Memphis Hosts Alcorn State in Final Midweek Home Games
April 14, 2008
For Immediate Release
MEMPHIS - The University of Memphis hosts its final midweek home contest on Tuesday against Alcorn State at 2 and 4 p.m. at the Tiger Softball Complex.
The Tigers (22-21) have won six of its last eight games and are 6-2 in midweek contests this season. The Lady Braves (20-25) are 4-6 in its last 10 games and are 9-4 in the SWAC.
Memphis holds a 2-0 all-time series advantage over Alcorn State. The Tigers first met the Lady Braves in a doubleheader in Memphis last season with the U of M earning 7-0 and 8-3 victories. Former Memphis pitcher Jenna Kubesch threw a no-hitter against Alcorn State in the first meeting.
This is one of two meetings between the two schools this year. A postponed doubleheader at Alcorn State has been rescheduled for April 22.
Memphis head coach Windy Thees is one win shy of the 250 mark in her career. In her eighth season and third at Memphis, Thees has a 249-164 career mark and 86-72 total with the Tigers. Thees hit the 200 mark last season.
Junior Tori Gross has been the biggest offensive threat for the Tigers in the past month. Since returning to the starting lineup on March 12, the second baseman has hit .400 with a .620 slugging percentage, .508 on base percentage, 11 RBI, seven extra base hits and only seven strikeouts in 22 games. Prior to her hot streak, Gross was hitting .043. She now is third on the team with a .288 average, second in slugging with a .479 percentage, second in on base percentage with a .429 clip and third in walks with 12.
Freshman Maddie McKinley had a coming out party of sorts in a three-game series with Southern Miss last week. The third baseman went 5-for-8 with five RBI and two runs scored. She knocked in the game-winning run against the Golden Eagles on Saturday with a 2-for-3 performance and a run scored. In the series finale, McKinley went 2-for-3 with a double and a two-run homer with four RBI to give Memphis a lead and the chance to win the game heading into the seventh.
Freshman Janelle Valle led the team in the circle last week, finishing 2-0 with a complete game four-hit shutout against Southern Miss. The lefty is 9-6 on the season and leads the team with a 2.83 ERA.
Alcorn State returns just three starters from last year's squad and brings in an entirely different pitching squad. Key returners are senior second baseman Amber Steeves, senior catcher Becky Mason and senior first baseman Melinda Ellis. Steeves went 2-for-3 with an RBI in the first game against Memphis last season. Steeves is a preseason first team All-SWAC selection and Mason and Ellis were second team picks.
Steeves leads the team with a .343 batting average, while freshman Hanako Kilburn leads the team in RBI with 33 and has a .322 average. Junior transfer Elise Powell leads the team in the circle with a 10-10 record and a 3.47 ERA. She has 113 strikeouts in 137.1 innings of work.
Alcorn State is second in the Eastern Division of the SWAC and is a game back from leading Mississippi Valley State.
The doubleheader between Memphis and Alcorn State can be followed live through GameTracker. Live streaming video and audio is also available to All-Access subscribers with Dan O'Brien calling the play-by-play. Links to the live content can be found at GoTigersGo.com.
Following the midweek doubleheader, the U of M will travel for a three-game conference series at UCF in Orlando, Fla., on Saturday and Sunday, April 19-20.
The doubleheader is Tax Day with two admissions for the price of one. It is also Military Appreciation Day with free admission given to military with ID.
Regular admission is $5 for adults 13 and up and $3 for senior citizens and youth ages 6-12. Children 5 and under and U of M students with their ID card get in free.