, 2007
For Immediate Release
EL PASO, Texas. - The University of Memphis softball team opened its Conference USA schedule with a 7-3 victory at UTEP in the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday at Helen of Troy Field. The Lady Tigers improve to 17-7 on the season and 1-0 in conference play. Memphis has won a program best six-straight games.
Nine different Lady Tigers recorded hits as Memphis combined for 12 in the game. The 12 team hits are the second highest total this season for the program. Memphis had 16 against Missouri earlier in the season.
Sophomore shortstop Leila Dolfo, sophomore left fielder Leandra Hines and senior first baseman Kara Ross all had two hits in the game. Five different Lady Tigers recorded RBI; including two by senior third baseman Bridgette McNulty who also had a career best six assists from the hot corner. Sophomore second baseman Tori Gross scored the winning run in the game in the sixth, as the Lady Tigers put a four on the board in the inning.
Senior Jenna Kubesch (11-3) earned her 11th victory with a complete game effort. Kubesch allowed three runs on six hits and struck out eight.
The Lady Tigers scored two runs on two hits in the top half of the first inning to take a 2-0 lead. Dolfo led off the inning with a walk, and after a couple fielder's choice outs, McNulty walked to put runners on first and second. Ross then knocked in the first run of the game on a single to right and sophomore catcher Kimmi Hayden followed with an RBI single to center. Memphis added a third run in the second on a double by Dolfo to score sophomore right fielder Brittany Gooch.
UTEP gained a run back in the bottom of the second when second baseman Stacie Townsend led off the inning with her third home run of the season to left center. Third baseman Amber Bennett added a Miner second solo shot in the third inning to put the Memphis advantage at one.
Kubesch pitched herself out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the fourth inning. The Miners hit back-to-back singles and then loaded the bases on a hit batter. With one out, Kubesch struck out two in a row to end the scoring threat.
Memphis broke the game open in the top of the sixth with four runs on five hits. Junior Melissa Nance came in to pinch hit with one out and lined a double down the left field line to get the Lady Tigers started. Gooch then hit a sac bunt that got through the infield on an error to score the first run of the inning. Dolfo followed with a single to center and Hines reached on a bunt hit. Kelso then pushed her hitting streak to 12 games with an RBI single. McNulty capped the inning with a two-run single off the glove of the third-baseman.
UTEP hit its third solo home run of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning on a dinger hit by shortstop Kelly Lombard to finish the game's scoring.
Memphis and UTEP will finish the day with the second game of the doubleheader before ending the three-game series on Saturday at 12 p.m. (MST).