No. 9 Memphis Opens C-USA Softball Championship with No. 8 UAB
May 7, 2008
For Immediate Release
HOUSTON, Texas - The ninth seeded University of Memphis opens up the Conference USA Softball Championship against No. 8 seed UAB on Thursday at 9 a.m. at the Cougar Softball Stadium in Houston, Texas. The winner will meet No. 1 Houston at 5:30 p.m. that same day in the single-elimination tournament.
The tournament marks the second appearance for the U of M (24-29, 4-18) in its three year history and first since the league changed its format to invite all nine teams rather than the six-team, double-elimination format from previous years.
Memphis is 1-2 all-time in the Conference USA Championship after makings its first appearance last season. The Tigers won its final six league games to qualify for the final spot in the then six-team tournament and earned a 2-1 come-from-behind thrilling victory against third seeded Tulsa in the opening round.
The U of M then had a perfect game into the ninth inning against 2007 runner-up East Carolina before losing 1-0 in the 10th inning. Memphis was knocked out of the tournament by Marshall in another 1-0 defeat.
The Tigers are 5-4 all-time against UAB and were swept by the Blazers in a three game series in Birmingham earlier this season. Before the sweep, Memphis had won the last four meetings. Five of the nine match-ups have been one-run contests with Memphis winning three of them. UAB has an all-time scoring advantage of 38-28 against the U of M. This will be the first meeting between the two rivals on a neutral field.
Freshman Kimber Bossom (10-15) leads C-USA in fewest home runs allowed with three. The RHP did not allow a home run in conference play in nearly 60 innings pitched. The last home run off Bossom came on March 5 against Central Arkansas. She totals four shutouts in 146.1 innings pitched with 101 strikeouts.
Junior infielders Leila Dolfo and Tori Gross lead the team in hitting and have combined for 14 home runs, 52 RBI, 58 runs scored and 18 doubles. Senior catcher/outfielder Lindsay Kelso is second on the team with eight home runs and tied for the lead in doubles with 11.
UAB (24-34, 9-15) ended the regular season losing seven of its last nine conference games and two out of three in the season finale against East Carolina. The team finished in a tie with Southern Miss, but the Golden Eagles won the head-to-head match-up.
The Blazers are last in the league in batting average (.225), on base percentage (.316), runs (171), RBI (139) and have the most losses (34) and walks allowed (229) in the conference. The team is averaging 2.9 runs per game, but averaged 6.3 runs in the three-game series against Memphis.
UAB is led on the mound by senior LHP Jennifer Nelson who ranks third in the conference with 219 strikeouts in 222 innings. Nelson is 14-22 on the year with a 2.96 ERA. Junior catcher Andrea Rogers leads the team with a .297 batting average and has 18 RBI and 27 runs scored. Senior shortstop Holly Krzan is the team's leader in slugging with a .429 percentage with 4 home runs and 14 doubles.
All games in the Conference USA Championship can be followed live through GameTracker. Live streaming video is also available to All-Access subscribers. Links to the live content can be found at GoTigersGo.com or at the C-USA Championship Central at ConferenceUSA.com.