Feb. 26, 2012
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – The Thundering Herd softball team once again took an early lead during Citrus Classic but was unable to maintain it, falling 2-1 to Maryland Sunday.
It was a battle of pitching and defense between the Herd (7-7) and Terrapins (10-2). Kendra Knight (7-0) started the game and received the victory, working 5.2 innings, allowing the only two Marshall hits and striking out four.
On Marshall’s side, Andi Williamson (4-4) worked the whole game, striking out eight Terrapin batters, limiting the opposition to two hits and allowing the only two runs UM scored, which were both unearned.
The Herd struck early with a run in the top of the first inning as Ashley Gue crossed plate when a double steal attempt by her and Jessica Hughes gave MU the early 1-0 run lead.
Williamson continued to shut down the Terp bats until the third inning when Shannon Bustillos got to first when an error by Herd second baseman Amanda Lara allowed her to reach and two UM runners to score, giving them a 2-1 lead.
“Both teams had only two hits and they capitalized on our mistake. We threw the ball away and they scored two,” said head coach Shonda Stanton following the game.
No more runs would be pushed across the plate by either squad thanks to the pitching performances and defensive efforts of each team but things did get tight.
“We had our opportunities. We made a base running mistake that would have put us in scoring position and allowed us a chance to score on a hit.”
Each side would have an inning where they would strand two runners each. Maryland had their chance in the fourth inning when runners reach second and third. Williamson allowed her defense to stifle the Terrapins attack, ending the threat.
Knight was knocked out of the game when a Rebecca Gamby hit drilled her in the leg forcing Kaitlyn Schmeiser to enter the circle. She kept her team’s lead in tack and held MU hitless to earn her first save of the season.
“When Gamby had the hard shot that knocked out their pitcher and they replaced her with Schimeiser, we were not selective enough at the plate,” said Stanton.
Marshall made things interesting in the top of the seventh when pinch hitter Taylor Winton drew a walk and Samantha Spurlock battle a lengthy at-bat to earn a two out walk giving her squad a chance to tie or take the lead, but a strike out of Ashley Gue by Schmeiser ended the threat and the game.
“It was a pretty well-played game between each team. They were able to make the most out of our mistake and we didn’t capitalize on our offensive opportunities,” continued Stanton.
“It was great to see Winton and Sam battle at the end to each draw walk, but we just couldn’t finish.”
The Herd returns home to Dot Hicks Field for the first time in 2012 asity will host the Marshall Invitational with participants Bucknell, Kent State, and IPFW. First game for Marshall is Friday at 12:30 p.m.
“Can’t wait to get back to work and look forward to our home tournament next weekend.”
Visit the Marshall Invitational central page for the game schedules, stats, and how to watch, listen, and follow each game.