Two Big Innings Propel Softball to Double-Header Sweep of Tennessee State
April 19, 2006
Memphis (23-21) 000 030 0 - 3 4 0 TSU (16-27) 000 000 0 - 0 2 3NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Lady Tiger softball team scored three runs in the fifth inning of game one and four runs in the seventh inning of game two and Memphis pitchers tossed a pair of shutouts, as the U of M swept a double-header for Tennessee State Wednesday at TSU Lady Tiger Field.
Each of the two games was tight early on with Memphis and TSU pitchers matching one another blow for blow to keep the contests scoreless. However, the U of M made the most of its two big scoring opportunities and starting pitchers Jenna Kubesch and Nicki Johnson did the rest, leading Memphis to 3-0 and 4-0 victories.
In game one Memphis, used three hits and a pair of TSU errors to take 3-0 advantage in the top of the fifth. Leandra Hines singled to lead off the inning, stole second, moved to third on a sac bunt by Cara Stiles and scored on a double down the leftfield line by Leila Dolfo. Dolfo then scored on a single to rightcenter by Kimmi Hayden, who later scored on a throwing error.
The three runs would be all that Memphis would get, but that was all Kubesch needed, as she continued to shut down the Tennessee State offense the rest of the way to pick up her sixth shutout of the season. The junior fanned six and walked none, while tossing a two-hitter to move her record to 11-8 on the year.
The U of M bats totaled four hits in the first game of the day, with Hayden leading the way, going 2-for-3 with a RBI and a run scored.
Game two started much the same way with Johnson and TSU hurler Lauren Weber locked in a pitcher's duel. But this time, zeros would remain on the board until the seventh inning.
Memphis had three solid opportunities to take leads before the final frame, but each time saw runners thrown out at the plate. In the top of the third, Lindsey Pridgen was gunned down by TSU centerfielder Diana Clifford when she attempted to score on a flyout by Stiles.
The U of M then had two runners punched out at the plate in the fifth inning, as Brittany Gooch was taken down at home on a fielder's choice to second base by Hines, before Tori Gross was caught trying to score on a wild pitch.
Memphis did not, however, let the missed chances come back to haunt it, posting the second big inning of the day in the top of the seventh in the second half of the twinbill. Kara Ross singled to lead off the inning, before Gross walked and Laura Mahoney reached on an error to load the bases with no outs. Pridgen then dealt the big blow, lining a bases-clearing double to the fence in centerfield to give the U of M a 3-0 lead. Stiles followed with a one-out single to score Pridgen to set the final margin of 4-0.
As she had done the entire game, Johnson mowed TSU down in the bottom of the seventh to take the win and push her record to 10-8 on the season. The Tucson, Ariz., native allowed only four hits, while striking out three and walking just one.
Memphis registered six hits in game two, with six different players logging a hit apiece. Pridgen led the way, going 1-for-2 with the double and three RBI, while Stiles, Hayden, Gross, Hines and Ross each recorded a base hit.
With the pair of wins, Memphis moves to 24-21 on the season, while Tennessee State falls to 16-28.
The U of M will be back in action Saturday and Sunday, April 22-23, when it hosts East Carolina in a three-game, C-USA series at Greenbrook Park. Games times are set for 1 p.m. on Saturday and 12 p.m. on Sunday against the Pirates, who are just a half game behind the U of M for the sixth spot in the conference race.