Tigers Roar Back, Top UTEP, 5-3, In Game One
March 26, 2011
EL PASO, Texas - The University of Memphis softball team came from behind to top the host UTEP Miners in game one of their three-game weekend series, taking the first game 5-3 on a seventh-inning come-back victory.
The Tigers move to 19-7 (4-3 in Conference USA play), while UTEP falls under .500 at 15-16 (1-4 C-USA).
UTEP struck first on a Becky Smith two-run home run, scoring Kayleigh Watts after a single through the right side.
After falling behind 2-0, Memphis struck in the top of the third inning. Senior Heather Mott led the inning off with a walk, and advanced to third after Maddie McKinley reached base via error and Jessica Phillips moved Mott over on a fielder's choice. She subsequently scored the Tigers first run on a wild pitch from UTEP's Courtney Auger.
Mott evened the score in the fifth, leading off the frame with a solo home run. The bomb was Mott's fourth of the season and 19th of her career, putting her one away from tying Bridgette McNulty (2006-07) for second all-time in Memphis history.
UTEP pulled ahead again in the bottom half of the fifth, when Watts walked, stole second and came around to score on an error.
For Chester, it was her first extra base hit since February 19.
The Tigers pulled ahead in the top of the seventh, taking its first lead of the game. Lelani Bernardino walked and McKinley singled her over to third (with McKinley subsequently stealing second). Following a Kailey Kassner walk, Palmieri was hit by a pitch, scoring Bernardino. Ashleigh King grounded into a fielder's choice, scoring McKinley and putting Memphis ahead by two heading into the final frame.
Senior Janelle Valle pitched the first 5.1 innings, allowing three Miner runs on six hits and striking out three.
Sophomore Carly Hummel (11-3) came on in relief and finished the game out for her 11th victory, pitching 1.2 innings of scoreless ball, striking out two and not allowing a hit.
The two teams will play the second game of the doubleheader this afternoon and close out the series on Sunday with a noon (MT/1 pm CT) contest