Memphis Guaranteed First C-USA Series Victory after Doubleheader Sweep of Houston
April 10, 2009
For Immediate Release
Game Two Houston (18-18, 7-6) 012 00 - 3 5 3 Memphis (18-21, 4-10) 023 24 - 11 7 2 W: Walle (6-8) L: Olson (2-2) HR: HOU- Wagner (7); MEM-Kassner (2), Phillips (3)
MEMPHIS - The University of Memphis softball team swept the University of Houston in a doubleheader on Friday at the Tiger Softball Complex guaranteeing the Tigers its first conference series victory of the season.
Memphis (18-21, 4-10) last earned a C-USA series victory in 2008 at home in a three-game sweep over UTEP.
The Tigers came from behind to win 5-3 in game one and then earned an 11-3 run-rule victory in a five inning game two. It is the first time Houston has been run ruled since losing 13-2 to then No. 7/8 Texas A&M on May 20, 2007 in the NCAA Regional Tournament.
Freshman catcher Nikki Moreno went 4-for-5 in the two games and had four RBI in game one, including a two-run double and a two-run homer. The home run is the first of her collegiate career and scored the eventual game-winning run.
Senior Leila Dolfo also had four hits in the doubleheader and batted 3-for-4 in game one. Freshman Jessica Phillips hit a two-run shot for her third homer of the year in the second-inning of game two and sophomore Kailey Kassner hit a three-run dinger in the third inning to give the Tigers a lead it never relinquished. She had four RBI in the two games.
Junior Leigh Rowan began a four-run fifth inning in the second game with a pinch hit single with the bases loaded that scored three. Freshman Lelani Bernardino then completed the run rule with a walk-off single up the middle.
Sophomore Janelle Valle earned the victory in game one and allowed two earned runs on three hits with two strikeouts to improve to 7-9 on the season. Junior Vanessa Walle pitched all five innings in game two for the victory and allowed two earned runs on five hits with three K's to move to 6-8.
In game one, Houston took the lead with a RBI single in the first inning by Elaina Nordstrom. The Cougars then increased its lead to two after a two-base error by the first baseman on a ball hit by Jessica Valis.
Memphis tied the game in the bottom of the fourth inning on Moreno's two-run double down the left line. The Tigers finished with five doubles in the game, tying for second in the program's history and matching the double output previously accomplished this season at UTEP.
The Tigers took the lead with a run in the fifth inning on a double to centerfield by Kassner and went up by three on Moreno's two run shot in the sixth.
Houston scored its final run in the seventh on a RBI single by Nordstrom and had the tying run at the plate with reigning C-USA Hitter of the Week Laurie Wagner at bat. But Valle got Wagner to strike out swinging to end the game. The strikeout is only the seventh of the season for Wagner.
In game two, the Cougars again took a 1-0 lead with a solo home run by Wagner to lead off the second inning. The Tigers countered with a two-run homer by Phillips in the bottom of the inning to go up by one.
Houston scored two runs in the third inning on a two-run single by Nordstrom to regain the lead and go up 3-2. But a three-run towering home run over the left field fence by Kassner gave Memphis back the lead in the bottom of the inning.
The Tigers then scored two runs on a fielding error by the third baseman in the fourth inning. Memphis finished with four runs in the fifth inning to earn its fourth run rule victory of the season, ending the game with only one out. Rowan cleared the bases with a single to right center and reached third on the play. After a walk to Dolfo, Bernadino ended the game with her single up the middle.
Memphis will complete the three-game series with Houston on Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Tiger Softball Complex.