The Memphis Tigers (21-19, 3-6 American Athletic Conference) avoided being swept by the UConn Huskies (15-20, 4-5 AAC) during this past weekend’s three-game series. The Tigers steadily improved in each game defensively until they were finally able to get a victory in the final meeting between the two.
Huskies take advantage of the Tiger’s pitching
After defeating Alcorn State twice Wednesday with a combined score of 15-2, the Tigers had confidence ahead of their third conference series of the season, but after a quick start by the Huskies, it was clear the series wasn’t going to be a cakewalk.
The Huskies scored six runs in the first three innings, including five runs in the third. Mariah Nichols started at pitcher and in the inning, walked four batters with players on base that led to runs.
Memphis did their best to stay in the game and outscored UConn 3-1 in the fourth inning, but the Huskies offense was just too strong as they scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning ending the game 11-3.
Though there wasn’t much to be happy about for the Tigers, 1B Ashley Threatt continued her strong season and extended her on-base streak to 14 games, the highest of the team. Gracie Morton also hit her second home run of the season and led the team with two RBIs.
Tigers come up short
With game one of the series resulting in a defeat, Memphis was anxious to get the sour taste of defeat out of their mouths. They started the game hot and scored five runs in the first three innings, which included a four-run showing in the third.
The only problem was that even though they didn’t score anymore that game, UConn kept adding runs. They scored two runs in each of the final three innings, which helped them secure a 6-5 win.
To the Tigers’ credit, this game was much closer than their previous showing, but the stagnation of their offense cost them toward the end.
Defense rules the day as the Tigers avoid a sweep
After being down 0-2 in the weekend’s series and possibly facing their second sweep in conference play, Memphis battled back with a good defensive performance and won the game 3-1.
Kailey Hilderbrand started and played in all 7.0 innings, and though she allowed five hits, UConn could only capitalize with one run. She also struck out two batters en route to her first collegiate victory.
In UConn’s first three innings at bat, the Tigers managed to force each of the three batters out through a combination of strike outs, foul outs and well-timed ground outs.
With UConn struggling to get on the board until the final inning, Memphis had an opportunity to establish a lead.
They scored two runs in the first inning after Threatt hit a homerun in the top of the inning that scored herself and CF Baylee Smith. Threatt now has six home runs on the season, tied for the most on the team with C Regan Hadley.