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Marshall Earns First 2014 Victory in Day 2 of Tiger Invitational

Sophomore Alyssa Cook hit one of the three Herd home runs today.

Feb. 15, 2014

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AUBURN, Ala. - Marshall softball (1-3) earned its first victory of the season in Day 2 of the Tiger Invitational in Auburn, Ala. With three home runs on Saturday, the Thundering Herd has a total of five in two days.

The Thundering Herd triumphed over Loyola Chicago (3-5) in the first game of the day at Jane B. Moore Field by a score of 8-1. After about a two-hour break, Marshall battled Nebraska-Omaha (4-2), but suffered a three-run loss, 9-6.

Marshall will square off against Winthrop Sunday at 2 p.m. for its final game of the Tiger Invitational.

Marshall 8, Loyola Chicago 1
With a single and stolen base, sophomore Kaelynn Greene (Eastvale, Calif.) put herself in scoring position to start the game against the Ramblers. Freshman Morgan Zerkle (Milton, W.Va.) followed Greene's (2-for-3) performance by reaching base on a fielder's choice. The intimidation of speed between the duo caused a defensive indifference that allowed Greene to cross the plate and give the Herd an early 1-0 lead.

Both teams were scoreless through the second inning, but with one-out the speedy duo was at the plate, again. Two singles and base advancements on a stolen base and wild pitch put them in scoring position for sophomore Shaelynn Braxton (Woodbridge, Va.), who hit a two-RBI double to push Marshall ahead, 3-0.

The Herd didn't finish its scoring there. S. Braxton stole third and touched home on a sacrifice fly out to center field from sophomore Raquel Escareno (Wellington, Colo.) to further extend the gap, 4-0, before a ground ball to third base ended the four-hit, three-run inning.

After a scoreless top of the fourth, freshman Jordan Dixon (Edmond, Okla.) surrendered her first and only pair of hits and sole run in the bottom of the inning to the Ramblers, who shrunk the Marshall lead to 4-1.

Sophomore Katalin Lucas (Agua Dulce, Calif.) led off the sixth inning with a double down the left-field line. She advanced to third on a ground out, before senior Taylor Winton (Federal Way, Wash.) was hit-by-pitch and stole second. Once sophomore pinch hitter Alyssa Cook (West Hamlin, W.Va.) was walked to load the bases, sophomore Kristina Braxton (Woodbridge, Va.) hit a three-RBI double in the right-center gap to clear the bases and give the Herd a six-run advantage, 7-1.

With two-out pressure threatening Lucas' (2-for-3) at bat in the seventh inning, she connected and smashed a pitch over the center-field wall to give the Herd its final run in its first 2014 win of the season, 8-1.

Dixon (1-2) earned the one-run victory in her first complete game and with seven strikeouts, she set a new career record in her third appearance for the Herd.

Freshman Morgan Kelley (Milton, W.Va.) made her first collegiate start at first base, and freshman Rebecca Myslenski (Seabrook, Texas) earned her first collegiate hit against the Ramblers.                  

Marshall finished the game with eight runs off of nine hits, while committing two errors. Loyola Chicago had one run off of two hits and remained errorless through seven innings of action.

Nebraska-Omaha 9, Marshall 6

The Mavericks opened the first inning of action with a double off the center-field wall, followed by a combination of three walks and a single to give themselves an early 2-0 lead over the Herd.

With two-outs on the board, S. Braxton (1-for-3) blasted her third homer of the tournament (first of the day) over the right-field wall to cut the Mavericks lead in half, 2-1.

After a scoreless second inning, the Mavericks capitalized on a Herd error that put their lead-off hitter on second base. With three runs off of three hits, the Mavericks took a 5-1 lead.

S. Braxton started the Herd's fourth inning rally with a lead-off walk. After a fly out to right, Escareno (1-for-2) walked and Myslenski (1-for-3) doubled to bring in S. Braxton and cut the lead, 5-2. Sophomore Alyssa Cook (West Hamlin, W. Va.) crushed a home run over the left-field wall to tie the ball game at 5 apiece, before two grounders ended the inning.

Nebraska-Omaha fought back in the top of the fifth with a homer and two-RBI double to take a four-run lead over Marshall, 9-5.

A one-out single from Lucas, and a two-out RBI double from Cook (2-for-3) shrunk the Mavericks lead to 9-6 in the sixth, but it wasn't enough to salvage the loss.

The entire Marshall bullpen saw action against Nebraska-Omaha, but freshman Brittanie Fowler (Avon, Ohio) took the loss (0-1).

The Herd connected for seven hits and the Mavericks tallied 11 hits. Both teams committed one error in seven innings of action.