Memphis can't come back on USM, loses 9-6
April 17, 2010
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Nine Southern Miss runs in the first two innings proved too much for the University of Memphis softball team to battle back from as the Tigers dropped game two of a doubleheader, 9-6, on Saturday afternoon.
Memphis lost game one of the doubleheader earlier in the day, 2-0.
The loss drops the Tigers to 22-19 on the season (6-10 in Conference USA), while the Golden Eagles improve to 18-20 overall (3-12 in C-USA).
The nine runs for USM, are the most allowed in any game by Memphis all season. The previous high was seven allowed runs against both Tulsa and Houston.
Leslie LeJune led off a four-run inning for Southern Miss with a single. After Britney Dinelt left on an error, both runners would advance on a sacrifice bunt by Megan Hill. Lejune would score after an effort by Memphis catcher Keenah Prestridge, and Alexis Hurley added three USM runs with a three-run home run. All four runs were unearned.
Memphis added its own four-run inning in the bottom half to tie the game. Lelani Bernardino walked and stole her eighth base of the year taking second. Leigh Rowan then singled her home. Two batters later Heather Mott belted her second home run of the year for a three-run shot scoring Rowan, Shanna Brown (pinch running for Vanessa Walle), and herself. The three RBIs were Mott's first since Feb. 23 against Belmont.
Rowan's RBI in the inning was her 20th tying Maddie McKinley for the team lead. Her two hits in the game made for her first multi-hit game since March 30, and her ninth multi-hit game of the season. It was Bernardino's 19th run scored this season is second on the Memphis team.
Southern Miss replaced starting pitcher Courtney Ramos with Beth Dietrich with one out in the first inning. Kailey Kassner singled and Jessica Phillips and Prestridge both walked to load the bases, but Memphis couldn't get another run across in the first.
Kassner's two hits in game two provided her with her first multi-hit game of the season.
USM added five runs in the top of the second. Walle was relieved by Lauren Carley to start the second for Memphis. LeJune doubled to right center scoring Lauren Castellvi to give USM the lead back. Dinelt would follow with a two-run homer making the score 7-4. Four batters later with the bases loaded, Janelle Valle, who'd replaced Carley on the mound, walked Hurley scoring Hill. Thurman singled home Jill Mathis, but Bernardino threw out Logan James trying to score another run on the play.
The Tigers wouldn't allow another run as first-game starter Carly Hummel threw three innings of no-hit ball, and Walle re-entered to close out the sixth and seventh.
Prestridge threw out Mathis in the sixth for her 16th caught runner of the year, which leads Conference USA in conference play and overall. The 16 caught runners ties a Memphis record.
Memphis wasn't going away quietly at the plate. McKinley led off the second with a walk. After Rowan singled, Shanna Brown singled home McKinley for her second career RBI to make the score 9-5.
Memphis cut the lead down by one more run when Prestridge's bunt single in the fifth scored Kim Sirman, who was running for Jessica Phillips. Phillips led off the inning with a walk. The RBI was Prestridge's 10th of the season making her the seventh Tiger with double-digit RBIs in 2010.
McKinley tied the Memphis record for stolen bases in one season, held by Cara Stiles, with her 19th swipe of the year in the sixth.
Unfortunately for the Tigers, Rowan followed lining out to short. McKinley was doubled up at second for the fourth double play the Tigers hit into during the game. Memphis hit into double plays in four of the seven innings.
The Tigers will return tomorrow against Southern Miss at 1 p.m. at Tiger Softball Complex. The game will be broadcast on Memphis All-Access. Their remaining action this week begins Wednesday against Arkansas in Little Rock at 6:30 p.m.