Memphis Ushers in New Softball Complex
April 7, 2007
For Immediate Release
Tulsa (23-20, 7-7) 113 003 0 - 8 14 1 Memphis (23-15, 3-8) 003 000 2 - 5 7 0 Win - Lee (9-7) Loss - Kubesch (14-7) Save - None. HR - (MEM) Kelso (4) 2B - (TUL) Smart (6), Osbon (3)
MEMPHIS - Although the final result of the University of Memphis and Tulsa softball game did not bode well for the Lady Tigers, the lasting effects of the day will be felt in the program for years to come.
The U of M officially dedicated its new softball complex on the school's Park Avenue Campus on Saturday afternoon before the final contest of the three-game series with Tulsa. The Golden Hurricane swept the series, beating the Lady Tigers 8-5 at the UM Softball Complex.
University of Memphis President Dr. Shirley C. Raines threw out the ceremonial first pitch to sophomore Kimmi Hayden to officially open the $1.7 million complex in front of full house.
"This is huge for our program," said Memphis head coach Windy Thees. "Having a place close to campus that is as beautiful as this place is wonderful. We've got the brick and the blue roofs. Everything about it screams Memphis and first class. Especially for recruiting purposes, having a place like this is going to make this program grow and grow."
After making six errors in the first two games of the series, Memphis committed no errors on Saturday. But Tulsa continued its hot hitting, collecting 14 hits in the game and taking a 5-0 lead in the third inning.
"We definitely picked it up on defense," Thees said. "We played with better focus and energy today. We had some good at bats, but didn't get the big hits when we needed to. We played flawless, but so did they."
The Golden Hurricane jumped to a 5-0 lead with single runs in the first and second and three in the third. Memphis senior pitcher Jenna Kubesch (14-7) failed to make it out of the third inning, giving up five runs on nine hits with no strikeouts in two innings and a third.
Memphis answered back with three unearned runs in the bottom of the third inning to draw within two of Tulsa. Sophomore right fielder Brittany Gooch led off the inning with a bunt single and advanced to second on an error off a groundball from sophomore shortstop Leila Dolfo. A sacrifice bunt laid down by sophomore leftfielder Leandra Hines put runners on second and third with one out. Junior catcher Lindsay Kelso then walked to load the bases allowing senior third baseman Bridgette McNulty to knock in Gooch with a fielder's choice. Senior first baseman Kara Ross capped the inning with a two-run single off the left field wall to score McNulty and Kelso.
Tulsa widened its lead to 8-3 with three more runs in the sixth inning on four singles. Tulsa catcher Ashlee Lubniewski had a two-run single in the inning and finished 2-for-2 after coming into the game in the third inning.
The Lady Tigers came up short in a comeback effort in the seventh inning, scoring two runs on a home run by Kelso. The two-run shot is the fourth of the year for Kelso who finished 1-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored.
Memphis will next travel to Knoxville to take on No. 1 Tennessee on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. (CST). The Lady Tigers will return home to host Alcorn State in a doubleheader on Thursday beginning at 3 p.m.
Kara Ross had her team-leading eighth multi-RBI game with two in the game.
Lindsay Kelso had her sixth multi-RBI game with two coming off a home run.
Kelso hit her fourth home run of the season in the bottom of the seventh inning. The two run shot scored Leandra Hines. Kelso now had 18 RBI and leads the team with 25 runs scored. Leandra Hines scored her 19th run of the season.
Kara Ross hit a single off the left field wall in the third inning to score two runs. She leads the team with 27 RBI. Kelso and McNulty scored on the hit.
Tulsa swept Memphis for the second-straight season. The Golden Hurricane is the only conference team to sweep the Lady Tigers in a three-game series.