Softball Plays Season's Final Midweek Contest at Samford
April 14, 2009
For Immediate Release
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The University of Memphis softball team will play its final midweek doubleheader of the season on Wednesday at Samford in Birmingham, Ala. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. at the Bulldog Softball Field.
Memphis (19-21, 5-10 C-USA) has found success this year in midweek games and is 10-2 overall in contests scheduled between Monday-Thursday and 5-1 in Wednesday match-ups. Samford (12-22, 6-12 SoCon) is 3-10 in its last 10 games and won one of three games last week against UNC Greensboro.
The doubleheader is the first meeting between the two programs.
The Tigers enter the week after sweeping a three-game league series against preseason conference favorite Houston in Memphis. The U of M made comebacks in all three games after early Cougar leads and handed Houston its first league sweep since Louisville did it in 2005.
Memphis also run-ruled the Cougars in game two, marking the first time for Houston since Texas A&M did it in the NCAA Regions in 2007. Sophomore Janelle Valle and Kimber Bossom combined for a one-hitter in eight innings in game three's extra inning victory to complete the sweep.
Freshman Nikki Moreno went 5-for-7 (.714) in the three-game sweep over Houston to earn Conference USA Hitter of the Week honors. She finished with five RBI, two runs scored, a 1.286 slugging percentage, two walks and no strikeouts. Moreno increased her season batting average nearly 50 points in the three games from .254 to .303 and nearly doubled her RBI production on the year. She is the first Memphis player to receive the weekly hitting honor and the first Tiger to receive a weekly award since former pitcher Jenna Kubesch in 2007.
The Tigers are 6-4 in their last 10 games with Moreno leading the team in the span with a .429 batting average. Fellow freshman Jessica Phillips and Lelani Bernardino have also carried a hot bat in the last 10 games. Phillips is hitting .375 with five RBI and three doubles in the span, and Bernardino is hitting .355 with four RBI.
The U of M pitching staff has also been strong in the last 10 games with a combined 2.51 ERA and a .229 batting average against. Valle has seen the most work in the stretch, pitching 37.1 of 67 innings. The southpaw is 3-2 with a 2.62 ERA and 15 strikeouts during the stretch.
Samford is led by former Colorado Silver Bullets pitcher Beanie Ketcham. The school is in its first year of play in the Southern Conference. The Bulldogs previously were a member of the Ohio Valley Conference.
Senior Kylie Harmon is hitting .345 on the season for Samford, while senior Kristy Lawrence is ranked in the top five on the team in hitting (.340), RBI (19), home runs (4) and runs scored (17). Junior pitcher Stephanie Royalle (7-8) was named SoCon Pitcher of the Week twice in the month of March.
Both games of the doubleheader against Samford can be followed through live stats provided by CBS College Sports GameTracker. Links to the live broadcasts can be found at GoTigersGo.com.