Georgia Tech, UConn Use Big Innings to Down Herd Friday at Buzz Classic

March 3, 2006

MARIETTA, Ga. - Despite a pair of home runs by Rachel Folden (Baldwin Park, Calif./Diamond Bar), the Marshall Thundering Herd was unable to score a win in the first day of the 14th Annual Atlanta Marriott Buzz Classic Friday.

Three Marshall (7-9) pitchers combined to walk 12 batters in 11 innings, while allowing 26 runs (24 earned) on 16 hits.

Folden led the Herd offensively, going a combined 4-for-6 with two homers and four RBI.

"This was the single-worst day of softball in my tenure here at Marshall," Marshall head softball coach Shonda Stanton said. "It was a bad day as far as performance goes.

"The important thing is for our team to move forward and to stay confident because this is our most talented team we've ever had."

Game 1 (Georgia Tech 12, Marshall 6)

Box Score

Georgia Tech (11-4) scored six runs in the second inning and added five more in the fifth to take an 12-6 victory over the Thundering Herd Friday afternoon.

Junior southpaw Abigail Harter (Monmouth, Ore./Santiam Christian) suffered the loss (3-4) in relief, allowing seven runs on six hits in 4 2/3 innings. Marshall starting pitcher Veronica Ralston (Tucson, Ariz./Catalina Foothills) allowed four runs on no hits in 1 1/3 innings.

Georgia Tech's Sarah Wood (2-1) earned the win, allowing two runs on two hits in three innings of relief. Tech's Christine Sheridan went 3-for-5 with a grand slam and six RBI, while Amanda Williams (Powder Springs, Ga./Harrison) and Folden each hit a home run and drove in a pair of RBI.

What began as a promising start for the Thundering Herd soon turned into another tough-luck second inning.

With two outs in the bottom of the first inning, Folden hit a 250-foot solo home run to straightaway center field. Folden's fourth home run of the season gave the Herd the early 1-0 lead.

Entering the weekend, the second inning proved to be Marshall's weakest link. In its 14 previous games, the Herd was outscored 21-6 in the second frame.

Georgia Tech scored six runs on one hit, quickly rebounding to take a five-run lead in the second inning. After loading the bases, Ralston surrendered a walk, allowing Caitlin Lever to score the game's tying run.

Ralston would last just an inning and a third before being replaced by Harter. Aileen Morales' RBI fielder's choice scored Blair Shimandle for Tech's second run of the inning.

Christine Sheridan then cleared the bases with a grand slam to right-center field. The home run capped off the six-run inning for the Yellow Jackets.



Marshall chipped away at Georgia Tech's five-run lead, scoring three runs in the bottom of the second. Ashley Mitchell's (Kennesaw, Ga./Harrison) two-out infield RBI single plated Deanna Tourville (Rescue, Calif./Ponderosa), cutting Tech's lead to 6-2.

Amanda Williams then scored Mitchell with a two-run home run down the right field line, reducing the lead to 6-4.

The Thundering Herd evened the score at six apiece in the fifth. After Mitchell drew a lead-off walk, she then scored on Morales' fielding error. The error allowed Williams to advance to second. Williams later scored on Folden's RBI double to right-center field which tied the game at 6-6.

However, Georgia Tech regained the lead in the sixth on Sheridan's RBI single to left field, giving the Ramblin' Wreck a 7-6 advantage. Tech added four more runs for an 11-6 lead.

Georgia Tech 12, Marshall 6 (Mar 03, 2006 at Marietta, Ga.)
Georgia Tech........ 060 005 1 - 12 8 2 (11-4)
Marshall............ 130 020 0 - 6 6 2 (7-8)
Pitchers: Georgia Tech - Lacey Richardson; Sarah Wood(5). Marshall - Veronica Ralston;
Abigail Harter(2); Amanda Luers(7).
Win-Sarah Wood(2-1) Loss-Abigail Harter(3-4) T-2:13 A-207

Game 2 (UConn 14, Marshall 2 - 5 innings)

Connecticut Box Score

Ralston's struggles carried over into the Herd's second game of the day. Connecticut (1-0) scored nine runs in the bottom of the first inning en route to a 14-2 win over the Thundering Herd.

UConn sent 15 batters to the plate in the first inning. Ralston (4-5) allowed nine runs on five hits in two-thirds of an inning.

UConn's Michelle Caouette (1-0) earned the win, allowing two runs on four hits in five innings.

Marshall would finally crack the scoreboard in the third on Folden's second home run of the day. Folden's two-run home run to left-center field plated Amanda Williams, cutting the Huskies lead to 9-2.

The Huskies would extend their lead to 14-2. UConn scored on a solo home run by Micah Truax in third inning and later added four more runs in the fourth.

Folden went 2-for-2 with a two-run home run in the night cap. Williams and Sara Spenia (Las Vegas, Nev./Durango) each recorded a hit against the Huskies.

Micah Truax led UConn at the plate, going 3-for-3 with two home runs and five RBI.

"We just have to learn to put it all together," Stanton said. "The preseason is about preparing for next week at Southern Miss. Tomorrow is a new day and we need to be ready to play."

The 14th Annual Atlanta Marriott Buzz Classic will continue Saturday. The Marshall Thundering Herd will face East Tennessee State at 9 a.m., followed by Austin Peay at 11 a.m. Bracket play will follow at 8:30 p.m.

Connecticut 14, Marshall 2 (Mar 03, 2006 at Marietta, Ga.)
Marshall............ 002 00 - 2 4 2 (7-9)
Connecticut......... 901 4X - 14 8 0 (1-0)
Pitchers: Marshall - Veronica Ralston; Amanda Luers(1); Autumn Mitchell(4). Connecticut - Michelle Caouette.
Win-Michelle Caouette(1-0) Loss-Veronica Ralston(4-5) T-1:55 A-207