Tigers Strand 18 in Doubleheader Loss at Marshall
April 4, 2009
For Immediate Release
Game Two Memphis (16-20, 2-9) 000 000 2 - 2 6 1 Marshall (18-10, 6-2) 000 012 x - 3 6 0 W: Mitchell (7-2) L: Walle (5-7) SV: Murphree (1) HR: MAR- Telles, Gamby
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Battling from behind in both games of a doubleheader against Marshall, the University of Memphis softball team struggled with giving up the long ball and scoring on its opportunities. The Tigers fell to the Thundering Herd 6-2 and 3-2 on Saturday at Dot Hicks Field.
Marshall (18-10, 6-2 C-USA) hit four home runs and scored the first run in each contest as Memphis (16-20, 2-9) dropped to 4-18 when failing to score the first run of the game.
Memphis left 18 runners on base in the two games but struck out 18 times. The Tigers matched the Herd hit for hit with both teams collecting 13 in the day.
The two teams battled into the fifth inning of game two as the U of M's Vanessa Walle and Marshall's Autumn Mitchell went head to head in a pitcher's duel. The scoreless game ended with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning on a solo home run by Marshall's Alianna Telles.
Marshall then scored two more runs in the sixth inning to take a 3-0 lead on a two-run dinger by Rebecca Gamby, her second home run of the day.
The Tigers battled in their final at bat in the seventh inning and had the tying run on third, but Katie Murphree struck out junior Leigh Rowan looking to end the game. Rowan had singled in her prior to at bats. Memphis scored two runs on a double by senior Leila Dolfo, her second hit of the game.
Walle fell to 5-7 on the year and allowed two earned runs on six hits with four strikeouts. Mitchell allowed two runs on six hits and struck out nine to improve to 7-2.
Memphis failed to take advantage of its scoring opportunities early in game one, leaving seven runners on base in the first three innings and 11 in the game. The Tigers began the game by loading the bases on a pair of singles and a walk, but were unable to take the early lead.
Instead, Marshall capitalized on a bunt single and a stolen base to score the first run of the game in the bottom of the first inning off a single through the right side by Caitlyn Jackson.
As has been the case through the majority of the season, Memphis' run production struggled after falling behind early. The Tigers fall to 3-13 when its opponent scores in the first inning.
Freshman Lelani Bernardino led Memphis in scoring with a 3-for-4 performance. It is the second time the outfielder has collected three hits in a game this season. Bernardino also knocked in the first Tiger run and scored the other.
Memphis tied with Marshall with seven hits in the game. The Tigers were also hit three times by Herd pitcher Katie Murphree.
Tiger sophomore Janelle Valle struggled in the circle after having three-straight strong outings. The southpaw allowed six runs on six hits in four and a third innings to fall to 6-9 on the year. Murphree allowed one run in six innings with nine strikeouts to improve to 7-4.
Marshall scored one run in the first and a run in the third to take a 2-0 lead. Memphis cut the lead to one in the top of the fourth on a two-out pop up single by Bernardino that fell between the defense behind second base to score pinch runner Kamri Chester from third.
However, Marshall broke the game open with three-runs in the bottom of the inning to take a 5-1 lead. Catcher Rebecca Gambry led off the inning with a home run and pinch hitter Rachel Schmidt hit a two-run double off the right field fence.
After the Thundering Herd scored its sixth run in the fifth on a solo homer by Melanie Stoehr, Memphis brought its final run across the plate in the seventh. Bernardino led off with an infield single and scored from third on a two-out single by freshman Jessica Phillips to left field.
Memphis will attempt to salvage a contest out of the three-game series with Marshall on Sunday at noon.