Feb. 16, 2008
AUBURN, Ala. - After a four-run seventh inning, the Marshall Thundering Herd came back to defeat McNeese State 8-7, at the Tiger Invitational Friday evening at Jane B. Moore Field.
Down 7-4 going into the bottom half of the last inning, Marshall (4-4) forced three hits scoring the four runs it needed to clinch the victory.
After a Samantha Rodriguez single advanced Rachel Folden, who reached second on an error, to third base, Folden eventually scored on the play to cut the lead to 7-5 after the Cowgirl's shortstop had a throwing an error. With the tying run on second, sophomore Caitlyn Jackson recorded her first home run of the year to tie the game at seven.
With no outs, junior Rachael Sofie kept the rally going with a single through the right side. Marshall would continue with a Melanie Stoehr walk, which put the Herd in prime position. Junior Kelly Nielson flied out to deep left field, which Sofie tagged on the play. The Cowgirl's shortstop cut off the play and had another throwing error, allowing for Sofie, the winning-run, to score.
"I'm pleased with the way we responded after the first game and especially after they scored early; we continued to fight and attacked at the plate," Marshall head coach Shonda Stanton.
Junior pitcher Autumn Mitchell came in for relief in the third and did not give up an earned run in the contest. She was credited with the win, second of the season, and now has pitched over 15.1 innings for the Herd without surrendering an earned run.
"Autumn continues to execute assignment pitching and she understands that she needs to throw strikes early and knows how to control the count," Stanton added about her junior pitcher.
McNeese State's (1-6) Katie Shumaker picked up the loss in the contest, surrendering an unearned run off one hit and one walk.
The Herd was led by three players who had multi-hit performances including Jackson's three-for-four effort with three RBIs. Sofie and Rodriguez followed with two-for-four performances and each added a run scored. Junior Rachel Schmidt had a pinch-hit RBI double in the sixth for her only at-bat in the game.
"This game's all about making the best of your opportunities, Caitlyn (Jackson) and Rachel (Schmidt) came up huge for us tonight," Stanton concluded.
Marshall, down 3-0, jumped on the board in the bottom portion of the second when junior shortstop Kelly Nielson connected on a 1-2 pitch and sent a shot over the right field wall for her first home run of the of the season, reducing the Cowgirl lead to 3-1.
McNeese State added two more runs in the top of the third, but Marshall would counter with a run of its own in the bottom half of the inning. With two outs, Folden started the rally with a single down the third base line. Rodriguez pulled the ball in a gap through the left side, advancing Folden on her first hit of the game. Jackson added to the two out rally with another single scoring Folden from second and cutting the deficit to 5-2.
In the fourth, the Herd would cut the lead to two when Melanie Stoehr doubled to left field and eventually reached third. Marcena Bertoldo placed a bunt scoring Stoehr who beat the tag by the Cowgirl's catcher, Jenny Clay, and trimmed McNeese State's lead to 5-3.
The Cowgirls extended its lead to 7-3 before the Herd added another run in the sixth. Bertoldo reached on an error by the third baseman and advance to second base on the throw. Schmidt's pinch-hit double to the gap to left center scored Bertoldo, cutting the Cowgirl lead 7-4.
The Cowgirls jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the top of the first, when Lindsey Langner reached on an error. McNeese State would bat Langner around and eventually loaded the bases with one out. Rachel King singled through the left side scoring two on the play. Megan Beard added the final run of the inning with a single to right field scoring Clay.
The Herd returns to action at the Auburn University Tiger Invitational, Saturday at 12:30 p.m. against Furman and concludes the day's action at 3 p.m. against host Auburn. Both games will be played at Jane B. Moore Field.
Marshall University 8, McNeese State 7 (Feb 15, 2008 at Auburn, Ala.)
McNeese State....... 302 002 0 - 7 10 4 (1-6)
Marshall University. 011 101 4 - 8 13 3 (4-4)
Pitchers: McNeese State - Duhon; Shumaker(7). Marshall University - DeStefano, Erin;
Win-DESTEFANO, Erin(2-0) Loss-Shumaker(0-1) T-2h14min A-40
HR MCNEESE - LaVoie.
HR MARSHALL - Jackson, Caitlyn; Nielson, Kelly.
Duhon faced 3 batters in the 7th.