Herd Dominates Late for 10-4 Win Over Tennessee Tech
Marshall records nine hits and seven steals
AUBURN, Ala. – The Marshall softball team exploded for 10 runs across the final four innings to record a 10-4 win over Tennessee Tech Saturday morning at Jane B. Moore Field. It was the final game for the Thundering Herd at the Plainsman Invitational hosted by Auburn.
Marshall improves to 1-3.
“I’m really proud of the effort today,” Herd head coach Jen Steele said. “Not just because we walked away with the win, but because we relaxed and just played the game. We were putting a lot of pressure on ourselves yesterday. We have high expectations and standards, but we found that we were grinding ourselves into the ground.
“We talked in the pregame about staying loose and playing until the last out was recorded. You could see the tension leave our bodies and the energy change. We’re really tough to beat when we are relaxed so I hope today was the first step toward finding our groove and settling in.”
The Herd started off slowly, trailing 3-0 to the Golden Eagles through three innings. Marshall came firing back in the top of the fourth. Senior Taylor McCord led off the inning with a double. Sophomore Blakely Burch then reached base to put two runners on. Two batters later, freshman Grayson Radcliffe loaded the bases with a walk and then senior Madi Marshall drove in two runs with a single to left and trailed by one, 3-2.
Marshall took the lead in the fifth with two more runs. Senior Elicia D’Orazio recorded her second hit of the game and then stole second. Fellow senior Jordan Colliflower dropped a perfectly placed bunt for a single and D’Orazio scored on an errant throw back to third. Later in the fifth, freshman Samantha Koehn hit a sacrifice fly to center that scored freshman Rachel Rousseau from third.
The Herd continued the offensive onslaught with two more runs in the sixth and four in the seventh, all while displaying the speed of the roster with seven steals. Three freshmen picked up their first career hits as Koehn legged out an infield single in the second inning. Armani Brown ripped a single to left and later scored in the top of the seventh. Katie Adams lined a double to center for her first hit.
“I was happy that we stuck to our offensive game plan even though we were trailing 3-0,” coach Steele said. “We found our way to first base and allowed our athleticism to take over. We were able to speed them up on defense and make things happen.”
The Marshall defense stiffened and junior Ali Burdette clamped down on Tennessee Tech, allowing four hits and just one run through four innings of relief work. Burdette tied her career-high with five strikeouts.
Kailee Williamson closed out the game in the seventh with three strikeouts.
“We challenged the pitchers to throw strikes today and have the offense and defense bail them out,” coach Steele said. “We gave up more hits, but we limited the free passes and they stuck to their game plan. They pitched well in big moments and Burdette and Williamson were great out of the bullpen.”
Marshall returns to the field on Friday Feb. 16, at the Michelle Smith Pediatric Cancer Foundation Invite in Clearwater, Fla.