Marshall Falls in Series Finale to FAU
FAU earns the first series win between the two teams in Conference USA
March 6, 2014
BOCA RATON, Fla. – Marshall softball (5-13, 1-2 C-USA) suffered a three-run loss to FAU (14-9, 2-1 C-USA) in its first Conference USA series clincher between the two teams Thursday morning.
The Thundering Herd took its first and only lead of the game in the fourth inning, after a momentum booster from sophomore Shaelynn Braxton (Woodbridge, Va.), who hit her sixth homer of the season to tie the game for the second time.
Marshall is staying in South Florida to compete in FAU’s Parents’ Weekend Tournament Friday morning. The Herd will face No. 14 South Alabama and Michigan State at 10 a.m. and noon, respectively.
FAU 9, Marshall 6
In the final contest of the series, the Owls grabbed control of the game and took an early lead.
With three back-to-back singles, FAU loaded the bases in the bottom of the first inning. A ground out to second turned a double play and registered two outs, but allowed a runner to score and put another on third. Before freshman Jordan Dixon’s (Edmond, Okla.) first strikeout of the game and third out of the inning, the Owls connected for an RBI double and pushed ahead 2-0.
After a scoreless second inning, the Herd found its way into the game in the top of the third. On one out, junior Kristina Braxton (Woodbridge, Va.) connected for a double in the left-center gap and advanced to third on sophomore Kaelynn Greene’s (Eastvale, Calif.) single that rocketed just over the third baseman’s head.
A stolen base on a strikeout put the tying runs in scoring position for senior Savanah Webster (Las Vegas, Nev.), who singled just in front of the centerfielder for two RBI to tie the game at two apiece.
FAU fought back in the bottom of the inning to take back the lead and succeeded. With two singles and a stolen base, the Owls put runners in scoring position, quickly. A one-out sacrifice pop up to second base brought in the lead runner to push ahead of Marshall by one, 3-2.
Once Dixon and the Herd grasped the third out of the inning, sophomore S. Braxton (2-for-4) smashed her sixth bomb out of the FAU Softball Stadium on the first pitch of the fourth inning to tie the game 3-3.
The underclassman sparked energy into Marshall’s dugout and with it, the Herd took its first lead of the game. After sophomores Katalin Lucas (Agua Dulce, Calif.) and pinch hitter Alyssa Cook (West Hamlin, W.Va.) drew walks, a one-out RBI single from K. Braxton (2-for-3) gave the Herd a 4-3 advantage.
The team’s held each other scoreless for a half inning, but in the bottom of the fifth, FAU found a weakness in Marshall’s defense and capitalized to take a lead.
Nine hits, including five infield singles, along with an error combined to score six runs and give the Owls a 9-4 lead.
A scoreless sixth inning gave the Herd one last chance to either tie or take a lead.
Marshall made a valiant effort, loading the bases with a Greene (2-for-4) single, an FAU error that allowed freshman Morgan Zerkle (Milton, W.Va.) to reach base and a Webster (3-for-4) single.
Back-to-back fielder’s choices brought Greene and Zerkle home, but put two outs on the board. A fly out to center field ended the inning and the game, 9-6.
Dixon (3-10) suffered the loss, but had eight K’s through 4.2 innings. The Herd had four errors, while the Owls committed one. FAU outhit Marshall 15-to-10.