Memphis Hands Tulsa Second Conference Loss in 7-6 Victory
April 7, 2012
TULSA, Okla. - The University of Memphis battled a rain delay and the Conference USA Preseason Pitcher of the Year while pulling out a 7-6 victory over Tulsa on Saturday afternoon.
Memphis (12-29, 3-12 C-USA) earned just its second-ever regular season victory against Tulsa (26-8, 10-2 C-USA) and first win since defeating the Golden Hurricane 5-1 in the 2010 C-USA Tournament. The loss is just the second of the season in conference play for Tulsa who sits alone at the top of the league standings and just outside of the top 25 national polls.
After Tulsa took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, Memphis scored four runs in the top of the third. But the Golden Hurricane came right back with three runs in the bottom of the inning to knot it up at 4-4.
With a runner on second and one out for Memphis in the top of the fifth, the rain came down and forced about a 45 minute delay. Tulsa went to its bullpen and replaced preseason C-USA Player of the Year Aimee Creger with Friday's hero Lacey Middlebrooks. With two outs, Memphis scored three runs on a double by Amber Lindahl and a single by King to take back the lead, 7-4.
Tulsa scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth to trail by one and had runners on first and second in the bottom of the seventh, but Memphis held on for its third victory of the season in league play.
Freshman Jordan Richwood (4-8) earned the victory for Memphis in the circle. Richwood allowed six runs on eight hits in four and two-third innings with two strikeouts and a walk. Roberts pitched the final two and a third innings and held Tulsa scoreless on one hit to earn her second save of the season.
Creger (13-3) suffered the loss after allowing five runs on two hits in four and a third innings. She struck out four and walked four. Middlebrooks pitched the final two and two-thirds and allowed two runs on two hits with a pair of strikeouts and walks.
Tulsa took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a two-out home run to left by Samantha Cobb.
Memphis got on the board in the top of the third inning and broke out with three runs. Alyssa Palmieri was hit by the pitch to lead off the inning and Kamri Chester reached on a throwing error by the second baseman to put runners on second and third with no outs. Morgan Mosby followed with a squeeze bunt to score Palmieri from third and tie the game. After a walk to Curtis, Roberts hit her second home run of the season to left to give the Tigers a three-run lead.
The Golden Hurricane responded right back with three runs in the bottom of the third. With two outs and a runner on first, Jill Barrett hit a bunt single. Cobb followed with her second home run of the game, a three-run dinger down the left line to tie the game at 4-4.
Prior to the rain delay, Curtis led off the top of the fifth with a walk and advanced to second on a sac bunt from Roberts. After the delay, Lindahl hit a two-out double to right center to score the go-ahead run. A walk to Sara Pearson and a passed ball was followed by a two-run single by King to right field to give Memphis the 7-4 lead.
Tulsa scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Cierra Hughes led off with a single and after reaching third, scored on a sac fly by Barrett. Cobb followed with a two-out double and scored on a single by Skylar Swanson.
TU stranded the tying run on second in both the sixth and seventh innings to end the game.
Memphis will return home for a six-game home stand. The Tigers host a doubleheader with Alcorn State on Tuesday at 3/5 p.m., a single game with Louisiana-Monroe on Thursday at 6 p.m. Memphis closes the week with a three-game series against UTEP on Saturday and Sunday, April 14-15, at the Tiger Softball Complex.