Speed and Defense Lead Herd Softball to Day Two Sweep
Marshall stole 11 bases against UMass-Lowell
Missouri Box Score (PDF)
CLEARWATER, Fla. – The Marshall softball team used its dominant speed and great defensive play to come away with a day two sweep at the Michele Smith Pediatric Cancer Foundation Invite on Saturday. The Thundering Herd defeated Missouri 8-2 in game one and UMass-Lowell 4-2 in the nightcap.
Marshall improves to 4-4.
Game One: Marshall 8, Missouri 2
“We had all cylinders firing,” Herd head coach Jen Steele said. “Our hitters had great at bats and we executed in big moments. [Abigail] Estrada and [Eloise Tribolet] were lights out at the bottom of the lineup. [Katie] Adams and [Armani] Brown did an awesome job making things happen.
“We didn’t rely on 1-2 hitters to get it done. It was a full team attack and it showed by how many runs we scored.”
Marshall opened up the scoring in the second inning with five runs. The Herd recorded three hits and took advantage of three steals, two errors and a wild pitch. Marshall added two more runs in the fourth as junior Abigail Estrada and senior Eloise Tribolet both came in to score on a dropped strike three. Estrada scored her third run of the game in the sixth on an RBI single by freshman Armani Brown.
Estrada finished the game 2-of-3 with the three runs scored. Tribolet went 3-for-3 with two runs and a stolen base. Freshman Katie Adams also recorded two hits.
In the circle, sophomore Kailee Williamson received the start and recorded her first win of the season. Junior Ali Burdette came on in relief and helped to shut down the Tigers.
“Williamson had a great start and gave us the chance to win,” coach Steele said. “She had her best stuff and competed in the circle. Burdette was great out of the pen. She continues to come in and shut the door.
“Our defense kept us in the game and made huge plays when we needed it. [Elicia] D’Orazio and Brown worked well up the middle and [Taylor] McCord was aggressive behind the plate.”
In the bottom of the first, D’Orazio fielded a ground ball at short and then ran down and tagged a Missouri runner who rounded third base too far. The Herd defense ended the game with a double play on a fielder’s choice. D’Orazio fielded a ground ball up the middle, tagged second base and then turned and threw the ball to freshman Samantha Koehn at third to tag a runner who was off the base.
Game Two: Marshall 4, UMass-Lowell 2
The Thundering Herd ripped off 11 stolen bases to go along with nine hits in taking down the River Hawks. Marshall scored one run in each of the first four innings. Sophomore Blakely Burch led the team with three steals. D’Orazio, Tribolet and freshman Samantha Koehn recorded two steals each and Taylor McCord and Brown had one each.
Along with two steals, D’Orazio finished the game 4-for-4 at the plate with two runs scored. Her fourth hit of the game was her 200th of her career. D’Orazio becomes the 11th player in program history to reach the milestone. She is also tied with Marshall Athletics Hall of Famer Sierra Davenport (2001-03) for third in Herd history with 130 career stolen bases. Burch also had two hits and scored once as well.
“I’m really proud of our effort to finish the day,” coach Steele said. “We challenged the team in the pregame talk to make sure we came out attacking in game two and not settle with the win from earlier.”
Williamson received the start again in the circle for the Herd. She pitched the first five innings, allowed two hits and one run along with four strikeouts. Burdette entered the game at pitcher in the sixth and tossed a hitless 1.1 innings. Freshman Tatum Ksiazek came into the contest in the top of the seventh needing just two outs and got the save.
Marshall finishes the Michele Smith Pediatric Cancer Foundation Invite Sunday, Feb. 18, at 9 a.m. against No. 10 Tennessee. Fans can tune into the audio broadcast at www.marshall.edu/wmul on Stream 1. The live video stream can be found at http://www.usfseries.com/2018-tournaments/michele-smith-pediatric-cancer-invitational/. Marshall and Tennessee will play on Field 9.