Memphis Clinches C-USA Tournament Spot with 4-1 Victory Over UAB in Game One
May 1, 2010
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The University of Memphis clinched a spot in the 2010 Conference USA Championship tournament in Houston, Texas, with a 4-1 victory at UAB in game one of a doubleheader on Saturday.
The Tigers are guaranteed to finish in the top eight in the conference with the win and a Marshall 5-3 loss to Houston. Memphis improves to 24-20 on the season and 8-10 in Conference USA. The Tigers are currently in seventh place with the top eight teams advancing to the tournament on May 13-15.
Freshman Carly Hummel (14-8) scattered three hits to pick up her 14th victory of the season. Hummel allowed one first inning run and struck out six. She left after throwing a couple pitches in the seventh inning with a blister.
Junior Janelle Valle came into the game and pitched a scoreless seventh to pick up the first save of the season for Memphis. The save is the second of Valle's career.
Lelani Bernardino and Leigh Rowan both led the U of M with a pair of hits. Senior Vanessa Walle got things going offensively for Memphis with a two-run double in the first inning. The Tigers had three doubles in the game.
Memphis took an early 2-0 lead in the first inning on two hits and an error. Bernardino led off the game with a single through the right side. After a sac bunt by Maddie McKinley moved her to second, a throwing error by shortstop Kayla Orr on a ground ball hit by Rowan put runners at second and third with one out. Walle then delivered a two run double down the left field line.
UAB cut the Memphis lead to one with a run in the bottom of the inning. Martina Landrum led off with a walk and moved to second on a stolen base and third on a wild pitch. Cameron Skates then knocked her in with a suicide squeeze bunt to the pitcher.
Two doubles in the third inning gave Memphis a 3-1 lead. Rowan led off the inning with a double to right center and Heather Mott knocked her in with a double to right field. Mott's hit increased her hitting streak to a career best and a team season high eight games.
The Tigers got out of a bases loaded one out jam in the bottom of the third inning. The Blazers loaded the bases on an error, a bloop single and a hit batter. But Mott recorded the second out at home on a ground ball and Hummel got Kayla Orr to fly out to center for the third out.
McKinley knocked in a run with a two-out RBI in the top of the sixth to give Memphis a three-run lead. Keanah Prestridge led off the inning with a walk and was replaced for pinch runner Morgan Mosby. Mosby advanced to second on a wild pitch and moved to third on a ground out by Bernardino. McKinley then singled to left field to drive in the run.
Alisha Smith (12-11) took the loss for UAB. Smith allowed four runs, three earned, on seven hits with a strikeout. Amber Torres pitched a scoreless two innings in relief for the Blazers and allowed one hit, while striking out three.
UAB falls to 32-18 on the season and 11-8 in C-USA play.
The two teams continue the three-game series with the second game of the doubleheader. Memphis and UAB will play the final game at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Game Notes: Vanessa Walle hit her third double of the season and had her third multi-RBI game of the year. She now has seven career doubles and five multi-RBI games ... Leigh Rowan hit her sixth double of the season in the third inning. It is her first extra base hit since March 30. She now has 20 career doubles ... Heather Mott increased her hitting streak to a career high and a team season high eight games with a RBI double in the third inning. The double is the fifth of the season for Mott and 11th of her career ... Lelani Bernardino had her 11th multi-hit game of the season and 24th of her career ... Leigh Rowan had her 10th multi-hit game of the season and 24th of her career. She also matched a season and career best with two runs scored in the game ... Maddie McKinley increased her hitting streak to a six games with an RBI single in the sixth. The hitting streak ties her season and career best ... Carly Hummel improves to 14-8 on the season ... Janelle Valle picks up the first Memphis save of the year with a perfect seventh. It is her second career save.