Following a perfect weekend at home last week, the Memphis Tigers (13-9, 0-0 American Athletic Conference) continued their strong performances into this weekend.
The Tigers’ hosted the annual UofM Softball Tournament this weekend and won three out of their four games in front of their home fans.
The Tigers began their weekend in a double header on Friday where they played the Western Carolina Catamounts and the Indiana State Sycamores.
In Memphis’ first of two games, they played Western Carolina where they won the game, 9-1.
Against the Catamounts, the Tigers started the game well and scored at leas one run in the first four innings of the game. The Catamounts didn’t score their first run until the fifth inning.
The Tigers outhit the Catamounts 12 to 2 and Tigers’ P Chyanne Ellett had been pitching a no-hitter up until the fifth inning.
She ended up finishing the game with four innings pitched and in 10 batters faced, she allowed one hit, one run, struck out five batters and walked five batters.
In the Tigers’ second game of the night, they took on the Sycamores in what would be an upset victory for the road team, 13-5.
Indiana State came out firing from all cylinders as they hit had four runs in the first inning, compared to Memphis’ one.
Heading into the fourth inning, the Tigers were still in range to take the lead, being down 6-4, but they couldn’t score runs when they needed them the most.
While the Tigers scored one final run in the fifth inning, the Sycamores scored seven more runs, including a grand slam in the top of the seven inning which would seal the game.
Tigers’ coach, Natalie Poole talked about her team’s lone loss at home of the season and said that her team had finally gotten a taste of its own medicine.
“What’d we’d been doing to other people was done to us,” Poole said. “we’d been capitalizing on people’s mistakes and playing good enough defense and that’s what they did to us. We knew that we had to bounce back, think forward and look for the next game.”
The Tigers cleaned up their play in Saturday’s game against the Butler Bulldogs, where they won the game 10-2.
After the being tied 2-2 after the first inning, the Tigers were able to separate themselves on the scoreboard and were inspired by a homerun by 1B Kendall Lee in the second inning.
After not getting back on the board in the third inning, they would go onto to score three runs in back to back innings and then scored the game ending run in the bottom of the sixth.
Ellett struck out nine batters as she improved her record to 8-2 on the season.
In the Tigers’ final game of the weekend, they faced the Belmont Bruins, a game that they would win/lose, 0-0.
Neither team were able to create much distance from each other and after the third inning, the score was 1-0, with the Bruins leading.
What would create a spark for the Tigers was an RBI single hit by Baylee Smith that put Memphis on the board in the fourth inning.
The Tigers continued to add more points to their total in the inning where OF Brianna Lucero in her first start, she got her first career RBI on her second hit of the game.
She would finish the game with two hits at each of her two at bats, as well with her RBI.
The fourth inning would prove to be Memphis’ best where they wound up taking the 3-1 lead.
Of her freshman’s impactful game, Poole said that Lucero didn’t know she was starting, but she was more than prepared.
“Sometimes it’s hard sitting and watching every day,” Poole said. “But she’s been doing a great job in the [batting] cages and working every day. Even in pregame she didn’t know that she was going in, but I’m really proud that she came out knowing what she was looking for and did her job.”
In the top of the fifth, the Bruins tied the game following a 2RBI double by Belmont’s DP, Brooklin Lee.
Belmont then scored again after a batter was walked home while the bases were loaded.
The Tigers tied the game in the bottom of the sixth inning following a bunt from SS Sam Ibison that scored Lee. They scored on the two following at bats, which brought the score up to 6-4.
Following this tournament, the Tigers will return to the Tiger Softball Complex on Tuesday where they’ll face the Youngstown State Penguins.
After another successful tournament, Memphis' softball is 7-1 at home and are only getting better. @Raven_XReport recaps the UofM Softball tournament and talks the highs and lows of the weekend.