Extra-Innings Unkind to Memphis; Tigers Fall to Tulsa, 2-1, in Eight
April 2, 2011
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - After fighting tooth and nail with Conference USA foe Tulsa in game two of Saturday's doubleheader, Memphis (21-9, 6-5 C-USA) fell just short of victory against the Golden Hurricane (26-9, 9-2 C-USA), 2-1, in eight innings.
Early on, the game looked like it would have an outpouring of offense, with both squads scoring in the first. Tulsa's Caitlin Everett led the game off with a single, then stole second and third before being brought in by Samantha Cobb's double to give Tulsa an early lead.
Memphis responded in the bottom of the first. Senior Heather Mott led off with a single, and moved to second via junior Lelani Bernardino's sacrifice bunt. After advancing to third via a passed ball, Mott scored on senior Maddie McKinley's sac fly to left field.
That would be all the scoring for either side in regulation play. Memphis senior Janelle Valle danced in and out of trouble during her 5.1 on the mound, leaving two Tulsa runners on base in the second and third innings and stranding three Golden Hurricane runners in the fourth.
Memphis' next chance came in the third, when Bernardino doubled to left with two outs in the inning. McKinley, the next batter, lined one to third but Tulsa's Jill Barrett made a great play to end the threat.
The Tigers had opportunities in the sixth, when Mott led the inning off with a double, and the seventh, when junior Alyssa Palmieri reached on an error and senior Kailey Kassner hit an infield single. Freshman Libby Goranson struck out pinch-hitting for Amber Lindahl to end the inning and send the game into extras.
Senior Lauren Carley, who pitched 2.2 innings in relief of Valle, quickly retired the first two batters she faced in the top of the eighth, but Tulsa's Kelly Chapman, who finished the game 4-for-4, hit a drive to left field that just cleared the wall and gave Tulsa its first lead since the first inning.
McKinley got a two-out single to right field in the bottom of the inning, but that would be as much extra-inning offense as the Tigers could muster.
Tulsa's Jordan Kinard got the victory for the Golden Hurricane, going the full eight innings without allowing an earned run and striking out 11 for her sixth win of 2011.
Valle scattered seven hits in 5.1 innings, allowing one earned and striking out two.
The Tigers will look to end the series on a high note when they host the finale against Tulsa, Sunday, at noon (CT) at the Tiger Softball Complex.