Goodbye Mr. Glowball: Herd Launches Seven Home Runs in Two Wins Saturday

March 4, 2006

MARIETTA, Ga. - Sophomore and Conference USA Preseason Player of the Year Rachel Folden (Baldwin Park, Calif./Diamond Bar) hit a school-record three home runs against Austin Peay to lead the Thundering Herd to a pair of victories Saturday.

Folden now has eight home runs and through 18 games is one homer shy of tying her season total from a year ago. The pair of victories helped Marshall (9-9) even its record to 2-2 at the 14th Annual Atlanta Marriott Buzz Classic.

Following a 3-0 win by Connecticut Saturday night, the Herd was eliminated from the Buzz Classic.

Game 1 (Marshall 6, East Tennessee State 4)

Box Score

Marshall more than doubled its home run production from Friday, as the Thundering Herd belted four round-trippers in a 6-4 win over East Tennessee State (3-12) Saturday morning.

Amanda Luers (Dover, Ohio/Dover) earned her first win (1-0) of the season, allowing only one hit with three strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings.

East Tennessee State's Mary Catherine Vercoe (0-6) was dealt the loss, allowing all six runs on eight hits in six innings.

Entering the game, senior Courtney Kacenga (Sierra Vista, Ariz./Buena) had not recorded a hit in 10 previous at bats this season. Kacenga's solo home run to center field jumpstarted a three-run second inning to give the Herd a 3-0 advantage.

After Ashley Mitchell (Kennesaw, Ga./Harrison) and Amanda Williams (Powder Springs, Ga./Harrison) reached on consecutive singles, both runners scored on a Stephanie Gaynord fielding error.

East Tennessee State cracked the scoreboard in the bottom half of the second with a solo home run to center field by Amanda Haverman.

Sara Spenia (Las Vegas, Nev./Durango) extended the Herd's lead back to three runs, 4-1, with her first home run of the season - a solo effort - to right-center field in the third inning.

The Buccaneers pulled to within one run, 4-3, in the ensuing half inning. With one out and a runner on first, Jessie Hackworth sent a chopper back to Harter. However, Harter's hesitation in throwing to second to get the lead runner was late, leaving runners at first and second. Haverman made the Herd pay for its mistake with a two-RBI single up the middle, plating Briana Knight and Hackworth.



ETSU evened the score at 4-4 in the fourth inning. A pair of singles and a fielding error by Leigh Wintter (Acworth, Ga./North Cobb) loaded the bases with nobody out in the fourth for the Buccaneers. Knight's RBI single to left field plated the tying run. Stephanie Cope tried to score from second on the play, but Jessica Williams (Powder Springs, Ga./Harrison) threw her out at home.

After ETSU scored the tying run, Marshall starter Abigail Harter (Monmouth, Ore./Santiam Christian) gave way to Luers, who retired the next two batters to end the inning. Harter allowed four runs on seven hits with two strikeouts in 3 1/3 innings.

Marshall regained a one-run lead, 5-4, in the fifth with Deanna Tourville's (Rescue, Calif./Ponderosa) third solo home run of the season.

Williams added a solo home run in the sixth - the Herd's fourth of the morning session - to take a 6-4 lead.

Haverman finished 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBI, while four different Herd batters recorded a home run. Tourville and the Williams sisters each tapped out two hits apiece.

Marshall 6, East Tennessee State 4 (Mar 04, 2006 at Marietta, Ga.)
Marshall............ 031 011 0 -  6 10  1      (8-9)
East Tennessee State 012 100 0 -  4  8  1      (3-12)
Pitchers: Marshall - Abigail Harter; Amanda Luers(4). East Tennessee State - Mary Vercoe; Courtney Jenkins(7).
Win-Amanda Luers(1-0)  Loss-Mary Vercoe(0-6)  T-1:55  A-517

Game 2 (Marshall 8, Austin Peay 0 - 5 innings)

Austin Peay Box Score

Marshall depended on the long ball again in game two and a stellar pitching performance to take an 8-0 run-rule victory over Austin Peay (4-5-1).

A day after struggling mightily in the circle, Marshall starting pitcher Veronica Ralston (Tucson, Ariz./Catalina Foothills) had a dominating performance in the circle. Ralston (5-5) struck out a career-high seven batters, while scattering five hits in five innings.

After striking out the first two batters she faced, Ralston allowed consecutive base runners before forcing the next batter to ground out to end the top of the first inning.

Marshall continued its power swing in the bottom of the first. A two-run home run to left-center field by Folden gave the Herd an early 2-0 lead.

Folden added her second home run of the game in third inning with a solo shot to center field, extending the Herd lead to 3-0.

Folden homered again in the fourth with a two-run blast - her third of the contest - to give Marshall the 5-0 advantage.

Marshall added three more runs in the fifth to take the run-rule victory. Folden finished 3-for-3 with three homers and six RBI. Amanda Williams went 3-for-4 with an RBI, while Gina Guzzo (Virginia Beach, Va./Kempsville) went 3-for-3 at the plate.

Marshall 8, Austin Peay 0 (Mar 04, 2006 at Marietta, Ga.)
Austin Peay......... 000 00 -  0  5  1      (4-5-1)
Marshall............ 201 23 -  8 15  0      (9-9)
Pitchers: Austin Peay - Lacey Briscoe; Natasha Anderson(2). Marshall - Veronica Ralston.
Win-Veronica Ralston(5-5)  Loss-Lacey Briscoe(0-2)  T-1:49  A-517