March 18, 2012
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -Marshall softball used strong offensive production and kept Memphis off the scoreboard for the third straight game to grab 6-0 win Sunday at the Tiger Softball Complex.
With a sweep of the Tigers, the Thundering Herd (15-10, 5-1 C-USA) moves into a tie for second place with Tulsa. Memphis falls to 6-22 and 0-6 in conference.
Marshall, which won two 1-0 ballgames Saturday, was able put up more runs on Sunday and got things started when Bri Anna Hope smacked a home run over the left center field fence in the top of the first inning to give MU a very early 1-0 lead.
In the following inning, the Herd offense put up its best inning with four runs. Alianna Telles delivered first with one of her two singles on the afternoon to plate two runs. Rebecca Gamby's two run double concluded the inning for a 5-0 Herd lead. The Herd added one more run in the sixth on a double steal attempt that was successful and allowed Taylor Thompson to score Herd's final run of the game.
"Our biggest goal Sunday was offensive production and we got just that,' said head coach Shonda Stanton. "Bri set the tone with a home run in the first and we exploded for four runs in the second inning. I am really pleased with our offensive production and to put up six runs."
As has been the case during the start of conference play for the Herd, the green and white pitching staff has been the story. Marshall has allowed only five runs in 42 innings of action during the first two weekends of C-USA of play. Andi Williamson and Natalee Pulver each combined Sunday for a complete game shutout.
Williamson started the contest for Marshall and cruised by not allowing a hit until a double from Ellen Roberts broke up the no hitter. The junior also struck out eight batters. Sophomore Natalee Pulver
entered in relief to start the fifth inning and she continued the dominance in the circle by not walking a Tiger batter while getting three Tiger batters to strike out. Earning the victory was Williamson (10-6) with Pulver picking up her first career save.
"Andi and Natalee continue to give us great innings. They both combined for a shutout win, said Stanton."
Roberts (0-10) took the loss for Memphis. She also collected two of the four Tiger hits.
"We are playing errorless defense, getting great pitching, and today were got the run support that we need and want to win a title," Stanton concluded after the game.
Marshall stays in the state of Tennessee and travels to Nashville to battle Lipscomb Monday with a doubleheader starting at 3 p.m. ET. The Herd will face off with Belmont on Tuesday in a 5 p.m. ET single game.