Memphis used a strong offensive showing — tallying 27 hits in two games — as the Lady Tigers swept the Arkansas-Pine Bluff softball team in a doubleheader Friday at the Torii Hunter Complex.
The Lady Tigers won the first game, 8-3, and completed the sweep with a 10-2 win in five innings in the second game.
“Every team has an off time,” UAPB head coach Tiffany Ansley said. “No matter what time of the season.
“Last year around this time, we peaked really early, towards the end we just kind of died out.
“… I’m kind of happy where we are at right now.”
UAPB (3-17) starts its Southwestern Athletic Conference schedule when it heads to Longview, Texas, beginning March 21 for a five game SWAC Roundup including games against Mississippi Valley State, Alcorn State, Alabama State, Alabama A&M and Jackson State.
Ansley said she doesn’t know what to expect for that weekend.
“A lot of teams (in the SWAC) are brand new,” Ansley said. “I know Valley is almost a brand new team. So is Jackson State.
“A few other teams have new coaches, so we aren’t sure what they will do.
“Only thing we can do is focus on is how we do and who shows up what day.”
In the second game of Friday’s doubleheader, Memphis (13-12) batted around in the fifth inning to score six runs, extending its lead to 10-1.
“Memphis is a very good team,” Ansley said. “I greatly respect them. They are a really good team.
“Even just keeping up with them for the innings that we did, I’m very impressed.”
In the fifth, Memphis senior Keyll Braman led off the inning with a single. Sophomore Cierra Mangum followed with a two-run home run to left field and it gave the Lady Tigers a 6-1 lead.
Back-to-back singles by Libby Goranson and Haleigh Ross put two runners on with nobody out. With two outs, Lindsay Crowdus singled home Goranson and Wheeler Hill hit an infield single that scored Ross from third.
Freshman Brittany Vaughn capped off the scoring with a two-run double and it gave Memphis a 10-1 lead.
“I think our team is just getting stronger and stronger each day,” Ansley said.
Memphis also scored single runs in the first and third innings and two in the fourth. UAPB tallied a run in the first and a run in the third.
Alexsis McCain was tagged with the loss for UAPB in game two. She pitched all five innings, allowing 10 runs (seven earned) on 12 hits with three walks and five strikeouts.
Maria Aguilar, Paige Garcia and McCain had a hit each for UAPB in the second game.
Vaughn led Memphis at the plate, finishing with 3 for 4 with four RBIs. Christian Novak earned the win after allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits with three walks and seven strikeouts in five innings.
“Offensively, we are not hitting continuously but the mindset and everything is there,” Ansley said. “I think we start moving back up, once we hit the SWAC.”
In the first game, Memphis scored four runs in the first and a run in the second to take a 5-0 lead. The Lady Tigers then scored a run in fifth, sixth and seventh inning.
UAPB scored a pair of runs in the sixth inning and a run in the fourth.
Lacie Sutterfield was tagged with the loss after pitching a complete game, allowing eight runs (all earned) on 15 hits with four strikeouts and one walk.
Kendra Linn finished the second game with two hits in four trips and one RBI. Jasmine Hardwrick and Kelsey Ridgeway had a hit and an RBI each.
Ellen Roberts is credited with the win for Memphis. She went six innings, allowing three runs (all earned) on six hits with 10 strikeouts and one walk.
Hill went 3 for 4 with two RBIs and Crowdus went 3 for 4 with three runs for the Lady Tigers. Vaughn was 2 for 4 with two runs and two RBIs.
UAPB will travel to Hammond, La., on Wednesday for a doubleheader against Southeastern Louisiana.
LADY LIONS NOTES
White Hall native Shanice Murry finished the second game 0 for 2 with a strikeout for UAPB. She did not play in the first game. … The game that was scheduled against Ouachita Baptist at the beginning of the season has been moved to March 28 beginning at 1 p.m. The game was postponed due to poor field conditions.