MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Memphis saw a multiple-run lead evaporate after the fifth inning for the second time on the day as the Tigers dropped a 4-3, eight-inning decision to East Carolina in game two of a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon.
Memphis (19-36, 7-16 C-USA) led 3-1 heading into the top of the sixth, but ECU (25-26, 11-11) scored single runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth to sweep the doubleheader.
Kai Clark hit a solo home run to lead off the top of the seventh for the Pirates and send the game into extra innings. ECU scored the go-ahead run in the top of the eighth after Kristi Oshiro led off with a bunt single and later scored on a RBI single by Suzanne Riggs.
Sophomore Ijiah Hargrove led the Tigers with a 2-for-3 outing at the plate with a run scored. Senior Jessica Phillips drove in her second run of the day and recorded her 100th career RBI with a single in the first inning. She ranks second all-time in school history in RBI behind Leila Dolfo's 123.
Freshman Jordan Richwood (6-11) pitched a career-high eight innings in the loss. Richwood allowed three earned runs on seven hits with two strikeouts and a walk. ECU's Courtney Smith (7-11) earned the victory, allowing three runs on five hits with a strikeout and two walks.
Memphis took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Laura Curtis singled and scored on a RBI single by Phillips. ECU tied the game in the top of the fifth, scoring on a two-out double by Jasmine Robbins.
The Tigers reclaimed the lead with two runs in the bottom of the fifth. Jami Miller scored on a wild pitch after entering the game as a pinch runner for Amber Lindahl and Hargrove scored on a sac fly by Curtis.
A two-out RBI single by Priscilla Velasquez in the top of the sixth brought the Pirates within one. Clark's home run in the seventh tied the game and allowed Riggs to come up with the game-winning hit in the eighth. Riggs finished 2-for-3 in the game with a RBI and 5-for-6 with three RBI in the two games.
Memphis will close out the regular season on Sunday at noon against East Carolina. The Tigers' five seniors will be honored in a ceremony before the game.
With today's Conference USA action, Memphis has locked up the seventh spot in the league tournament that begins next Thursday in Birmingham, Ala. The Tigers will open against the No. 2 seed, which will be the loser of tomorrow's Tulsa-UAB match-up.