Jan. 11, 2010
Photo Gallery | Kassner Video Interview | Mosby Video Interview | Coach Thees Video Interview
By: Preston McClellan, Undergraduate Intern
It's that time of year again--the time to dust off the gloves, clean the bats, and rake the dirt--it's time for 2010 University of Memphis Softball. Today marked the official opening of preseason training for Coach Windy Thees' squad.
Thees was hired in 2005 and charged with the daunting task of starting the Tiger softball program. Now in her fifth season at the helm, Thees has built Memphis into a nationally recognized brand capable of competing against anyone. Thees, who will be coaching just her second group of four year seniors this season, thinks this may be the year the Tigers finally take it to the next level.
With the season opener just over one month away, the University of Memphis Softball team began preparation for its 2010 campaign today. The team will have two-a-day workouts for the next two days, with indoor workouts in the morning before moving outside for afternoon hitting and fielding drills.
The Tigers officially open their season when they travel to Shreveport, La., to compete in the Centenary Spring Tournament beginning on February 12.
Centenary Spring Tournament Schedule:
2/12/10 Memphis vs. Wichita State 5:30 pm (CT)
Memphis at Centenary College 7:30 pm (CT)
2/13/10 Memphis vs. Nicholls State 9:30 am (CT)
Memphis vs. Houston Baptist 1:30 pm (CT)
2/14/10 Memphis vs. Southern 9:30 am (CT)
The Tigers will then open up its home schedule with the fourth-annual Blues City Classic beginning on February 19 at the Tiger Softball Complex. Appalachian State, Indiana State, IPFW, McNeese State and SEMO will all compete against Memphis in the three-day event to claim the tournament championship title.
Blues City Classic Schedule
2/19/10 Indiana State vs. Appalachian State 9 am
Indiana State vs. McNeese State 11:15 am
Memphis vs. Appalachian State 1:30 pm
Memphis vs. IPFW 3:45 pm
IPFW vs. McNeese State 6 pm
SEMO vs. IPFW 8:15 pm
2/20/10 McNeese State vs. SEMO 9 am
Memphis vs. Indiana State 11:15 am
SEMO vs. Appalachian State 1:30 pm
Memphis vs. McNeese State 3:45 pm
Indiana State vs. IPFW 6 pm
IPFW vs. Appalachian State 8:15 pm
2/21/10 Appalachian State vs. McNeese State 10 am
Walle and Valle Return to the Mound
Memphis will look to returning letter winners Vanessa Walle and Janelle Valle to provide consistent, high-quality pitching this season.
Walle returns for her senior campaign after playing in 37 games last season. She made 17 starts in the circle and 23 as the designated player. She held a 3.42 ERA and was fifth in Conference USA for the fewest walks allowed (37). She also tied the team high for wins (8) and was second on the team in innings pitched (122.2), batters struck out (69), appearances (24) and games started (17).
Valle returns for her junior campaign after being a major contributor in her first two seasons. In 2009, Valle made 28 appearances in the circle with 23 starts. She led the team in ERA (3.14), opposing batting average (.252), innings pitched (136.0), batters struck out (73), appearances and games started.
In addition to her performance on the field, Valle is one of Tiger Softball's strongest performers in the classroom. She was named to the 2009 C-USA All-Academic Softball Team as well as the 2009 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar First team.
On Tuesday, GoTigersGo.com will take a deeper look into the 2010 Memphis pitching staff.