Tigers Use Eight-Run Fifth to Top Miners
March 26, 2011
EL PASO<, Texas - The University of Memphis softball team used an eight-run fifth inning to run-rule the UTEP Miners in game two of the Tigers' doubleheader sweep, with a 13-3 five-inning victory Saturday evening. Memphis won 5-3 in the first game.
The win gives the U of M its first ever series victory on the road at UTEP. Memphis is also off to its best start in conference play with a 5-3 league mark and currently sits in third place in the league standings.
The 13 runs are the most by the Tigers since 2009 when the team scored 15 runs in a 15-2 victory at Arkansas-Pine Bluff on February 26, 2009. It is also the most runs scored by Memphis in a conference game.
Junior first baseman Jessica Phillips and junior catcher Nikki Moreno both led the team with three RBI as all but two starters knocked in a run. Senior third baseman led the team with three runs scored and freshman right fielder Ashleigh King went 3-for-4 with two doubles, two RBI and two runs scored.
Lauren Carley (3-2) scattered five hits and three runs for her third victory of the season. She struck out three for the win.
Memphis moves to 20-7 and 5-3 in Conference USA action in 2011. UTEP falls to 15-17 (1-5 C-USA). The game was the 300th in program history; the Tigers are 156-144 all-time in their six-year history and off to the program's best start.
Memphis led off the game with a McKinley run off Phillips' second career triple; for Phillips, it was her her first triple since Feb. 22, 2009 against Miami (Ohio).
UTEP's Kayleigh Watts evened the score on a Laura Ramos single in the bottom half of the opening frame.
The long ball dominated the second inning, with Moreno hitting a two-run shot in the visitor half and UTEP's Courtney Ware and Becky Smith knocking solo shots in the bottom half.
For Moreno, it was her first home run since April 10, 2009, against Houston.
Memphis added runs in the third (via a King double) and the fourth (by a McKinley single) to take the lead.
The Tigers poured the runs on in the fifth, with three runs coming in via walk. Phillips knocked in two more runs for her team-leading 19th RBI's of 2011.
McKinley scored after Kamri Chester reached via error, then King knocked in Phillips on a single.
Alyssa Palmieri knocked in Chester on a double to round out the scoring for the Tigers.
The Tigers will go for the sweep on Sunday when they square off with the Miners in a noon (1 p.m. CT) tilt.