Memphis Splits Doubleheader at Samford
March 20, 2012
BIRMINGHAM, Ala.- Memphis split a doubleheader with Samford on Tuesday, winning the first game, 11-4, and falling in the second, 5-0. After struggling at the plate recently, the Tigers' bats came alive, collecting 11 runs on 19 hits in the two games at Bulldog Field. Memphis is now 7-23 on the season, while Samford is 6-21.
In the afternoon matchup, Memphis opened the game scoring a run in the first and second innings. Morgan Mosby led the game off with a double, advanced to third on a single by Laura Curtis and scored on a single by Jessica Phillips. Alyssa Palmieri began the second inning with a single, then stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Mosby drove in Palmieri with a single to center field, giving Memphis the early 2-0 lead.
The Tigers tacked on two more runs in the top of the fifth. Mosby and Curtis started the inning with back-to-back singles and Phillips drove in both base-runners with a two-run double.
With the Tigers leading 4-0, Samford struck back to tie the game with a four-run bottom of the fifth. Nicole Brobowski doubled to lead off the inning. After Abby Adams popped out to Palmieri at second base, Carolina Seay reached on an error by Curtis at third base. Memphis pitcher Ellen Roberts looked to get out of trouble after Arica Dykes grounded into a fielder's choice for the second out, but three-straight singles from the top of the order scored four runs for the Bulldogs. Jordan Richwood entered in relief of Roberts to get the U of M out of the jam.
After an uneventful sixth inning, the Tigers struck the Bulldogs for seven runs in the top of the seventh. Mosby led off the inning by reaching on an error by Samford's first baseman. Curtis drew a walk and Roberts singled to score Mosby and advance Curtis to third. Jami Miller entered to pinch run for Roberts and, with Curtis at third, stole second base. Phillips then walked to load the bases for Amber Lindahl.
Lindahl delivered for the Tigers with a crushing grand slam over the centerfield wall, giving Memphis the 9-4 lead. The grand slam is the first homer of her career and only the sixth grand slam in program history. Ashleigh King reached on a throwing error by the Bulldog's second baseman, and advanced to second on the error, to keep the Tigers inning alive. Pinch hitting for Ijiah Hargrove, Sara Pearson hit a two-run homer to right-center. Pearson's home run, the first of her career, provided the final margin in the 11-4 win.
Richwood earned her first collegiate victory after pitching the final 2.1 innings, allowing no runs, one hit, two walks and four strikeouts. Roberts received a no-decision after allowing four runs on six hits in 4.2 innings.
Memphis continued its hot-hitting to start the second game. Mosby and Curtis both hit singles to put runners at first and second with no outs. However, Samford pitcher Misha Aldridge settled down and struck out the next three Tigers. In both the second and third innings, the Tigers were able to collect a hit, but were unable to plate a runner.
Samford struck for a run in the bottom of the third. Rachel Bickert singled through the left side and Dykes drew a walk. With runners on first and second, Julianne Surane laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners. A deep fly ball to left field by Madison Dickey scored the run. Memphis hurler Lauren Carley escaped the inning by getting Alex Adams to ground out to second base.
The Tigers threatened in the top of the fifth. With two outs, Curtis reached on an error and Roberts drew a walk. Phillips came to the plate and sent a shot to right field, where Samford right-fielder Madeline Baker made a diving catch to help the Bulldogs escape the inning unscathed.
The Bulldogs tacked on four runs in their half of the fifth inning on a grand slam by Alex Adams. Bickert and Surane both singled and Dickey earned a walk to load the bases. Alex Adams, facing the pay-off pitch, hit a grand slam over the right-center wall. Richwood entered the game and closed out the inning with Memphis trailing, 5-0.
Down to its final six outs, Memphis only mustered one hit in the seventh inning, an infield single by Mosby. Carley (0-1) took the loss, allowing five runs on five hits in 4.1 innings pitched. Richwood closed out the game for Memphis, striking out two batters in the final 1.2 innings.
Memphis will be back in action this weekend with a three-game series against Conference USA-foe Houston. The Tigers and Cougars play a doubleheader on Saturday, with the series finale on Sunday.