April 6, 2010
MARTIN, Tenn. - The University of Memphis softball team travels to UT Martin for a midweek in-state doubleheader on Wednesday at 4 and 6 p.m.
The doubleheader begins a five game road swing for the Tigers (19-13, 6-5 C-USA). Memphis went 4-1 at home last week, including a 2-1 series victory over Marshall. The U of M also swept a doubleheader with perennial NCAA Tournament participant Mississippi Valley State.
Freshman RHP Carly Hummel led the team in the circle, going 3-0 on the week. She struck out a school record 15 batters against MVSU and earned both victories against Marshall, including an eight-inning thriller. Hummel is 11-6 on the season with a 1.76 ERA and a .139 opponent batting average. She has struck out 145 batters in 107.1 innings, which ranks as the third highest season total in school history and nine K's away from moving into second.
The Tigers continue to lead the league in ERA with a 1.58 mark, which ranks eighth nationally, and in opponent batting average with .170. The Tigers have allowed just 10 home runs and 34 total extra base hits. Memphis has a 2.8 strikeout to K ratio and are allowing just 2.22 runs per game. Senior Vanessa Walle (7-5) leads the conference with a 1.19 ERA and 13 earned runs allowed.
At the plate, sophomore outfielder Lelani Bernardino led the team last week with a .500 batting average (7-for-14). She had three extra base hits, two runs scored and two RBI. Walle and senior outfielder Leigh Rowan both hit .375 in the five games last week. Rowan had four RBI and four runs scored. She leads the team with a .340 batting average, 19 RBI and five home runs.
As a team, the Tigers are hitting .226 with 112 runs scored in 32 games (3.5 average). Memphis has 18 home runs and is 34 for 39 in stolen bases.
UT Martin is off to a 27-6 start and had received votes in the national polls for the last five weeks before falling out this week. The Skyhawks are 8-2 in the Ohio Valley Conference and enter the week after losing two of three at Jacksonville State last weekend.
As a team, UT Martin is hitting .321 with 42 home runs and 212 runs scored in 33 games. The Skyhawks have seven players hitting over .300 in the starting lineup. Megan Williams leads the team with a .396 average and has eight home runs, 24 RBI and 26 runs scored. Jenny Bain leads the squad with 30 RBI and has a .377 average with seven home runs and 28 runs scored.
In the circle, junior transfer Kate Vanderham leads the Skyhawks with a 9-1 record and a 1.76 ERA. Senior Paij Lintz is 12-2 with a 2.16 ERA. UT Martin has a 2.18 team ERA and a .230 opponent batting average.
History: Memphis vs. UT Martin
Memphis holds a 6-2 all-time advantage over UT-Martin and has won the last six meetings. The Tigers are 2-2 all-time in Martin, Tenn. Last year, the Tigers swept a doubleheader in Memphis, including a 5-4 nine inning thriller in game two. Three of the eight previous meetings have been decided by a run.
Both games of the doubleheader with UT Martin can be followed live with live stats provided by GameTracker. A live chat will also be available. Free streaming audio is also available through the UT Martin student radio station, WUTM 90.3. Links to the live broadcasts can be found on the softball schedule page at GoTigersGo.com.
Last Time vs. UT Martin
The Tigers swept a doubleheader with UT Martin in Memphis on April 1, 2009. Janelle Valle earned a 7-2 victory in game one, scattering nine hits and striking out two. In game two, Vanessa Walle earned a 5-4 nine-inning victory in relief, pitching five innings and knocking in the game-winning run on a sacrifice fly.
Memphis swept a midweek doubleheader with Mississippi Valley State on March 30 at home winning 4-1 and 5-1. MVSU has won the SWAC championship the past six years and received the league's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. Freshman Carly Hummel threw a two-hitter in game one for a 4-1 victory. She struck out a school record 15 batters in the game. Hummel struck out the side in four of the seven innings. In game two, Vanessa Walle and Lauren Carley teamed up for a 5-1 victory. Memphis scored five runs on 11 hits with Leigh Rowan leading the team with a 3-for-3 performance and three RBI. Rowan hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning and also doubled in the game. Both runs given up by Memphis in the doubleheader were unearned.
The Tigers then one its first ever series with Marshall, 2-1. Memphis took game one, 5-4, on a seventh inning walk off pinch hit single by Kailey Kassner. Marshall then one game two after scoring three unearned runs on four Memphis errors in the first two innings of a 4-2 Tiger loss. In game three, Memphis again used a walk-off hit to win, this time a two-out solo home run by Jessica Phillips in the eighth inning of a 2-1 victory.
Memphis will continue its five game road swing with a three-game conference series at Houston on Saturday and Sunday.
Tiger Pitching Ranks Eighth in Nation
The Memphis pitching staff ranks eighth in the nation in ERA through games on April 4 with a 1.58 mark. Senior Vanessa Walle ranks 17th nationally in ERA (1.19) and freshman Carly Hummel ranks 43rd (1.76). Hummel also ranks sixth nationally in hits allowed per seven innings (3.26).
The midweek doubleheader will mark the reunion of Memphis assistant coach Ashley Blanton with her former employer. Blanton spent the 2006 season as a graduate assistant coach with UT Martin. In the series between Memphis and UT Martin, Blanton has always served on the winning team. Her one year with the Skyhawks saw the team defeat the Tigers in a doubleheader sweep. Since coming to Memphis, the U of M has won six-straight against UT Martin.
Tigers Against Instate Opponents
After sweeping Belmont at home, Memphis is now 22-10 all-time against opponents from the state of Tennessee and 11-3 all-time against those schools at home. Memphis will play a total of four schools from Tennessee this season, with all but one coming as midweek doubleheaders at home. The Tigers will host Belmont, Middle Tennessee and Tennessee State and play on the road at UT Martin in 2010.
Shedding the Sophomore Jinx
Lelani Bernardino led the Tigers in week eight with a .500 batting average (7-for-14) and had three extra base hits, two runs scored and two RBI. Bernardino had two multi-hit games in the week and is tied for the team lead in the category with Leigh Rowan with eight. Bernardino is hitting .295 on the season with nine RBI, 16 runs scored and six doubles.
Walking in Memphis
Junior catcher Keanah Prestridge may not be hitting a lot in conference play, but she is finding ways to get on base. The transfer from Seminole State College is still looking for her first conference hit, but is tied for second in the league in walks in conference games with 12. She leads the team in walks with 21, which ranks fourth in C-USA. Prestridge is hitting .184 on the season, but is third on the team in on base percentage with a .380 average. She tied a school record with three walks in the final game of the series with Marshall.
Scouting UT Martin
UT Martin won the Ohio Valley Conference Championship in 2009 and earned the league's automatic bid in to the NCAA Tournament.
The Skyhawks are 27-6 this season and 8-2 in the Ohio Valley Conference. UT Martin is 7-0 at home.
As a team, UT Martin pitchers have a 2.18 ERA with a .230 opponent batting average. The team has struck out 183 in 212.1 innings (6.0 average per 7/inn.).
UT Martin is averaging 7.0 runs per 7/innings, while allowing an average of 3.1 runs to opponents.
The Skyhawks have a team batting average of .321 and a .400 on base percentage. Seven starters are hitting about .300. UT Martin has hit 42 home runs in 33 games and stolen 47 bases.
UT Martin has received votes in the national polls the last five weeks before dropping out this week.