March 15, 2011
Complete Game Notes (PDF)
The University of Memphis softball team begins a five-game home stretch with a midweek doubleheader against Mississippi Valley State at the Tiger Softball Complex on Wednesday beginning at 4 p.m.
The Tigers return home after playing 18 of their first 20 games on the road. Memphis, off to the program's best start in school history with a 15-5 record, previously beat Mississippi Valley State in the Bulldog Classic in Starkville, Miss., 5-1. The Tigers are 27-0 all-time against schools from the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
Following the midweek doubleheader, the U of M will host a three-game conference series with perennial power Houston on Saturday and Sunday. The two teams will play a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. on Saturday and close with a noon contest on Sunday.
Tickets to the games are $5 for adults 13 and up and $3 for senior citizens and youth ages 6-12. Children under 5 and U of M Students (w/ID) are free.
Perennial Power Houston, SWAC foe Miss. Valley State Up Next for Tiger Softball
After taking two of three from defending champion East Carolina, Memphis will look to continue their climb in Conference USA. A midweek series with SWAC foe Mississippi Valley State, whom Memphis defeated 5-1 at the Bulldog Classic, will keep the Tigers sharp after not playing midweek since Feb. 23. The weekend series is a big one, with perennial C-USA power Houston coming to Memphis for the Tigers conference home opener. The Cougars fell out of the national rankings after getting swept in their conference-opening series, at home, against UAB.
All five games Memphis will play this week can be followed through live stats provided by CBS College Sports GameTracker. Live chat provided by Memphis Media Relations will also be available for each game. Links to the live chat and GameTracker can be found at GoTigersGo.com. All-Access video coverage can be found at gotigersgo.com
No mid-week match-ups for Memphis next week, with a trip to El Paso, Texas looming. The Tigers will head to UTEP for a three-game series, with a doubleheader looming March 26 and the series finale on Sunday, March 27.
Valle Named C-USA Pitcher of the Week
Memphis senior Janelle Valle went 1-0 with a save in three appearances to help Memphis win two of three at defending C-USA Champions, East Carolina, to open conference play. Valle allowed no runs and just one hit in 10 innings of work with six strikeouts. The Lake Elsinore, Calif., native earned the start in game three and out dueled C-USA Preseason Pitcher of the Year, Toni Paisley, throwing a complete-game, one hitter in a 1-0 victory. It is her first career complete-game one hitter and her second shutout of the season
Tigers take road series from defending champs to kick off 2011 C-USA schedule
Memphis took two of three contests from East Carolina in their season-opening conference series, besting the defending C-USA champions twice in their new stadium. After losing the series opener, 4-1, Memphis rebounded with a hard-fought game two win, 2-1. Lauren Carley pitched six innings for the win, while Janelle Valle picked up her third career save. In the Sunday rubber match, Valle started and picked up the win on a complete game, one-hit shutout, the sixth of her career. Jessica Phillips drove in the game's lone run, her team-leading 12th RBI. For Memphis, it was their first series win against ECU since the first year of Tiger softball in 2006.
Rain Interrupts Bulldog Classic
Inclement weather disrupted the Mississippi State Bulldog Classic, with the Tigers only able to play two Sunday games after washouts on Friday and Saturday. The Tigers were unable to play host Mississippi State at any time over the weekend. The weekend would prove to be an historical one, however. Against 22nd-ranked Texas A&M, sophomore Carly Hummel pitched one of the best games in U of M softball history, striking out a school-record 19 batters in 8.1 innings of two-hit ball while not allowing an earned run in the extra-inning affair. Catcher Amber Lindahl also found her way into the record books with a school-record 20 putouts. Memphis rebounded from its first loss of 2011 to a top-25 school with a win against Mississippi Valley State, with Kailey Kassner scoring two of Memphis' five runs in a 5-1 victory. Janelle Valle scattered three hits and one run while striking out a career-high nine batters.
3-1 West Coast Swing has Tigers receiving votes in polls
Memphis continued its torrid start to 2011 at the prestigious Stanford Nike Invitational, picking up three victories that has the Tigers on the cusp of national recognition. After rain washed out the invitational's opening game, the Tigers matched up with host and 16/17th-ranked Stanford. Memphis pulled its second upset of a top-25 squad in 2011, knocking off the Cardinal behind an impressive complete-game, six strikeout performance from ace Carly Hummel. Jessica Phillips drove in both runs for the Tigers. After getting shutout against reining Summit League Champions North Dakota State, 2-0, the Tigers rebounded with an 8-3 drubbing of UC Davis. Ashleigh King drove in three of the Tiger runs, with Hummel going the distance again for the victory. In the finale, Memphis erased a 2-0 deficit in the bottom of the seventh inning, tying the game up after Alyssa Palmieri singled and the ball was thrown away, allowing Morgan Mosby to score from second. The Tigers got two runs in the eighth off a Heather Mott to single to score Alex Marshall, with Mott coming around for what would be the deciding run on a Phillips sacrifice fly. Hummel would pick up her third win in as many days, this time coming on in relief and pitching two innings for her season's eighth victory. With a 12-3 record and two upsets of top-25 foes (Ohio State, Stanford) during the season's opening two weeks, Memphis earned two votes in the USA Today/NFCA Top-25 poll for the week of Mar. 1, the first time in school history Memphis has received votes in a nationally-recognized poll.
By beating Stanford in Palo Alto, the Tigers carved their own slice of Conference USA history. Never before had a C-USA school beaten a Pac-10 squad, at home, in the regular season, before the Tigers 2-1 win against the Cardinal. The only other time a C-USA team had beaten a Pac-10 team at home was when Houston defeated Washington in the 2008 NCAA Regional, sweeping the Huskies out of the NCAA Tournament with two wins.
Nice To Meet You
This season, the Tigers face nine opponents for the first time in program history. Nine of Memphis' first 14 opponents were teams the Tiger Softball program had never played. The Tigers are 46-50 all-time in first-time meetings and 28-24 when a first-time meeting is played at a neutral site.
Already, the 2011 season has been a series of close games. Memphis has already played 12 games decided by one run, going 9-3 in those contests; nine one-run victories leads Conference USA this season. Last season, Memphis was involved in 16 games decided by a run (31.4 percent) and 36 by three runs or less (70.6 percent). The Tigers were 7-9 in one-run games last year and 15-21 in games decided by three runs or less.
After not having a single win against a top-25 school in the program's first six years of existence, Memphis knocked off two top-25 opponents in the first two weeks of 2011, defeating No. 22/24 Ohio State, 7-3, at the FIU Combat Classic and then dispatching host and No. 16/17 Stanford, 2-1, at the Stanford Nike Invitational. Memphis' run of upsets was ended in an extra-inning thriller against No. 22 Texas A&M at the Bulldog Classic.
Hummel Among C-USA Leaders
Carly Hummel is proving that her snub during pre-season all-conference voting was an oversight, starting the season off with a stellar 8-1 record. Hummel is among the top pitcher's in the conference in innings pitched (62.0; third), wins (eight; tied for second), ERA (0.79; second), strike outs (72, fourth), opposing batting average (.145, fourth) and home runs allowed (one; third) and owns one of Conference USA's four no-hitters this season. She is also one of two pitchers (Houston's Donna Bourgeois) to have two wins over top-25 opponents this season.
While Hummel is the ace of the Tiger pitching staff, Coach Thees' other pitchers are quietly putting together an impressive year. Janelle Valle also has an ERA below one (0.99) and is tied for second in C-USA in earned runs allowed (four) and tied with Hummel in home runs allowed (one). Meanwhile, Lauren Carley is second in the C-USA in hits allowed (14) and runs allowed (five).
Better Late Than Never
The Tiger offense has produced 12 sixth-inning runs in 17 games and those 12 runs have come in handy. Memphis tied DePaul with a two-run sixth and rallied with four runs in the sixth against FIU to tie, but dropped both games. At the Panther Invitational, Memphis used the sixth inning to earn three victories. Memphis used one-run sixth innings to post victories over Appalachian State and Lipscomb. A three-run sixth helped the Tigers top Georgia State after trailing 2-0 entering the bottom of the sixth inning. Against Stanford, Jessica Phillips' sixth-inning home run proved to be the difference in the Tigers upset of the 16th-ranked Cardinal.
Three Is The Magic Number
When Carly Hummel steps in the pitching circle as a starter, all she needs is three runs of support. With 29 starts in her career, Hummel is 15-2 when the Tiger offense puts three or more runs on the board. Her only losses in which the Tigers scored three or more runs came against Tulsa on March 27 and 28 of 2010.
Memphis has scored 24 first-inning runs this season. The Tigers topped North Florida 3-0 to open the season and all three runs came in the first inning. After scoring one run in the first against Ohio State, the U of M scored two runs off a Maddie McKinley two-run shot to take an early lead against Kentucky. Memphis scored four runs in the first inning in both games of the doubleheader against Alabama A&M. The Tigers got on the board first against Stanford as well. When scoring in the first inning this season, Memphis is 9-1 and 11-1 when scoring first in a game.
In a season where they will see plenty of schools for the first time, Memphis has a familiar (and successful) feel for the Southwestern Athletic Conference. All-time against the SWAC, Memphis is 27-0 heading into their mid-week doubleheader with Mississippi Valley State. Memphis is 4-0 all-time against the Delta Devils, having beaten them once already in 2011 at the Bulldog Classic. The Tigers will also host a doubleheader against Alabama State, another SWAC school, on April 6.
Mott Adds To Triple Record
Senior shortstop Heather Mott added a triple to her school record for career triples with a three-bagger against Alabama A&M on Feb. 23. Mott hit a lead-off triple in the sixth inning to help Memphis to a 1-0 victory in the first game of the doubleheader. The triple was the ninth in her career and Mott holds the record over Leila Dolfo who had five career triples.
After no stolen bases in the first two games, the Tigers shifted gears over the next 13 games, swiping 19 bags. Maddie McKinley leads the Tigers in stolen bases, with seven steals in eight attempts; she became the first Tiger to steal home since Lelani Bernardino against Mississippi Valley State, Mar. 30, 2010. Her eight steals are tied for seventh in Conference USA in 2011.
Coach Thees Win Milestones
When Memphis took the field on Feb. 11 against North Florida, head coach Windy Thees was seeking her 300th career victory. Carly Hummel threw a no hitter to help Thees earn her 300th career victory. Thees is in her 11th season as a skipper with a 314-234 record. In just six seasons at the program she built from scratch, Thees has compiled a record of 151-142. She got her 150th win at the U of M at East Carolina, Mar. 12.
Hummel Tosses No Hitter
Sophomore pitcher Carly Hummel tossed the sixth no hitter in program history on Feb. 11 at the FIU Combat Classic. After throwing four one-hitters in her freshman campaign, Hummel started her sophomore season with her first career no hitter. Hummel didn't allow a hit through nine and two thirds innings pitched this season.
Memphis Sweeps C-USA Weekly Awards
The U of M swept the C-USA weekly awards in week one of the season as pitcher Carly Hummel earned C-USA Pitcher of the Week honors and first baseman Jessica Phillips picked up C-USA Hitter of the Week accolades. Hummel tossed a no-hitter in the season-opener and finished week one with a 3-0 record, a 1.24 ERA and allowed just 12 hits. Phillips homered twice and drove in five in the first week of action and posted a .462 batting average in the opening week of action. With Hummel and Phillips earning the weekly awards, the U of M softball program records its first sweep of the weekly awards in program history. Phillips is the second player to earn the weekly hitting award in program history.
Head Coach Windy Thees has built a 2011 roster than features 11 of 22 players that are juniors or seniors. With that experience comes 742 combined starts entering the 2011 season between the 16 returning letterwinners. In the circle the Tigers feature two seniors, but only 67 career starts between Janelle Valle (39), Carly Hummel (24) and Lauren Carly (4).
Name Class-Pos GP-GS Key Stats
McKinley Sr.-3B/OF 50-50 4 HR, 25 RBI
Bernardino Jr.-OF 51-51 1 HR, 12 RBI
Mott R-Sr-SS 46-46 3 HR, 9 RBI
Phillips Jr.-1B 49-44 4 HR, 11 RBI
Prestridge Sr.-C 49-49 2 HR, 10 RBI
Kassner Sr.-DP 44-31 1 HR, 13 RBI
Palmieri Jr.-2B 45-45 0 HR, 3 RBI
Marshall Sr.-OF 44-30 0 HR, 1 RBI
Chester* R-So.-OF 47-32 1 HR, 13 RBI
*-Denotes 2009 Stats
Name Class APP-GS Key Stats
Hummel So. 31-24 1.74 ERA, 210Ks
Carley Sr. 17-4 1.62 ERA, 47 Ks
Valle Sr. 8-1 4.97 ERA, 11 Ks
Hummel Joins 200K Club
Carly Hummel became just the second Tiger pitcher to reach 200 strikeouts in one season joining Jenna Kubesch who struck out 243 batters in 2007. Hummel is the third Memphis player to reach 200 K's in a career joining Kubesch (401) and Nicki Johnson (234). Hummel finished her freshman campaign with 210 strikeouts and has 53 strikeouts this season to move into second place for career strikeouts in program history. Hummel currently owns the school record for strikeouts per game with an average of 7.97.
Tigers Collect First Win Over Ranked Team
The U of M posted its first win over a ranked opponent in school history with a 7-3 eighth inning victory over No. 22/24 Ohio State. The Tigers had faced 13 ranked programs in the five seasons prior to the Feb. 12 meeting with Ohio State. Memphis had fallen all 13 times with the last game against a ranked opponent falling on Feb. 7, 2009 against No. 3/2 Alabama.