@MemphisSoftball Closes Out Regular Season With Louisville
May 2, 2014
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -
The University of Memphis closes out the regular season with a three-game conference series against Louisville this weekend at the Tigers Softball Complex. A doubleheader is scheduled for Saturday with the first game slated to begin at 1 p.m. and the final game to be played Sunday at 12 p.m.
Memphis is 0-1 all-time in the matchup against Louisville. The lone matchup between the two came on Mar. 2, 2012 at the Tennessee Classic in Knoxville, Tenn. as the No.17/19 Cardinals defeated the Tigers, 11-0.
Memphis is 22-48 all-time against opponents from the American Athletic Conference and 4-13 against AAC foes this season. The Tigers defeated Temple (2x), Houston, and Rutgers in conference play.
Louisville (31-9, 12-6 The American) enters this weekend's series with a 7-8 road record and are in second place in league play. The Cardinals are coming off a loss to No. 10/11 Kentucky on Wednesday.
Senior Katie Keller leads the team with a .383 batting average (57-for-149) and doubles (17). Keller's 17 doubles this season rank first in the AAC and fourth overall in the country. Junior Kelsi Jones has a team-high 11 home runs and leads the team in RBI (36). Jones has a .335 batting average (57-for-170) and adds 106 total bases, which leads the conference.
Freshman Maryssa Becker (12-6) and senior Rachel LeCoq (10-8) have both seen significant time in the circle for Louisville. Becker has 1.96 ERA with 125 strikeouts in 128.1 innings, while LeCoq has a 3.55 ERA with 89 strikeouts in 102.2 innings pitched.
Keller (.383), Taner Fowler (.355), Jones (.335), Brittany Duncan (.326), Becker (319), and Maggie Ruckenbrod (.305) all carry batting average's over .300 into this weekend's series.
The Tigers (22-30, 4-13 The American) are coming off a tough loss to Murray State, Wednesday. The Racers hit a two-run home run in the top of the seventh inning to secure the 4-3 win. Senior pitcher Ellen Roberts pitched the complete game for the Tigers, finishing with four strikeouts.
Memphis has seen senior Kelly Braman emerge as of recent play as she has batted .423 (11-for-26) over the last 10 games for the Tigers. Braman added two home runs, seven RBI, and 18 total bases over that stretch.
Freshman Lindsay Crowdus has continued to lead the team with a .357 batting average (56-for-157) and seven triples this season. Crowdus' seven triples rank first in the conference and tied for first in the country. Freshman Brittany Vaughn has led the Tigers in RBI (33) for the majority of the season. Vaughn's 33 RBI rank sixth all-time in Memphis history for an individual season. Jessica Phillips holds the record with 44 RBI in 2011.
Roberts (11-18) has performed well during her senior season as she now ranks first all-time in strikeouts (483), wins (40), and saves (eight) in program history. Roberts has seen 37 appearances in the circle this season and has a 2.73 ERA with 142 strikeouts in 187.1 innings pitched. Christian Novak (9-9) has also seen considerate time in the circle. Novak has a 3.75 ERA with 80 strikeouts in 102.2 innings.
The first 200 fans for Saturday's game will receive a free Memphis Tigers koozie.
Six seniors will be honored 15 minutes prior to the start of the final game on Sunday. Along with the six seniors, team manager Ethan Livingston will also be honored.
Following this weekend's series against Louisville, the Tigers will take the field next for the opening round of the American Athletic Conference tournament in Houston, Texas. The tournament is set for May 8-10.