Memphis Battles UCF in Three-Game League Series
April 17, 2008
For Immediate Release
ORLANDO, Fla. - The University of Memphis travels to Orlando, Fla., for a three-game conference series against UCF on Saturday and Sunday at the UCF Softball Complex. The two teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 1 p.m. (EST) and close with a single game on Sunday at noon (EST).
The Tigers (24-21, 4-10) are winners of eight of its last 10 games and enter the series after a midweek sweep of Alcorn State by a combined score of 17-2. The Knights (36-17, 11-6) are second in the league standings, but dropped two of three games at UTEP last week, a team Memphis swept in three earlier in the year.
The Tigers are 4-2 all-time against the Knights and have won the last four meetings. Last year, Memphis swept a three-game series in Memphis to end the regular season and give the Tigers a spot in the C-USA Tournament. All three of those games were 2-1 victories, including an 11-inning thriller in game one.
In all, five of the six match-ups have been one run games with the biggest win differential coming in a 3-1 Memphis victory in 2006. The Tigers have out-scored the Knights 13-10 in its all-time series and are 1-2 in Orlando.
At 4-10 in Conference USA play, Memphis matches its league mark through 12 league games last season. In 2007, the Tigers went on to lose the next two games for a 4-12 start. But the U of M won the remaining six league contests to finish sixth in the C-USA standings and earn the final spot in the conference tournament.
Memphis head coach Windy Thees reached the 250 career win milestone against Alcorn State on April 15. In her eighth season and third at Memphis, Thees has a 251-164 career mark and 88-72 total with the Tigers. Thees hit the 200 mark last season.
Freshman infielder Maddie McKinley has been one of the hottest Tigers offensively the past five games. In the second practice of the fall, McKinley broke her ankle on a sliding drill and did not return until January, just before the start of the 2008 season. A starter in 16 of the last 17 games, McKinley broke out against Southern Miss with five hits, five RBI and two runs scored. In the last five games, McKinley is hitting .538 with a homer, three doubles and eight RBI.
Junior Tori Gross has also remained hot for Memphis. Since returning to the starting lineup on March 12, the second baseman has hit .421 with a .649 slugging percentage, .515 on base percentage, 13 RBI, nine extra base hits and only seven strikeouts in 24 games. Prior to her hot streak, Gross was hitting .043. She now is second on the team with a .313 average, second in slugging with a .513 percentage, second in on base percentage with a .439 clip and third in walks with 12.
UCF is 7-3 in its last 10 games and has an RPI ranked 23rd nationally. The Knights are the fifth team Memphis will play in the top 25 RPI. The Tigers are 1-9 against the top 50 RPI this season.
UCF is 19-9 at home this season and has won 13 of its last 15 home games. Though not a power hitting team with only 10 homers on the season and a .327 slugging percentage, UCF is second in the conference in hits (370) and third in runs scored (222).
The Knights are at or near the top of the league in ever pitching category and lead the conference in strikeouts (356) and are second in ERA (1.77). Senior RHP Allison Kime was a All-Conference USA First Team selection last season and leads the team with a 21-9 record and a 1.12 ERA with 249 strikeouts. She leads the conference in K's with almost 50 more than anybody else.
The three-game series between Memphis and UCF can be followed live through GameTracker. Live streaming video and audio is also available to All-Access subscribers with UCF's radio crew calling the play-by-play. A free audio only version of the radio broadcast is also available. Links to the live content can be found at GoTigersGo.com.