April 13, 2010
MEMPHIS - The University of Memphis softball team hosts a doubleheader with Alabama State on Wednesday and one with Middle Tennessee on Thursday to begin a seven-game home stretch. The game times against Alabama State are 3 and 5 p.m. and 2 and 4 p.m. against MTSU.
The Tigers close out the week with a three-game conference series against Southern Miss at the Tiger Softball Complex on Saturday and Sunday.
Memphis (19-16, 6-8 C-USA) looks to snap a three-game losing streak, the longest of the season. The U of M lost all three contests at Houston last week.
Sophomore outfielder Lelani Bernardino led the team last week with a pair of hits, four walks a RBI and a run scored against the Cougars. She is second on the team with a .297 batting average and has 10 RBI and 17 runs scored. Junior third baseman Maddie McKinley went 2-for-4 in game three with Houston and had a three-run homer. She is hitting .296 with three home runs, 17 RBI and a team-best 20 runs scored.
The Tigers are hitting .219 with 116 runs scored in 35 games. Memphis has 19 home runs, a .326 slugging percentage, .316 on base percentage and have stolen 35 bases in 42 attempts.
The Memphis pitching staff continues to lead Conference USA with a 1.73 ERA, which ranks 18th nationally. The Tigers have K'd 230 batters in 235.1 innings and have a .241 opponent batting average. Senior Vanessa Walle (7-7) leads the team in ERA with a 1.32 mark and freshman Carly Hummel (11-7 leads the squad in strikeouts (149) and opponent batting average (.148).
Alabama State comes to Memphis with a 9-22 overall record and are 6-5 in the SWAC. The Hornets have lost four-straight and were swept in a three-game series with Jackson State last week.
Middle Tennessee is 14-19 overall and 5-10 in the Sun Belt. The Blue Raiders went 2-4 last week with a win in a three game series with Louisiana-Lafayette and Louisiana-Monroe.
History: Memphis vs. Alabama State
This will be the first meeting between Memphis and Alabama State. The Tigers are 22-0 all-time against teams from the SWAC and are 2-0 this season with a doubleheader home sweep over Mississippi Valley State.
History: Memphis vs. Middle Tennessee
Memphis leads the all-time series with Middle Tennessee with a 6-1 record. The Tigers are 1-1 against the Blue Raiders at home, 4-0 on the road and 1-0 in neutral games. The U of M has won the last six meetings with the last four coming at Middle Tennessee. The only previous meeting between the two schools in Memphis came in the Tigers' inaugural season in 2006. The Blue Raiders won the first ever meeting with a 3-2 victory and the Tigers won the second game of the doubleheader, 2-0.
All four games in the doubleheaders against Alabama State and Middle Tennessee can be followed live with live stats provided by GameTracker. A live chat will also be available. Streaming video with audio is also available to Memphis All-Access subscribers. Links to the live broadcasts can be found on the softball schedule page at GoTigersGo.com.
Last Time vs. Middle Tennessee
The last meeting between Memphis and Middle Tennessee came last season in Murfreesboro, Tenn. Memphis swept the doubleheader by a combined score of 22-7. The Tigers won the first game, 10-2, and earned a 12-5 win in game two. Heather Mott lead the team with five RBI in the two games. She went 3-for-3 in game one with two doubles, three RBI and two runs scored. Maddie McKinley also had four RBI and had a three-run homer in game two. Lelani Bernardino went 4-for-7 with an RBI and five runs scored in the two games. Vanessa Walle and Janelle Valle earned the victories in the circle.
Houston swept Memphis in a three-game conference series in Houston, Texas. The Tigers were shut out in the first two games, 4-0 and 5-0. Freshman Bailey Watts threw a no-hitter in game two against the Tigers, who managed just three hits in the two games. In the third game of the series, the U of M had a 4-0 lead going into the bottom of the fourth inning after an RBI single by Lelani Bernardino and a three-run homer by Maddie McKinley. But Houston scored six unearned runs in the final three innings to win, 7-4.
Memphis will remain home to close out the seven-day home schedule with a three-game league series against Southern Miss. The two teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday at 1 and 3 p.m. and close with a 1 p.m. contest on Sunday.
Tiger Pitching Ranks 18th in Nation
The Memphis pitching staff ranks 18th in the nation in ERA through games on April 11 with a 1.73 mark. Senior Vanessa Walle ranks 27th nationally in ERA (1.32) and freshman Carly Hummel ranks 68th (1.92). Hummel also ranks ninth nationally in hits allowed per seven innings (3.53).
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 three schools from Tennessee this season, with all but one coming as midweek doubleheaders at home. The Tigers will host Belmont and Middle Tennessee and play on the road at UT Martin in 2010.
Scouting Alabama State
Memphis will see a familiar face on the visiting sideline in assistant coach Brittney Pigott. Pigott transferred to Southern Miss and faced the Tigers as a left fielder for a three-game series in Memphis in 2008. The Golden Eagles won the series, 2-1.
Sophomore infielder Boshia Richardson leads the team in batting average (.343) and runs scored (20). She also has one home run and eight runs scored. Sophomore utility Ayesha Famble leads the team in home runs (3) and runs scored (19) and is hitting .309.
The Hornets (9-22, 6-5 SWAC) are batting .250 as a team and have scored 92 runs in 31 games. ASU has a .331 slugging percentage, .318 on base percentage and have stolen 36 bases in 45 attempts.
Senior RHP Destinee Sanchez leads the team in the circle with a 5-13 record and a 3.55 ERA. She has 67 K's in 136 innings pitched and is allowing a .292 opponent batting average. Freshman Amanda Garcia is 4-9 with a 4.41 ERA.
Alabama State has a team 3.81 ERA with 101 K's and 55 walks in 196.1 innings.
Scouting Middle Tennessee
Middle Tennessee (14-19, 5-10 Sun Belt) comes to Memphis after going 2-4 last week against Louisiana-Lafayette and North Texas. The Blue Raiders won one of three games against both teams.
The Blue Raiders are hitting .230 as a team with 14 home runs and 93 runs scored in 33 games. MTSU has a .311 slugging percentage, .303 on base percentage and have stolen 35 bases in 41 attempts.
Senior outfielder Corrie Abel leads the team in hitting with a .327 average and 14 runs scored. She has six RBI and seven stolen bases. Junior outfielder Kelsey Dortch leads the team in home runs with four and has 10 RBI, 14 runs scored and is hitting .220.
In the circle, senior LHP Lindsey Vander Lugt leads the team with a 13-12 record. She has a 2.85 ERA with 125 K's and 19 walks in 142.2 innings. Opponents are hitting .259 off her.
As a team, MTSU has a 3.68 ERA with a .293 opponent batting average.