@MemphisSoftball Drops Tight Game to East Carolina
April 20, 2013
GREENVILLE, N.C. - The University of Memphis softball team loaded the bases with nobody out in the top of the seventh but failed to score the tying run in a 2-1 loss at East Carolina in game one of a doubleheader Saturday.
Memphis (21-30, 8-11 C-USA) used a leadoff walk and two bunt singles in the seventh to load the bases for the top of the order. But back-to-back fielder's choice groundballs to short retired the tying run at the plate and helped preserve the Pirates'(19-25, 9-7 C-USA) one-run victory.
East Carolina scored all of its runs to start the game in the bottom of the first. After a two-out walk to Alex Fieldhouse, the Pirates had three-straight hits to take the lead. Casey Alcorn and Kai Clark both had RBI singles in the inning.
From there, Memphis junior RHP Ellen Roberts (12-20) settled in and held the Pirates scoreless the remainder of the game on three hits. She struck out five in six innings and gave up two runs on six hits for the loss.
Junior outfielder Ijiah Hargrove led Memphis offensively, going a career-best 3-for-3. Freshman outfielder Hannah Harrell went 2-for-3 in the game with a couple of bunt singles, while senior Lelani Bernardino went 1-for-2 with an RBI.
The Tigers had four runners out at home in the game. Memphis had a runner thrown out at the plate to end the top of the third. Hargrove attempted to score from second with two outs on a single through the left side by senior shortstop Laura Curtis. But after a slight hesitation rounding third, Jill Jelnick's throw from left beat Hargrove by a couple of steps for the out at home.
Memphis loaded the bases on three hits with one out in the top of the fifth, but was only able to plate one run. Bernardino was hit for the 15th time this year by the pitch to score Lindsie Knowles from third for the Tigers' only run in the game.
The Tigers outhit the Pirates 8-6. Sarah Christian (14-12) earned the victory, allowing one run on eight hits with seven strikeouts and a walk.
Memphis and East Carolina play the second game of the doubleheader this afternoon and close the three-game series on Sunday at noon ET/11 a.m. CT.
Game Notes: Laura Curtis faced off against her former coach at Chattanooga State, Beth Keylon-Randolph, who took over the ECU program this year. Assistant coach Steve Jaecks was also the assistant coach at Chattanooga State and was the school's athletic director. Assistant coach Leah Kelley played with Curtis at Chattanooga State in 2010 ... Lelani Bernardino extended her hitting streak to 13 games with a single to leadoff the game. The mark ranks third in school history and is one off from tying the school record. She has reached base in 16-straight games ... Bernardino drove in her 54th career RBI with a bases loaded hit by pitch in the fifth. The 54 RBI moves her into a tie for 10th all-time in school history with Kailey Kassner (2008-11) ... The game marked the eighth-straight for Memphis decided by a run ... Ijiah Hargrove had a career high three hits and went 3-for-3 in the game.