Herd Splits Day One at Michele Smith Invite
McCord hits 14th career home run against Oakland
Oakland Box Score (PDF)
USF Box Score (PDF)
CLEARWATER, Fla. – The Marshall softball team split the first day of action at the Michele Smith Pediatric Cancer Invite, taking the first game against Oakland (5-2) and then falling to USF (5-1) in the second game.
Marshall is now 2-4 this season.
Game One: Marshall 5, Oakland 2
Senior Taylor McCord put the Herd on the scoreboard in the top of the third with a three-run blast to left field. It was McCord’s first of the season and 14th of her career. The senior slugger is now two RBI away from reaching 100 for her career. Junior Abigail Estrada and senior Elicia D’Orazio scored on the home run to give Marshall a 3-1 lead.
“The difference in the first game started with our base running,” Herd head coach Jen Steele said. “We found our way on, were able to use our speed, and had timely hits in big moments.”
Junior Ali Burdette entered the circle with two outs and bases loaded in the third. Burdette finished off the inning and kept any more runs from crossing plate as Oakland had scored one earlier to make it a one-run ball game, 3-2.
“Burdette was great out of the bullpen and the defense played really well behind her,” coach Steele said.
Marshall scored two more in the fourth as freshmen Rachel Rousseau and Grayson Radcliffe took scored on a wild pitch. The Herd led 5-2.
Burdette and the Marshall defense held the Golden Grizzlies off the scoreboard for the remainder of the contest. Burdette tossed three strikeouts and got some great defensive effort including a diving catch in center by Estrada and a 6-4-3 double play that ended the fifth when bases were loaded.
Game Two: USF 5, Marshall 1
The Bulls jumped on the scoreboard first with three runs in the second and two more in the third to take a 5-0 lead. The Marshall defense clamped down after the third and held the Bulls off the scoreboard but it wasn’t enough as the offense managed just five hits and scored one in the fourth.
“We got behind early and then found ourselves struggling to put together momentum,” coach Steele stated.
Freshman Armani Brown in her second career start went 2-for-3 at the top of the lineup. She scored Marshall’s lone run in the fourth when sophomore Blakely Burch ripped a double down the right field line.
Junior Ali Burdette entered the game in relief in the third and pitched the final 4.2 innings, allowed just four hits, no runs and struck out two.
Marshall returns to the field Saturday, Feb. 17, at 12:30 p.m. eastern against the Missouri Tigers. The Herd’s second game of the day is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. against UMass-Lowell. Marshall finishes the Michele Smith Pediatric Cancer Invite on Sunday, Feb. 17, at 9 a.m. against No. 10 Tennessee.