March 11, 2012
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -After winning both games on Saturday in the first conference series of the year, Marshall fell to Houston 3-2, Sunday at Dot Hicks Field.
Houston (11-13, 1-2) used multiple one run innings to skirt past the Thundering Herd (12-10, 2-1 C-USA). MU attempted a rally in the later innings, but was unable to get enough runs to outlast the Cougars.
"It's a game of little mistakes and we set up Houston's runs with those, said head coach Shonda Stanton. "Give credit to Houston, they capitalized on the mistakes, while we were not successful in doing so."
Houston plated one run in the first, fourth, and sixth innings to account for their three runs. Melissa Gregson connected for the first of her team high three hits during the first inning to put her squad up one. A Jennifer Klinkert singled drove in one in the fourth to give UH its second run of the game.
Relief pitcher Natalee Pulver helped limit the Cougar offense after entering the game in the first inning. Up until the sixth, Pulver had allowed just the one run, which was unearned, helping keep the green and white in the contest. Houston though would get to Pulver in the sixth with a solo home run from Syndey Gerbracht to push their lead to 3-0.
Marshall struggled at the dish during the contest. Houston starting pitcher Bailey Watts held the Herd without a hit up until the sixth inning. Alianna Telles gave the Herd its first hit and run of the day when she delivered a solo home run over the left field fence. Rebecca Gamby drove in her squad's second run a few batters later to put MU down one run, 3-2 after six.
Good defense in the top of the seventh halted any offensive threat from Houston. The Herd then came to the dish in the bottom of the inning looking to tie or win the game. Victoria Marvin drew a walk to begin the inning, but three straight outs halted any rally and ended the game.
"I'm proud of our fight in game, especially in the end. We just came up short," said Stanton. "On offense we do anything until it was too late. We were indecisive and we have to put things in play. We didn't go with our strengths today."
"In the circle, Natalee was impressive for us. She was able to get out of jams and get ground balls to end the innings."
Watts (4-4) earned the victory with ten strikeouts while allowing only two Herd hits. Andi Williamson (8-6), who started the contest, suffered the loss for MU.
"We did a number of things well to make it a successful weekend series and we know where we need to be better to close out the weekend," Stanton concluded after the game.
Next up for the Herd is a three game road series against Memphis. Action begins Saturday with two games at 5 PM and 7 PM. The third game is slated for Sunday at 1 PM. The 5 PM game on Saturday will be televised by FSN nationwide.