March 25, 2011
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The University of Memphis softball team will pack the bags and hit the road again after going 3-2 in their five-game home-stand with Mississippi Valley State and Houston. This weekend’s road trip will take the Tigers way out west, to face the UTEP Miners for a three-game Conference USA series, beginning Saturday, March 26, in El Paso. The Saturday doubleheader is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. (MT), with the second game to follow. Sunday’s finale is slated for a noon (MT) start.
The Tigers are taking the road again after their first significant home stand of 2011; Memphis was on the road for 18 of its first 20 contests, including wins against ranked foes from Ohio State and Stanford. While away from the friendly confines of the Tiger Softball Complex, Memphis compiled a 13-5 record.
Tigers Salvage Series with Houston
Carly Hummel’s complete-game, one-hit shutout of Houston gave the Tigers the rubber match victory, Sunday, and brought the U of M’s conference record back to .500 after two losses to open the series, Saturday. Senior Kailey Kassner hit her season’s first home run, Saturday, to power the Tiger offense. Sunday, timely baserunning from Alyssa Palmieri and hitting from Heather Mott provided all the spark Hummel would need. She was magnificent, striking out six and not allowing a hit for the first 6.1 innings. Hummel was efficient as well, needing just 89 pitches for the complete game.
Pitching Dominates Mississippi Valley State in Doubleheader Sweep
Carly Hummel threw a five-inning no hitter in an 8-0 game one victory leading Memphis to a pair of shutouts in a doubleheader sweep over Mississippi Valley State. The Tigers won game two 2-0 over the Delta Devils in a combined shutout by freshman Ellen Roberts and senior Lauren Carley. Hummel picked up her second no hitter of the season and first since throwing one to open the 2011 season against North Florida. It is the seventh no hitter in school history. Jessica Phillips blasted two home runs in the opening game, including a three-run shot to center that led to a five-run fifth inning.
Jessica Phillips went yard twice in a game for the second time this season when she hit two homers in game one against Mississippi Valley State. Phillips also hit a pair of homers in the opening week against DePaul. The junior has gone yard twice in a game three times in her career. She first performed the feat last season against Wichita State.
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.
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 10-3 record. Hummel is among the top pitcher’s in the conference in innings pitched (80.2; third), wins (10; tied for third), ERA (1.13; fourth), strike outs (93, fourth), opposing batting average (.145, third) and earned runs allowed (13; tied for fifth) and owns two of Conference USA’s six 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 is second in the conference in ERA (0.82) and earned runs allowed (five) and tied for first in home runs allowed (one). Meanwhile, Lauren Carley is tied for third in C-USA in hits allowed (29) and tied for second in runs allowed (13).
Better Late Than Never
The Tiger offense has produced 12 sixth-inning runs in 22 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. Memphis has four game-winning runs scored in the sixth inning.
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 34 starts in her career, Hummel is 16-2 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.
Hummel Tosses Two No Hitters
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. She then added her second no hitter of the season and seventh in program history with an 8-0 victory in five innings at home against Mississippi Valley State. Hummel retired 11-straight, before allowing the only base runner in the game, a walk.
All three games Memphis will play against UTEP 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
The Tigers will be without a mid-week opponent for the second week in a row, and will use the extra days without games to prepare to host Tulsa, April 2-3, in a pivotal C-USA weekend battle.