The Tigers went 2-1 this weekend as they opened conference play against East Carolina University at the Tiger Softball Complex.
Friday, the Tigers won game one 8-2 behind a solid pitching performance from Molly Smith. Smith pitched all seven innings allowing just four hits and two runs.
“I told her we will be behind her whatever she does, to trust the process and to compete,” Head Coach Natalie Poole said
ECU’s two runs came in the first and fourth innings when Ali Ramirez and Morgan Halo had RBI singles. The first of the two runs was unearned after a dropped fly ball to right field.
Memphis out hit the Pirates 12 to four on the night and collected five runs during the fourth and fifth innings. Regan Hadley led the way for the Tigers with two RBIs and a run, going four for four.
“No matter what, you got to come out and pitch well, you gotta play good defense,” Poole said. “ If we’re not (mentally) in the ball game, we don’t have a chance to win anyway.”
The Tigers won 5-1 Saturday with 12 hits for the second consecutive game. Christian Novak followed Smith’s performance with the Tigers’ second complete game in a row, giving up five hits.
Lindsey Stickrod went one for four, but her third inning double brought in two runs to give Memphis a 3-0 lead.
ECU’s Meredith Burroughs singled to right center to bring in the Pirated lone run of the night in the fifth. Memphis responded later in the inning with Xiomara Santiago’s RBI double. The Tigers scored one more run Saturday for the 5-1 win.
With the exception of one error, coach Poole was satisfied with the team’s defense.
“Erin (Parker) got quite a few balls at third base and just played them solidly,” Poole said. She said although her defense could have played a few balls better, overall they came out and performed well which led to their victory.
Tigers were unable to sweep the series Sunday when they fell to ECU 4-0. The Pirates held the Tigers to just two hits. Memphis’ pitchers allowed just five hits, and the defense did not commit an error. But ECU found ways to score.
Two walks led to Pirate runs in the third and sixth innings. ECU found a way to manufacture a run in the first and Ciara Ervin’s homerun in the fifth gave them four runs.
Although the Tigers had two hits, Trosclair extended her 13-game hitting-streak. Crowdus drew a walk to reach base for the 19th game in a row.
“We needed to see our offense do what it had been doing the last two days,” Poole said. “We struggled more for consistency in that area.”
Poole said her team hit the ball a decent amount, but many were fly balls and they “fed” them to ECU.
This week the Tigers will play three home games. They play Central Arkansas Tuesday and have a double-header against Austin Peay Wednesday before traveling to Tulsa this weekend for another three game conference series.
Erin Parker prepares for the upcoming play as she watches the pitcher deliver the ball to the plate. Parker had two hits in the series against ECU.
Molly Smith winds up and starts her delivery to the plate. The senior pitcher has 1.49 ERA this season and has pitched 169 strikeouts.