Herd Falls Below .500 For First Time This Season After Pair of Defeats Friday

Feb. 24, 2006

Box Score

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. - Marshall's recent offensive struggles continued Friday as the Thundering Herd dropped two games in the first day of the College of Charleston Cougar Classic.

Marshall (6-7) has now lost five of its last six games. The Herd has lost three straight games, dating back to the Georgia Softball Classic last weekend. It's the Herd's first three-game skid since last season (March 20-23, 2005).

Weather permitting, Marshall will face host College of Charleston at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, followed by an 8:30 p.m. contest against Dayton.

Game 1 (East Carolina 5, Marshall 1)

East Carolina (9-2) starting pitcher Stephanie Hayes (1-0) did not need much run support as the Pirates' four-run second inning was enough to take a 5-1 win over the Thundering Herd.

Hayes allowed one run on five hits, while striking out four batters in 5 1/3 innings. Brooke Swann surrendered just one hit with two strikeouts in 1 2/3 of near-flawless relief.

Marshall starter Veronica Ralston (Tucson, Ariz./Catalina Foothills) suffered the loss (3-4), allowing five runs - three earned - on just two hits with five strikeouts in six innings.

Six different Thundering Herd batters registered a hit, while Joyce Roodenburg and Alison Monce posted East Carolina's only hits of the game.

While Ralston was able to shut down the Pirates offense in the first inning, she was unable to repeat the feat in the second. East Carolina scored four runs on one hit - the hit being a three-run home run - to take a 4-0 lead after two complete inning.

After Vanessa Moreno drew a lead-off walk, she advanced to second on Jessica Johnson's fielder's choice. Angel Barrella then loaded the bases on a Sara Spenia (Las Vegas, Nev./Durango) fielding error.

Beth Nolan followed with an RBI sacrifice fly to left field, plating Moreno to give the Pirates a one-run advantage. Monce then cleared the bases with a three-run home run over the left field fence for a 4-0 ECU lead.



Marshall had an opportunity to crack the scoreboard in the fourth. With two out, Leigh Wintter (Acworth, Ga./North Cobb) singled to left field, advancing Courtney Kacenga (Sierra Vista, Ariz./Buena) to second.

However, Gina Guzzo (Virginia Beach, Va./Kempsville) grounded out to end the inning, keeping the Herd scoreless.

The Herd was unable to a take advantage a second scoring opportunity in the fifth. With one out, Amanda Williams (Powder Springs, Ga./Harrison) singled to shallow center field. Sister Jessica Williams (Powder Springs, Ga./Harrison) advanced her to second on an Ashley Quick fielding error.

Rachel Folden (Baldwin Park, Calif./Diamond Bar) followed with a sure RBI single up the middle, but Amanda Williams was thrown out at home by Monce from center field.

Marshall would not let another scoring chance pass as Guzzo plated Deanna Tourville (Rescue, Calif./Ponderosa) with an RBI single up the middle in the sixth. But it was the only run the Herd could muster as the Pirates took the 5-1 win.

East Carolina 5, Marshall 1 (Feb 24, 2006 at Mount Pleasant, S.C.)
Marshall............ 000 001 0 -  1  6  3      (6-6)
East Carolina....... 040 010 X -  5  2  2      (9-2)
Pitchers: Marshall - Veronica Ralston. East Carolina - Stephanie Hayes; Brooke Swann(6).
Win-Stephanie Hayes(1-0)  Loss-Veronica Ralston(3-4)  T-1:59  A-137

Game 2 (North Florida 2, Marshall 1)

Marshall's struggles continued in its second game Friday. North Florida needed just two runs on seven hits en route to a 2-1 decision over the Herd.

North Florida's Tori Ahern (3-1) earned the win, allowing one run on four hits with six strikeouts in seven inning. Abigail Harter (Monmouth, Ore./Santiam Christian) was dealt the loss, surrendering both of UNF's runs in six innings.

Alisha Phillips' RBI sacrifice fly to center field in the fourth inning plated Christina Evans, giving UNF an early 1-0 lead.

North Florida added an insurance run in the fifth on Caitlin Miller's RBI single up the middle. Amy Higgs scored on the play, increasing the Ospreys' lead to 2-0.

Folden ended the Herd's scoring drought in the second game with a solo home run to right field. Her third home run of the season trimmed UNF's lead down to one run, 2-1.

However, Ahern retired three of the next four Herd batters to end the game.

North Florida 2, Marshall 1 (Feb 24, 2006 at Mount Pleasant, S.C.)
Marshall............ 000 000 1 -  1  4  0      (6-7)
North Florida....... 000 110 X -  2  7  0      (8-1)
Pitchers: Marshall - Abigail Harter. North Florida - Tori Ahern.
Win-Tori Ahern(3-1)  Loss-Abigail Harter(3-3)  T-1:22  A-177