UAB beats Memphis twice in Conference USA opener
March 11, 2006
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. --- Freshmen Jacy Leon and Kayla Harris hit back-to-back home runs in game two of a doubleheader Saturday against Memphis to help UAB sweep the Tigers in the Conference USA season opener at George Ward Park. The Blazers won a pitchers dual in game one, 2-1 and exploded on offense to take game two, 8-3. UAB improves to 13-6 on the season, while Memphis drops to 8-9.
"It's great to have 20 hits in just two games against a very tough Memphis team," said UAB head coach Marla Townsend. "Memphis is a phenomenal team and really pushed us today. We were very productive from the plate. In game two, we scored in three consecutive innings and that's exactly what we need to do. Our defense was strong and we showed confidence at the plate. We look forward to the final game of the series tomorrow."
It took just over two hours and eight innings to complete game one of a doubleheader between UAB and Memphis.
The game remained scoreless until the Tigers jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the fifth inning. Bridgette McNulty led of the inning with a double down the left field line and was sacrificed to third by Kimberly Hayden. Memphis plated their only run on a fielder's choice to Krzan at short that allowed McNulty to score from third.
UAB Sophomore Holly Krzan tied the game in the bottom of the sixth inning with her fourth home run of the year. Krzan's shot over cleared the left center field fence and pushed the game even at 1-1.
Both teams went down in order in the seventh frame to go to extra innings. Memphis led off the eighth with a double down the left field line by Lindsay Pridgen. Nelson came up big for the Blazers leaving Pridgen stranded at third with the game tied.
Krzan led of the home half of the eighth with a single up the middle. Freshman Andrea Rogers followed with a fielder's choice that forced Krzan out at second. Junior Nicole Whitlock came through with a double to left field to put runners at second and third with one out. Sophomore Leigh Walker had the game-winning single to over the right fielders head to score Rogers for the win.
Nelson gets the win for the Blazers and improves to 5-0 after throwing eight complete innings. She only allowed one run on four hits, while striking out seven.
At the plate, Whitlock went 3-for-4 and Walker was 2-for-4 with an RBI. Krzan had another big game going 2-for-4 with a run scored and a RBI. UAB out-hit the Tigers, 10-4 in game one.
Nicki Johnson took the loss for Memphis and falls to 4-4 on the season.
UAB took control of game two from the very beginning. Junior Lindsay Stanley gave the Blazers an early lead after scoring on a Krzan single to left field. In the first innings, UAB plated one run on two hits.
The Blazers offense came alive again in the second and third innings scoring a run in each frame. In the second inning, Walker led off with a single to center field. She eventually came around to score after one illegal and two wild pitches. With a 2-0 lead, Rogers hit her fourth home run of the season in the third inning.
Memphis rallied in the fourth inning to pull within one run of the Blazers. McNulty hit a double to right center field with one out to start the rally. Hayden followed with a ground out to second base to bring Melissa Nance to the plate. Nance cleared the bases with her second home run this season.
UAB extended its lead in the sixth inning after Leon and Harris hit back-to-back home runs. Leon's shot was a two-run blast down the left field line and her first in her collegiate career. Harris followed on the very next pitch and belted a solo home run to left center field. In the inning, UAB had five consecutive hits accounting for five runs.
The Tigers made an attempt at a comeback in the seventh but only managed one run in the final inning.
Sophomore Amanda Antonovich improves to 3-1 in the circle for UAB. She pitched 4.1 innings, allowing two runs on four hits. Harris gets the save after pitching 2.2 innings of solid relief.
Jenna Kubesch takes the loss for the Tigers and falls to 3-3. Cara Stiles led the way at the plate going 2-for-3 with a run scored.
UAB had eight of its nine batters get at least one hit in the game. Stanley went 2-for-4 with two runs scored, while Krzan was 2-for-3 with two RBI.
In the two games against Memphis, UAB collected a total of 20 hits and scored 10 runs.
The Blazers will conclude the series with the Tigers Sunday at George Ward Park starting at 1 p.m. For complete coverage of UAB athletics visit www.uabsports.com.