Memphis Softball Heads to Louisiana for Purple & Gold Challenge

Feb. 14, 2013

LSU Purple & Gold Challenge

 February 15-17, 2013 - Baton Rouge, La. - (Tiger Park)
Memphis North Dakota State Virginia Nicholls LSU
North Dakota State
  #10/11 LSU
(1-4, 0-0 C-USA) (1-4, 0-0 Summit) (2-1, 0-0 ACC) (3-2, 0-0 Southland) (5-1, 0-0 SEC)
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- The University of Memphis softball team (1-4) travels to Louisiana to compete in the LSU Purple & Gold Challenge beginning Friday at Tiger Park.

Memphis will open the tournament against North Dakota State (1-4) at 11:30 a.m. on Friday and follow with a contest against Virginia (2-1) at 2 p.m. Saturday, the Tigers will face Nicholls (2-3) at 12 p.m. and then tournament host No. 10/11 LSU at 7:30 p.m. Memphis will conclude the tournament on Sunday against North Dakota State at 10 a.m.

U of M head coach Natalie Poole returns to her hometown of Baton Rouge. This is the Tigers' second trip to LSU. Memphis opened the 2007 season at the Easton Tiger Classic and placed second in the tournament to a then No. 7 LSU.

Memphis Quick Hits

  • Memphis started the season 1-4 at the Tiger Classic in Austin, Texas.
  • Redshirt-senior outfielder Lelani Bernardino leads the team in hitting after missing all of the 2012 season. She is hitting .357 (5-for-14) with a .471 on-base percentage.
  • Senior infielders Morgan Mosby and Laura Curtis each have four hits through the first five games. Mosby leads the team in runs scored with three. Both players also share the team lead in doubles with two.
  • Junior RHP Ellen Roberts leads the team in the circle with a 3.67 ERA. She is 0-3 with 15 strikeouts in 21.0 innings pitched.
  • As a team, Memphis has a 5.37 ERA with 25 strikeouts and 23 walks in 30 innings.

Gunning Them Down

  • Junior catcher Amber Lindahl needs to throw out one more runner attempting to steal to tie for the school career record with 30.
  • Lindahl threw out five of eight steal attempts in the opening week - a 72% mark.
  • Lindahl set the school-single season record last year with 21, which tied for the lead in Conference USA.
  • Kimmi Hayden (2006-08) holds the school record for runners caught stealing with 30.

Tigers in Tournament Play

  • The Tigers have participated in 24 different tournaments in eight seasons and carry a 55-60 record into the LSU Purple & Gold Challenge
  • Last year, Memphis finished 4-14 in four regular season tournaments.
  • The LSU Purple & Gold Challenge marks the third regular-season tournament for the U of M in the state of Louisiana and second time at LSU.
  • The Tigers are 7-3 all-time in tournaments played in Louisiana.
  • Memphis went 4-2 in its only other trip to LSU in 2007 at the Easton Tiger Classic. The Tigers finished second in the tournament to LSU.
Year Tournament Record
2006 Louisiana Classic (Lafayette, La.) 3-1
2006 FIU Tournament (Miami, Fla.) 2-2
2006 UNC Tournament (Chapel Hill, N.C.) 1-4
2007 Easton Tiger Classic (Baton Rouge, La.) 4-2
2007 Sunshine State Tourn. (Tallahassee, Fla.) 1-3
2007 Blues City Classic (Memphis, Tenn.) 3-1
2007 San Diego Tourn. (San Diego, Calif.) 4-1
2008 USF Wilson Invitational (Tampa, Fla.) 2-3
2008 Kajikawa Classic (Tempe, Ariz.) 3-1
2008 Blues City Classic (Memphis, Tenn.) 4-1
2008 Residence Inn Invit. (Norman, Okla.) 1-3
2008 Winthrop/Adidas Invit. (Rock Hill, S.C.) 3-1
2009 South Alabama Invit. (Mobile, Ala.) 1-3
2009 K-Club Classic (Kennesaw, Ga.) 1-4
2009 Blues City Classic (Memphis, Tenn.) 0-1
2009 Spring Fling Tourn. (Honolulu, Hawaii) 2-3
2010 Blues City Classic (Memphis, Tenn.) 2-2
2010 UcSB Gaucho Classic (Santa Barbara, Calif.) 1-1
2010 USF Under Armour Inv. (Clearwater, Fla.) 3-2
2011 FIU Combat Classic (Miami, Fla.) 3-2
2011 Panther Invitational (Atlanta, Ga.) 4-0
2011 Stanford Nike Invit. (Palo Alto, Calif.) 3-1
2011 Bulldog Classic (Starkville, Miss.) 1-1
2012 Mardi Gras Invitational (Mobile, Ala.) 2-2
2012 Desert Classic (Las Vegas, Nev.) 0-6
2012 Blues City Classic (Memphis, Tenn.) 2-3
2012 Tennessee Classic (Knoxville, Tenn.) 0-3
2013 Texas Classic (Austin, Texas) 1-4

Opening Weekend

  • Memphis is now 17-18 all-time in the opening week of play.
  • The Tigers have come away with a winning record after the first week in three of the eight seasons.
  • Memphis opened the season in 2013 at the Tigers Classic in Austin, Texas, and finished 1-4 in the tournament.
  • The Tigers have outscored their opponents 162-145 in the opening week.
  • Memphis is 4-4 in the first game of the season.
  • The Tigers have opened the season twice in Louisiana, Alabama and Florida and once in Memphis. This season marked the first season opener for the U of M in Texas.
Year Tournament Record
2006 Lafayette, La. (Louisiana-Lafayette) 3-1
2007 Baton Rouge, La. (LSU) 4-2
2008 Tampa, Fla. (USF) 2-3
2009 Mobile, Ala. (South Alabama) 1-3
2010 Memphis, Tenn. (Memphis) 1-1
2011 Miami, Fla. (FIU) 3-2
2012 Mobile, Ala. (South Alabama) 2-2
2013 Texas Classic (Texas) 1-4

Nice to Meet You

  • Memphis will play two opponents in the LSU Purple & Gold Challenge for the first time in Virginia and Nicholls State.
  • The Tigers are scheduled to play eight opponents in 2013 for the first time: Campbell, Detroit, Jackson State, Nicholls State, Texas, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Virginia and Western Kentucky.
  • Memphis is 51-59 all-time in first meetings

Memphis vs North Dakota State

  • North Dakota State leads the series with Memphis, 2-0.
  • The two teams met last in 2011 at the Stanford Nike Invitational hosted by Stanford in Palo Alto, Calif. The Bison won the game 2-0.
  • The first meeting between the two schools came in 2010 at the UCSB Gaucho Classic in Santa Barbara, Calif. North Dakota State won the game, 6-1.
  • The Bison have outscored the Tigers 8-1 in the series.
  • Natalie Poole will face North Dakota State for the first time.
Memphis vs North Dakota State (0-2)
Date Location Result Score
2-26-2010 Santa Barbara, Calif. L 6-1
2-26-2011 Palo Alto, Calif. L 2-0

Scouting North Dakota State

  • North Dakota State finished 38-22 in 2012 and first in the Summit League with an 18-6 record.
  • The Bison have won the last four-straight Summit League Tournament championships and earned the league’s automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.
  • In 2012, NDSU swept both the regular season and tournament championships for the first time.
  • Sophomore Krista Menke is the reigning Summit League Pitcher and Freshman of the Year after finishing 25-13 in 2012 with a 2.36 ERA, 210 strikeouts and 10 shutouts in 254.2 innings pitched.
  • Bison head coach Darren Mueller was the Summit League Coach of the Year in 2012.
  • Mueller enters his 12th season with NDSU and is 390-226.
  • The Bison return four of nine position starters, all of its pitching and seven of its 14 letterwinners from 2012.
  • North Dakota State started the season 1-4 at the UNI Dome Tournament.
  • The Bison lost five of its six top hitters from 2012. Sophomore infielder Amanda Grable is the team’s leading returning hitter. She hit .269 in 2012 with nine home runs, 29 RBI and 25 runs scored.
  • North Dakota State ended the 2012 season with a RPI ranked No. 73.

Memphis vs the Summit League

  • Memphis is 1-4 all-time against current members of the Summit League.
  • Coach Natalie Poole holds a 4-0 all-time record against the conference.
  • The two games against North Dakota State in the LSU Purple and Gold Challenge are the only games this season for the Tigers against Summit League opponents.
Memphis vs Summit League (1-4)
Opponent Record
IPFW 0-1
North Dakota State 0-2
UMKC 0-1
Western Illinois 1-0

Scouting Virginia

  • Virginia began the year 2-1 at the Campbell/Hampton Inn Invitational with wins against Robert Morris and St. Bonaventure. The Cavaliers lone loss came in an 8-0 defeat to Campbell.
  • Virginia went 26-25 in 2012 adn 8-13 in the ACC.
  • Junior Erica Cipolloni led the team last year in batting with a .300 average and seven home runs.
  • Junior Marcy Bowdren tied for the team lead with 25 RBI and hit six home runs last year.
  • Senior Melanie Mitchell led the pitching staff in 2012, going 19-13 with a 1.55 ERA and 278 strikeouts
  • Mitchell is 1-0 in 2013 in one game, throwing a two-hit shutout in the season opener against Robert Morris.
  • The Cavaliers were picked to finish fifth out of eight teams in the ACC preseason coaches poll.
  • Virginia ended the 2012 season with a RPI ranked No. 61.
  • Senior outfielder Taylor Williams leads the team with four RBI and four runs scored and is hitting .429.

Memphis vs the ACC

  • Memphis is 1-2 all-time against current members of the Atlantic Coast Conference.
  • Coach Natalie Poole holds a 3-39 all-time record against the conference.
  • The game marks the only contest for the Tigers against the ACC in 2013.
Memphis vs ACC (1-2)
Opponent Record
Florida State 0-1
North Carolina 0-1
Virginia Tech 1-0

Scouting Nicholls

  • Nicholls begins the season 3-2 and went 2-2 at the Lion Classic in Hammond, La.
  • Last season the Colonels finished 14-31.
  • Nicholls is joined by 12 newcomers, including 10 freshman in 2013.
  • Senior Ashley Bertot was a first team All-Southland and Newcomer of the Year in 2012 after hitting .388.
  • The Colonels were pitcked to finish seventh in the Southland Conference by the league’s coaches.
  • Junior Brittany Marcet leads the team with a .385 average with five RBI.
  • Bertot leads the team with six runs, while freshman Danielle Phillips leads in RBI with seven.

Memphis vs the Southland Conference

  • Memphis is 6-2 all-time against current members of the Southland Conference.
  • The Tigers are 1-1 against the Southland Conference in 2013, splitting a pair of games at the Texas Classic against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
  • Coach Natalie Poole holds a 50-32 all-time record against the conference.
  • Poole competed in the SLC for three seasons as the head coach at McNeese State.
  • Poole is 7-2 all-time against Nicholls.
  • The Tigers have four games scheduled in 2013 against teams from the Southland Conference: Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (2/8, 2/10), Nicholls State (2/16) and Central Arkansas (4/16).
Memphis vs SLC (6-2)
Opponent Record
Central Arkansas 4-0
McNeese State 1-0
Northwestern State 1-0
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 1-1

Memphis vs #10/11 LSU

  • LSU leads the series with Memphis, 2-0.
  • The two teams met at the Easton Tiger Classic to open the 2007 season in Baton Rouge.
  • Memphis placed second in the tournament to then #7 LSU and took the championship game into extra innings. LSU won 7-2 in nine innings.
  • LSU has a 10-3 all-time scoring advantage over Memphis.
  • Natalie Poole is 2-5 all-time against LSU.
  • Memphis faced LSU head coach Beth Torino when she coached for FIU in 2011. The Tigers lost the game 7-6 in the FIU Combat Classic.
Memphis vs #10/11 LSU (0-2)
Date Location Result Score
2-9-2007 Baton Rouge, La. L 3-1
2-11-2007 Baton Rouge, La. L 7-2 (9)

Scouting #10/11 LSU

  • LSU opened the 2013 seson 5-1.
  • Senior RHP Rachele Fico picked up the first SEC Pitcher of the Week award after tossing two shutouts with a 0.41 ERA, 20 strikeouts in over 17.0 innings of work last week.
  • Fico is a 2013 All-SEC Preseason Team and USA Softball Player of the Year Top 50 finalist.
  • Fico is 3-0 with a 0.61 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 23 innings with just four walks.
  • LSU finished 40-25 in 2012 and reached the Women’s College World Series for the third time.
  • The Tigers return 12 letterwinners, including NFCA All-America First-teamer Rachele Fico and All-SEC Freshman selection A.J. Andrews.
  • LSU is hitting .256 through six games this season with six home runs and 29 run scored.
  • Freshman outfielder Allison Falcon leads the team with a .412 average and has three RBI with four runs scored.
  • Junior infielder Tammy Wray and freshman catcher Kellsi Kloss each have two home runs. Wray leads the team with seven RBI. Two of her three hits have been by way of the long ball.

Memphis vs the SEC

  • Memphis is 6-15 all-time against current members of the SEC.
  • Coach Natalie Poole holds a 2-37 all-time record against the conference with the only two wins coming against LSU.
  • Memphis will face one other opponent from the SEC in 2013. The Tigers will travel to play Mississippi State on March 6 in Starkville, Miss.
Memphis vs SEC (6-15)
Opponent Record
Alabama 0-3
Arkansas 1-1
Florida 0-1
Kentucky 1-0
LSU 0-2
Mississippi 1-0
Mississippi State 0-2
Missouri 2-0
South Carolina 1-1
Tennessee 0-4
Texas A&M 0-1

Against the Nationally Ranked

  • Memphis is 2-23 all-time against teams ranked in the top 25 nationally.
  • The Tigers two wins against ranked teams came in 2011 with victories against No. 22 Ohio State in the season opening weekend and at #16 Stanford.
  • The U of M is 0-15 against teams ranked in the top 10 heading into its match-up at No. 10/11 LSU.
  • Memphis has had one near miss against a top 10 opponent. The Tigers fell 7-2 at #7 LSU in 2007 after the U of M gave up five runs in the top of the ninth inning.


Team (Date) Result
#18 at La.-Lafayette (2-11-06) L, 1-12
#7 at LSU (2-11-07) L, 1-3
#7 at LSU (2-11-07) L, 2-7 (9)
#22 at Florida State (2-17-07) L, 0-8
#1 at Tennessee (4-10-07) L, 1-4
#13 vs Florida (2-9-08) L, 0-9
#4 at Arizona State (2-16-08) L, 1-12
#9 at Oklahoma (3-1-08) L, 0-17
#9 at Oklahoma (3-2-08) L, 0-10
#11 at Houston (3-29-08) L, 0-8
#11 at Houston (3-29-08) L, 1-7
#11 at Houston (3-30-08) L, 0-3
#9 at Houston (5-8-08) L, 1-9
#2 vs Alabama (2-7-09) L, 2-7
#9 vs California (3-11-09) L, 0-1
#22 vs Ohio State (2-12-11) W, 7-3 (8)
#16 at Stanford (2-25-11) W, 2-1
#22 vs Texas A&M (3-6-11) L, 0-1 (9)
#3 at Alabama (5-21-11) L, 1-7
#2 vs Alabama (2-10-12) L, 0-8
#8 at Tennessee (3-3-12) L, 0-7
#17 vs Louisville (3-3-12) L, 0-11
#8 at Tennessee (4-17-12) L, 0-5
#8 at Tennessee (4-17-12) L, 2-3
#7 at Texas (2-9-13) L, 0-4

Welcome Home

  • Memphis head coach Natalie Poole returns to her hometown of Baton Rouge, La., when the Tigers play at the LSU Purple & Gold Challenge.
  • Poole also coached three years and played four years at McNeese State in Louisiana.

Up Next

  • Memphis hosts the Blues City Classic from Feb. 22-24 at Greenbrook Park in Southaven, Miss.
  • The Tigers host 11 other teams in the tournament.
  • The games will be played across the state line at Greenbrook Park where the Tigers played their first couple of years in 2006 and 2007 while the Tigers Softball Complex was being constructed.
  • The Blues City Classic was held at Greenbrook Park in 2007 and 2008.



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