-University of Memphis
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Ellen Roberts singled in the game-winning run in the bottom of the 13th inning to give Memphis a 3-2 win over Conference USA-foe Southern Miss at the Tiger Softball Complex on Saturday afternoon.
Roberts (6-12) set the school record for innings pitched going the distance. The sophomore hurler struck out a career-high 13 batters, which tied for fifth in school history.
Ashleigh King began the Tigers’ (10-26, 1-9 C-USA) rally in the bottom of the 13th inning with a hard hit shot off the third baseman, resulting in a single. Morgan Mosby followed with a single to left field, putting runners at first and second with no outs. Laura Curtis laid down a sacrifice bunt down the first base line and reached on the infield single after the first baseman was unable to tag Curtis. Roberts stepped to the plate and laced the first pitch over the first baseman’s head, driving in the game-winning run.
The 13 innings is a school record with the previous long being 11 that occurred twice during the 2007 season. The game went three hours and 30 minutes and saw one umpire bow out due to illness late in the contest. As a result, today’s second game was pushed back until tomorrow when the two teams will play a doubleheader at 1 p.m.
Memphis (10-26, 1-9 C-USA) had a season best 18 hits in the game, the most since 2008 when the program recorded 18 hits against Alabama A&M. The mark ties for fourth in school history. The Tigers tied a school record with 15 runners left on base and hit into three double plays.
King led the team with a career best 4-for-5 performance with a run scored and a RBI. Curtis finished 3-for-4 in the game with two sac bunts and a walk and Amber Lindahl went 3-for-6. Mosby also had a three-hit game and had a school record seven at bats.
Memphis jumped to a 1-0 lead with a run in the bottom of the second inning. Alyssa Palmieri led off the frame reaching on a throwing error by the third baseman. After a stolen base and a walk to Nikki Moreno, King hit a one-out single down the left line to drive in Palmieri from second.
Southern Miss struck back with two unearned runs in the top of the fourth to take the 2-1 lead. Brittany Lilly was hit by the pitch to lead off the inning and Caroline Walker followed with a single through the left side. The hit ended a nine inning no-hit streak by Roberts dating back to her no-hitter against Murray State earlier in the week. A fly out to center advanced both runners to second and third. With two outs, a throwing error at short off a groundball hit by Chanell Thurman allowed both runners to score.
The Tigers tied the game in the bottom of the fifth. Mosby led off with her second single of the game and advanced to third after a sac and a throwing error on a bunt by Curtis. Jessica Phillips responded with a sac fly to left field to score Mosby from third.
Memphis had chances to end the game in the bottom of the seventh and eighth innings. A base running mistake with one out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh inning resulted in a double play to end the frame and send it to extras. The Tigers then loaded the bases again in the eighth, but a would-be single through the right side hit King running from first to second. The ball was ruled dead with King out on the interference for the second out and Memphis stranded the bases loaded to end the inning.
Beth Dietrich (4-8) suffered the loss in relief for Southern Miss (10-19, 2-8 C-USA). Dietrich pitched six innings and allowed one run on 12 hits. Courtney Ramos started the game for the Golden Eagles and allowed two unearned runs on six hits with four walks in six innings.
The two teams will play a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. on Sunday at the Tiger Softball Complex to conclude the three-game series. Following the game, Pouncer’s Pals members will have an Egg Hunt on the field.