Softball Evens Conference Mark with Sweep of C-USA Leader Southern Miss
April 8, 2006
Southern Miss 000 000 0 - 0 0 0 Memphis 000 013 x - 4 5 2SOUTHAVEN, Miss. - Jenna Kubesch threw a no-hitter in game one, and Nicki Johnson tossed a shutout in game two to propel Memphis to a sweep of C-USA leader Southern Miss in a double-header Saturday at Greenbrook Park. The U of M offense also came up big, posting four runs in each contest, as the Lady Tigers picked up a pair of 4-0 victories to even their conference mark at 5-5.
Game one was locked in a pitcher's duel early with neither Kubesch nor Southern Miss starter Lacey Gros allowing a hit through three innings. Memphis however, picked up a hit in the fourth and cracked the scoring column in the fifth with Tori Gross doubling and scoring on a Lindsey Pridgen single. That gave Kubesch all the support she would need, and the U of M went on to the 4-0 triumph.
In game two, the Lady Tigers took a 2-0 advantage in the bottom of the first, and added a run each in the second and third frames en route to the 4-0 victory. Johnson had her struggles, but scattered four hits and five walks to register the complete-game shutout.
"We had great leadership throughout both games today," said Coach Windy Thees. "A lot of people had a chance to be leaders, and they stepped up, especially our pitchers."
Kubesch logged her second no-hit performance of the season, striking out five and walking just one to move to 8-5 on the year. The junior's first zero-hit effort came in a perfect game at Grambling State on February 28.
Johnson saw Southern Miss leave nine runners stranded and put runners on base in every inning but the final frame. But the junior battled out of several jams to keep the Golden Eagles off the board and improve her mark to 9-7 on the season.
"Jenna threw unbelievably and got her second no-hitter of the year, which is outstanding. Then Nicki fought through not having her best stuff and got us another shutout," said Thees. "That was huge because I believe pitching is where it starts, and we got two shutouts today."
Gross was the star at the plate in game one, going 2-for-3 with two RBI, while breaking the scoreless tie with her fifth-inning run. "Tori (Gross) was a big spark-plug for us today," said Thees. "She came up with two huge hits in the first game and played well in the field all day."
In game two, Leila Dolfo was 2-for-3 and scored two runs to pace the offense. Pridgen hammered a solo homerun for her second round-tripper of the season, and Bridgette McNulty was 1-for-2 with an RBI and a run scored. Hayden again added an RBI, going 1-for-3 with a run-scoring single, while Kubesch and Leandra Hines recorded a hit apiece.
With the wins, Memphis improves to 20-17 on the season and 5-5 in Conference USA play. Southern Miss falls to 21-26 overall and 7-4 in the league.
The Lady Tigers and Golden Eagles will wrap up their three-game set Sunday at Greenbrook Park, with the first pitch slated for 1 p.m.