Memphis Softball hit a home run when they hired Stephanie VanBrakle Prothro from Alabama. In the short time, she has been at Memphis, the players and fanbase have caught notice. She and the Tigers started the season slow when it came to wins going 0-5 on the opening weekend. After winning their first game of the season, on Friday, 2-1 over Bethune Cookman, the Tigers were looking to keep this momentum and winning feeling going into the Saturday slate of games. We will examine how Memphis fared against Cleveland State and North Florida and what is next in this eventful weekend.
Memphis made a statement with their performance in the 8-0 win. Hallie Siems would get the start and pitch five innings, throwing 75 pitches, and strike out five while allowing two hits and three walks. The defense behind Siems was spectacular, as they would finish the game with 15 putouts, four assists, and zero earned runs in 17 batters faced. Cleveland State would finish the game with six runners left on base. This precise pitching and defense assisted the Tigers in securing back-to-back wins.
Offensively this team came uncorked with their above-mentioned eight runs. The Tigers scored these runs on seven hits for the game in twenty at-bats. Memphis would hit two doubles daily and have seven RBIs while only striking out once. The Tiger’s OPS was .931 on the day, while they held Cleveland State to a .368 average. Memphis would draw five walks today, which helped contribute to the runs scored.
The afternoon slate opponent featured North Florida. The Ospreys won on Friday, 10-2. In five innings against Jacksonville State in their first game. In the second, they lost, 5-0, to Penn State to start the weekend. On Saturday, they would be slated against Memphis first, then Cleveland State. Let’s look at how the Tigers played. Memphis would fall to North Florida 8-0 in five innings to complete the second day In Florida. Rylee Dugar would get the start for the Tigers in the second game. Rylee would finish the game with 93 pitches thrown while facing 23 batters. In these, batters would have three strikeouts, four ground outs, and one walk. Memphis struggled to get the bats going in the loss and will need to wake them up early for tomorrow’s opponent. Who is that opponent? Let’s look and see.
Memphis will have one more opponent, Penn State, in games this weekend. The Nittany Lions defeated Cleveland State, 6-1, and North Florida, 5-0, on Friday to start the weekend. On Saturday, they defeated Jacksonville State, 4-0, and Bethune Cookman, to get to the final day and the Tigers. This will be the first time these two programs will meet. The first pitch is scheduled for 9 am.