Marshall Hosts Critical Three-Game Conference Series
April 20, 2007
For Immediate Release
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The University of Memphis softball team will hit the road for the final time in conference play, traveling to Marshall for a three-game series beginning Saturday at Dot Hicks Field. The two teams will open with a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 1 p.m. (EST) and close the series with a single game on Sunday at 1 p.m.
With only nine conference games remaining for the Tigers, this weekend's series is a pivotal point for Memphis in its bid for a Conference USA Tournament spot. The U of M is currently last in the league with a 4-9 conference record and are 26-17 overall. But Memphis only trails second place East Carolina by three and a half games.
The series is also critical for Marshall. The Thundering Herd has only six conference games remaining and are in seventh place with a 7-11 league record and 25-22 overall. Only the top six teams in the conference make the league's post season to battle for the automatic NCAA Championship bid.
Memphis is two wins away from surpassing its inaugural season win total of 28 in 2006. The Tigers enter the week ranked 60th in RPI and 75th in strength of schedule. Already four home runs more than last season with 37, the U of M is ranked 60th nationally in long balls with a .81 average per game.
Sophomore Leila Dolfo is ranked 29th nationally in doubles and leads the team with 15. The shortstop also leads the team in home runs with eight and in slugging percentage with a .561 clip. Senior first baseman Kara Ross leads the team in batting with a .315 average and in RBI with 32, while senior third baseman Bridgette McNulty follows closely behind with a .305 average and 29 RBI.
In the circle, senior Jenna Kubesch pitched her fifth shutout of the season earlier this week in a two-hitter against Tennessee State. The Weimar, Texas native holds Memphis season highs in wins (17) and strikeouts (160). Kubesch is 17-7 with a 2.56 ERA and a 4.8 strikeout to walk ratio.
Marshall swept Ohio in a midweek doubleheader earlier this week. The Thundering Herd has a three-game winning streak after dropping seven in a row and eight of its last 10 conference games. Marshall is ranked 84th in RPI and 64th in strength of schedule. The Tigers lost two out of three games to the Thundering Herd last season in Southaven, Miss.
The Thundering Herd is led by junior All-American catcher Rachel Folden who is hitting .425 with 11 home runs and 40 RBI. Folden leads the nation in walks with 43. Junior infielder Samantha Rodriguez leads the team in RBI with 44 and is hitting .316 with 14 doubles and eight home runs. As a team, Marshall is third in the league with a .290 batting average.
Senior southpaw Abigail Harter leads Marshall on the circle with an 11-13 record and 3.36 ERA with 89 strikeouts. Senior right-handed pitcher Amanda Luers is second on the team in innings pitched and has a 9-5 record with a 3.51 ERA and 60 K's.
Live stats and live audio are available for all three games with Marshall. Live stats can be accessed through Gametracker and free streaming live audio is available through the Marshall student radio station WMUL. A link to the live coverage is available at GoTigersGo.com.