Memphis Falls to UCF in Seventh after Making Big Comeback
April 20, 2012
ORLANDO, Fla. - UCF scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh to spoil a big comeback by the University of Memphis softball team in game one of a doubleheader on Friday. The Tigers (18-32, 6-13 C-USA) fell 8-7 in the game after battling back from a 5-1 deficit and scoring six unanswered runs.
Game two of a doubleheader was suspended due to inclement weather. The Knights were up 3-1 in the bottom of the third inning.
The two teams will not play on Saturday due to expected severe weather in the area. Memphis and UCF plan to resume the halted game on Sunday at 11 a.m. (ET) with game three following immediately after.
Both teams endured two rain delays early in the opening contest totaling about 75 minutes. Memphis scored three runs in the fifth on a three-run homer by Laura Curtis and three runs in the seventh to take a 7-5 lead. But UCF (33-12, 11-5 C-USA) scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh capped by a two-out walk-off single by Danielle Brewer.
After struggling against UCF ace pitcher Mackenzie Audas earlier on, the Tigers pounded out nine hits off the freshman. All nine of the first nine Tigers retired in the first three innings came by way of a strikeout. But in the final four innings, Memphis struck out just twice and recorded six runs on seven hits. Audas finished with 11 strikeouts and two walks to improve to 18-6.
Natalie Land led UCF with four runs scored and was 2-for-2 with a solo home run.
Ellen Roberts (10-16) suffered the loss after allowing eight runs on eight hits with five strikeouts and four walks.
UCF took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first following a 20 minute lightning delay. Land led off with an infield single to short and scored on a double to left by Vanessa Perez. Roberts settled down and struck out the next two batters as the Knights stranded a runner on third.
Memphis tied the game up at one-all with a run in the top of the third. Palmieri led off with a walk and Mosby followed with a bunt single. An error at third on a slap by Roberts loaded the bases with one out. Audas struck out Jessica Phillips for the second out but then threw an illegal pitch against Libby Goranson to bring in the tying run. Goranson ended the inning with a strikeout.
The Knights regained the lead in the bottom of the third with a pair of runs to go up 3-1. Land began the inning with a walk, and after stealing second, scored on a double to right center by Farrah Sullivan. Following a wild pitch, Sullivan scored the second run on an illegal pitch by Roberts.
A three-error inning by Memphis in the bottom of the second helped UCF score two more runs and lead 5-1. The Knights put runners on the corners with two outs on a pair of walks and a sac bunt. Land stole second for the second time in the day and the throw skipped into the outfield allowing Taway Swan to score from third. The ball got away from the center fielder, allowing Land to score her third run in the game on the error from second.
The Tigers gained three runs back in the top of the fifth on a three-run homer by Curtis to center. It is her third home run of the season, which leads the team. The dinger came after back-to-back singles to lead off the inning by Palmieri and Mosby. Phillips later followed with a one-out double to left center, and pinch runner Kassy Dunn advanced to third on a wild pitch but the Tigers stranded the tying run at third.
Memphis scored three runs in the top of the seventh to jump on top of UCF, 7-5. Curtis led off the inning with a single through the left side and Roberts followed with a sac bunt that was booted by the third baseman. With one out, Goranson hit a soft ground ball down the right line that bounced off first base and over the fielder for a single to score Curtis from second. A fielder's choice hit back to the pitcher resulted in two more runs to score after pinch runner Jami Miller was caught in a rundown between third and home and the catcher dropped the ball on the play at the plate.
UCF scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh to win the game 8-7. Land led off the inning with a solo home run to left. Perez followed with a single and Sullivan followed with a ground ball back to the pitcher. Nobody was covering second, so the fielder's choice resulted in runners on first and second. A sac bunt by Alena Murgatroyd advanced the runners into scoring position. With two outs, Kahley Novak tied the game with an infield single and Brewer followed with a walk-off single to left center to win the game for the Knights.