Memphis Hosts UAB in Critical Final Home Series
Go Tigers!
Go Tigers!

Go Tigers!

April 29, 2011

Live Coverage Links
vs. UAB Saturday, 1 p.m. GameTracker  Live Blog  All-Access Video
vs. UAB Saturday, 3 p.m. GameTracker  Live Blog  All-Access Video
vs. UAB Sunday, 1 p.m. GameTracker  Live Blog  All-Access Video

Catcher Keanah Prestridge is among seven Memphis seniors who will be honored before Saturday's doubleheader against UAB.


MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The University of Memphis softball team will host a three-game Conference USA series with UAB in the Tigers' final home games of the season on Saturday and Sunday at the Tiger Softball Complex.

Saturday's games are part of a tripleheader at the Park Avenue Campus with Memphis baseball hosting a doubleheader with Marshall and the Tiger track and field program hosting their Memphis Tigers Invite. All events on Saturday at the Park Avenue Campus are free to the public.

Prior to Saturday's doubleheader with UAB, Memphis will honor a program high seven seniors. Playing in the final home games of their career are Lauren Carley, Kailey Kassner, Alex Marshall, Maddie McKinley, Heather Mott, Keanah Prestridge and Janelle Valle. First pitch on Saturday is 1 p.m. with the second game beginning 20 minutes after the conclusion of game one. The two teams play the final game of the series on Sunday at 1 p.m.

The series with UAB is a critical match-up for both teams who are fighting for bids into the NCAA Tournament. Both teams rank in the top 50 nationally in RPI with Memphis (31-10, 11-6) entering the week at No. 42 and UAB (33-15, 13-5) ranked 34. The Tigers are fifth in the C-USA standings, while the Blazers are tied for second. However, only the two teams are separated by just one game in the loss column.

Memphis will be looking to improve on its program record 10-game winning streak. The last time the Tigers lost came against Tulsa on April 3.

Offensively, Memphis is hitting .254 and rank second in the conference with a .418 slugging percentage. The U of M is also tied for second in home runs in C-USA with 33 and fourth in runs scored with 198.

Leading the way are senior shortstop Heather Mott, senior third baseman Maddie McKinley and junior first baseman Jessica Phillips. All three have an active hitting streak of 10 games or more. Mott leads the team with a .370 batting average, while Phillips is hitting .360 and McKinley is boasts a .317 clip. The trio has combined for 28 home runs, 94 RBI and 86 runs scored. Phillips, the reigning C-USA Hitter of the Week, holds the school record for most home runs in a season with 14 and RBI with 43.

In the circle, Memphis ranks fourth in the conference with a 1.79 ERA and a .195 opponent batting average. The Tigers have thrown a school record for most shutouts in a season with 14. Sophomore RHP Carly Hummel is 18-4 on the year with a 1.26 ERA and 165 strikeouts in 127.1 innings. She set a new season record for shutouts with eight and has thrown a no hitter in three games. Senior LHP Janelle Valle is 5-2 with a 1.73 ERA and senior RHP Lauren Carley is 5-4 with a 2.55 ERA.

As a team, UAB is hitting .255 with 16 home runs and a .341 slugging percentage. The Blazers are led by senior outfielder Caley Walden who is batting .348 with 11 RBI and 27 runs scored. Junior Kayla Orr leads the team in RBI with 23.

Three pitchers see significant time in the circle for UAB, which has a team ERA of 1.61 and 16 shutouts. Freshman LHP Leigh Streetman leads the team with a 1.38 ERA and is 11-6 with 149 strikeouts in 142.0 innings. Sophomore RHP Lauren Webster is 10-3 with a 1.45 ERA and senior RHP Alisha Smith is 9-4 with a 1.89 ERA.

Last year, the Blazers took two of three from Memphis in Birmingham, Ala. In the opener, the Tigers clinched a berth in the C-USA tournament with a 4-1 victory. Lelani Bernardino had two hits and Mott and McKinley drove in runs for Memphis, while Hummel won her 14th game and Valle picked up the save. McKinley drove in two runs in the second game, but Memphis fell, 5-2. The rubbermatch was an epic pitching duel between Hummel and Webster assisted by Amber Torres, ultimately won by UAB, 1-0, in eight innings.

Following the weekend, Memphis will play the final games in regular season with a three-game series at Southern Miss next week in Hattiesburg, Miss.

Live Coverage
The series with UAB can be followed through live stats provided by CBS College Sports GameTracker. Live chat provided by Memphis Media Relations will also be available for each game. Links to the live chat and GameTracker can be found at GoTigersGo.com. Memphis Media Relations will also provide All-Access video, for which a link will be provided at GoTigersGo.com.

Rainy Days are Here...Again
With its last non-conference game of the season cancelled due to inclement weather, Memphis has now lost eight games due to storms this season. The Tigers eight lost games were against opponents with an average RPI (Ratings Percentage Index) of 92.5; Memphis has 10 wins against RPI Top-100 competition this season.

Phillips Earns Third POW Honor
Phillips led Memphis with a .543 batting average, 10 RBI, three home runs and four runs scored as the team went 4-0 on the week with a run-rule victory over Arkansas and a three-game conference sweep against UCF. She also had a 1.455 slugging percentage with a .615 on base percentage. The junior has hit safely in a career best 10-straight games and has recorded an RBI in nine of those 10 contests, including the last six. The first baseman began the week with a 3-for-4 performance against Arkansas with two home runs, including a grand slam, six RBI and three runs scored. It marked her fourth multi-homer game of the season and fifth of her career. The six RBI also tied her career high for the second time this year. The grand slam was also her second of the season. Phillips then went 3-for-7 against UCF with four RBI and two walks. She hit her third home run of the week in the first inning of game one against UCF to help Memphis earn a 3-0 shutout. Phillips also doubled in a run in game two and went 1-for-2 with an RBI to wrap up the sweep in game three. The Chattanooga, Tenn., native became the school record holder for home runs in a season with 14 and RBI with 43 during last week's play.

On Deck
The Tigers will travel to Hattiesburg to complete their 2011 regular season, taking on C-USA cellar dweller Southern Miss in a three-game series. The Golden Eagles will host a Saturday, May 7 doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. (CT), before the conclusion of the regular season Sunday, May 8, at 1 p.m.

Glove Work
Coinciding with the Tigers wildly successful April has been stellar defensive play. Since the beginning of the month, Memphis as a team owns a fielding percentage of .977, raising the team's percentage on the season up to .968. In the past 10 games, the Tigers have been nearly flawless, committing just two errors in 247 chances.


 

 

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