Tigers Let Two Games Slip by in Doubleheader sweep by UCF
April 25, 2009
For Immediate Release
Game Two UCF (25-25, 9-11) 010 011 1 - 4 9 1 Memphis (21-27, 7-15) 102 000 0 - 3 6 1 W: Cole (16-7) L: Valle (8-12) HR: MEM- Dolfo (3)
MEMPHIS - The University of Memphis softball team jumped to early leads in both games of a doubleheader with Central Florida on Saturday, but failed to hold on late, dropping a pair of one-run games at the Tiger Softball Complex. The Knights (25-25, 9-11 C-USA) took a 3-2 victory in game one and then rallied back from a 3-1 deficit in game two to win 4-3. Memphis (21-27, 7-15) collected 15 hits in the two games and had a pair of solo home runs, but struggled to put together big hits when it needed to.
The five Memphis seniors were honored before the first game. Leila Dolfo, Brittany Gooch, Tori Gross, Leandra Hines and Lyndsey Sterling represent the softball program's first four-year senior class. These five student-athletes made the decision to come to a program and help build it from scratch. Nearly every Memphis records stands as a testament to the legacy these pioneers have established. The bar has been set for all who follow in their footsteps.
The seniors collected eight of the team's 15 hits on the day, four of the five runs and two RBI. Dolfo led the group with three hits, two RBI and two runs scored. She went 2-for-4 with a solo home run and two runs scored in game two. Gooch and Hines both had two hits in game one.
Sophomore Kailey Kassner had two RBI on the day and three hits. She hit her third homer of the season in game one and had a RBI in every game of the series against UCF.
Vanessa Walle pitched three no-hit innings in game one for Memphis before allowing a run in each of the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. The Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the second and then battled back from a 2-1 deficit to tie the game in the fifth, before allowing the game-winner in the sixth. Walle (7-11) finished with two earned runs allowed on seven hits and four strikeouts.
Janelle Valle allowed seven of her nine hits to UCF in the last three innings of game two as the Knights scored single runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh frames to come back and win, 4-3. Memphis scored a run on a leadoff homerun by Dolfo in the first inning and then scored two in the third, but struggled to hold onto its lead down the stretch. Valle (8-12) gave up two earned runs on nine hits with a strikeout.
UCF's Ashleigh Cole (16-7) earned the victory in both games. Cole started game one and gave up two runs on nine hits with five strikeouts. She then entered the game in relief in the fourth inning of game two and held Memphis to one hit the remainder of the way.
In game one, Memphis took a 1-0 lead in the second on a solo home run to right center by Kassner to lead off the inning. The Tigers then had back-to-back one-out hits by Jessica Phillips and Gooch, but Phillips was thrown out at home on a base running miscue as UCF fought its way out of the inning with no further damage.
The Knights tied the game in the fourth on a RBI double by Hillary Barrow to score Breanne Javier from third. UCF then took the lead in the fifth inning with a leadoff homer by Lindsay Dean to left center.
Memphis tied the score in the bottom of the fifth on a RBI two-out single by Dolfo to score Gooch from third.
After Barrow's second double in the game to lead off the sixth, the Knights scored the eventual game-winning run on a single by Cole to left field.
In game two, Memphis began its half of the first with a solo shot by Dolfo. After UCF scored an unearned run in the second on a triple by Mary Helen Tyler, the Tigers took a two-run lead with two runs in the third. Kassner knocked in Dolfo from second on a single down the leftfield line and then Leigh Rowan had a pinch hit single to centerfield to score Gross.
The third inning knocked UCF starting pitcher Kristina DeMello out of the game and Cole entered in relief. While Cole held Memphis to one hit in four innings, UCF scored a run in the fifth on a RBI double by Abby McClain. The Knights then tied the game in the sixth with an unearned run off a RBI single by Cole to score Javier from third.
UCF got its leadoff batter on base to start the seventh with a single by Natalie Land. After a stolen base, McClain bunted over Land to third with one out. Javier then delivered the game-winner with a two-out single to centerfield.
Memphis closes the season with a three-game series at home against UAB beginning on Tuesday. The two teams play a doubleheader on Tuesday at 3 and 5 p.m. at the Tiger Softball Complex and then close with a single game at 3 p.m. on Wednesday.