Folden Sets Single-Season Home Run Mark, Leads Herd to 9-1 C-USA Win Over Southern Miss

March 12, 2006

Box Score

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - For the second time in eight days, Conference USA Preseason Player of the Year Rachel Folden (Baldwin Park, Calif./Diamond Bar) enjoyed a multi-home run performance. Folden finished with two home runs and five RBI, leading the Marshall Thundering Herd to a 9-1 C-USA run-rule win over Southern Miss.

Folden, the C-USA Co-Hitter of the Week for March 6, finished the week with three home runs and eight RBI, including her game-winning blast against Akron Wednesday night. She now owns the Marshall single-season home run record with her 11th homer, passing teammate Leigh Wintter (Acworth, Ga./North Cobb).

The win saves the Herd (12-11, 1-2 C-USA) from being swept in its first Conference USA series. Southern Miss drops to 15-16 overall and 2-1 in C-USA play.

With the win, Marshall head coach Shonda Stanton became the first coach in program history to reach 200 wins with the Herd (200-153 in six-plus season).

"We're really pleased with the way the girls responded today," Stanton said. "Hopefully, this will help us turn a corner and further into conference play."

Southern Miss starting pitcher Danielle Wymer (4-4) was dealt the loss, allowing five runs on three hits in 2 2/3 innings. Shea Naramore surrendered one run on three hits 1 2/3 innings of relief.

Senior pitcher Veronica Ralston (Tucson, Ariz./Catalina Foothills) earned her eighth win of the season (8-5). Ralston pitched a complete game, allowing one run on six hits with two strikeouts.

Wintter and Folden led the Thundering Herd offensively, combining to drive in eight of the Herd's nine runs on the afternoon. Wintter finished the day 2-for-4 with three RBI.

Folden became the first player in C-USA to reach double-digit home runs in 2006. Folden's two-run, opposite-field home run in the top of the first gave the Herd only its second lead of the weekend, 2-0.



That home run gave Folden a share of the Marshall single-season home run record with her 10th shot of the season.

Marshall added to its lead in the third, plating three runs on one hit with the aid of a Southern Miss fielding error. After back-to-back one-out walks, Samantha Rodriguez (Oakley, Calif./Freedom) then reached on a fielding error by USM shortstop Jessica Huerta, loading the bases for the Herd.

Deanna Tourville (Rescue, Calif./Ponderosa) then plated Jessica Williams (Powder Springs, Ga./Harrison), giving the Herd a 3-0 lead. Wintter then drove in two more runs with her two-RBI single through the right side, increasing the Marshall advantage to 5-0.

Wintter drove in the Herd' sixth run of the game with an RBI single through the right side in the fifth, extending the Marshall lead to 6-0.

Southern Miss finally cracked the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth on Ashley Brenan's RBI double.

The Herd took a commanding eight-run lead in the sixth on the bat of Folden. Folden's three-run home run to right-center field gave the Herd the 9-1 decisive victory.

The Marshall Thundering Herd returns to action Tuesday with a 2 p.m. doubleheader against non-conference foe Indiana State. The Herd will then host its first Conference USA series next weekend against UCF, beginning with a 1 p.m. twinbill Saturday.

Marshall 9, Southern Miss 1 (Mar 12, 2006 at Hattiesburg, Miss.)
Marshall............ 203 013  -  9  8  0      (12-11, 1-2 C-USA)
Southern Miss....... 000 010  -  1  6  1      (15-16, 2-1 C-USA)
Pitchers: Marshall - Veronica Ralston. Southern Miss - Danielle Wymer; Shea Naramore(3);
Lacey Gros(5).
Win-Veronica Ralston(8-5)  Loss-Danielle Wymer(4-4)  T-1:58  A-414