Senior Duo Looks to Make Big Impact on the Diamond
Jan. 20, 2010
Preston McClellan, Undergraduate Intern -
Rowan will return to the outfield this season after being relegated to serving as the designated player for the majority of the past two seasons due to an injury suffered during her sophomore campaign. Rowan hit .263 last season in 38 games, which included 22 starts. She had two home runs and 17 RBI in 76 at bats.
"We are really looking to Leigh (Rowan) to be a leader of this team and of the outfield," Memphis assistant head coach Killian Roessner said. "She is deceiving in the outfield. You look at her and you don't think she is going to be able to get to the ball, but next thing you know she has made the play. She seems to make every play."
Before suffering the injury during her sophomore season, Rowan was a standout in the outfield as a freshman. She was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman Team, playing in 46 games and making 20 starts (including the final 17 games of the season). She also led team with a .317 batting average and had six doubles.
Rowan is also a standout off the field and in the classroom, having been named to the 2006-07, 2007-08, and 2008-09 C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll, an award given to student-athletes who carry a 3.0 GPA or higher for the school year.
Vanessa Walle returns for her second season at Memphis after spending her first two years at Phoenix College, where she helped the team win back-to-back Division II NJCAA championships. Last season, Walle helped anchor the Memphis pitching staff, playing in 37 games and making 31 starts (17 in the circle and 23 as the designated player).
“Vanessa is going to lead us on the mound this year,” said head coach Windy Thees. “She has all the pitches and has no problem switching speeds. She’s just a competitor.”
Walle ranked fifth in C-USA in fewest walks allowed (37) and ninth in batters struck out looking (34). She won eight games for the Tigers, tying her for the team lead and was second on the squad in ERA (3.42), innings pitches (122.2), batters struck out (69), appearances (24), and games started (17). She hit .235 with two home runs, four doubles, 10 RBI, and five runs scored.
Check back tomorrow as GoTigersGo.com previews the Tiger Softball newcomers.