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Herd Drops 5-1 Decision to No. 6 Alabama, Upends Eastern Kentucky 6-1 Saturday

Feb. 11, 2006

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - A pair of costly errors was too much to overcome as the Marshall Thundering Herd lost 5-1 to the sixth-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide Saturday morning in its game continued from Friday evening. Later in the morning, the Herd upended the Eastern Kentucky Colonels 6-1 at the UA Softball Complex.

Seeded tournament play will begin at the conclusion of the Alabama-Mississippi Valley State game which is slated to begin at approximately 2:30 p.m. (EST). Marshall (2-1), the No. 2 seed in the Bama Bash!, will face third-seeded Eastern Kentucky (1-2) for the second time Saturday.

Game 2 (Marshall 6, Eastern Kentucky 1)

Box Score

Marshall quickly jumped out to a 2-0 first-inning lead over Eastern Kentucky. Amanda Williams reached on a fielding error by Amy Mayrhofer. Jessica Williams followed with a single through the left side, but was later called out on runner's interference trying to advance to third.

Rachel Folden's sacrifice fly to left field plated Amanda Williams to give the Herd the one-run advantage. Noelle Adams later scored on Leigh Wintter's sacrifice fly to center for a 2-0 Herd lead.

Eastern Kentucky would respond in the bottom half of the opening inning on Mayrhofer's RBI single. Harter would get herself into a bind, loading the bases, but was able to force EKU's Pam Webber to fly out to center to end the inning.

Marshall doubled its run production in the second, extending the lead to 4-1. Gina Guzzo scored on Amanda Williams' RBI double to right-center field. Jessica Williams' sacrifice bunt plated freshman Joscelyn Bitner for a three-run Herd lead.

The Herd added another run in the fifth when Wintter plated Folden on a sacrifice fly to center, increasing the Herd's lead to 5-1.

Gina Guzzo became the third Herd player this weekend to hit a home run, sending a solo shot to right-center field to extend the Herd lead to 6-1 in the sixth.



Jessica Williams, Rachael Sofie and Guzzo each had two hits for the Herd. Five different batters drove in a run for Marshall, including Wintter's team-leading two RBI.

Abigail Harter (2-0) earned her second win of the young season, striking out seven batters, while scattering four hits with a run in seven complete innings.

Game 1 (Alabama 5, Marshall 1)

Alabama Box Score

It didn't take long for the Thundering Herd offense to continue its success earlier in the day. For the second time Friday, Amanda Williams delivered the first pitch she faced into the outfield, singling through the left side of the Bama infield.

Later in the first inning, Folden roped a one-out single down the right field line, plating the Williams outfielder to give the Herd a 1-0 lead.

The sixth-ranked Crimson Tide responded with a three-run double by Dani Woods, giving Alabama a 3-1 lead after one inning. With one out, Jordan Praytor drew a walk and later advanced to third on Dominique Accetturo's double to left field.

After a Stephanie VanBrakle (1-0) walk, Veronica Ralston (0-1) forced Staci Ramsey to pop up to center. That brought Woods to the plate with the bases loaded, facing two outs. Ralston had her on the ropes with an 0-2 count, but Woods delivered a long drive double over the glove a leaping Jessica Williams, clearing the bases.

After torrential rains forced the game to be called at 7:05 p.m. (EST) Friday evening, play resumed at 10:56 a.m. (EST) Saturday. VanBrakle struck out the Thundering Herd side in order in the top of fourth inning.

The Crimson Tide added a run in the bottom half of the fourth, extending its lead to 4-1. With runners at the corners and two outs, pinch runner Mallory Benak scored when an errant Folden throw sailed into the outfield, attempting to pick Benak off at third.

Alabama capitalized on another costly Marshall error, as Mandy Burford scored on a throwing error by Wintter, giving 'Bama a 5-1 advantage.

VanBrakle allowed a run, while scattering three hits with 15 strikeouts. Ralston struck out four Crimson Tide batters, while allowing five runs on five hits.

Amanda Williams led the Herd with a 2-for-3 showing, while Folden knocked in the Herd's lone run of the game.

Woods led the Tide offensively, driving in three runs in the first inning.