March 19, 2006
HUNTINGTON - Trailing 8-0 in the fourth inning, the Marshall Thundering Herd scored 12 runs during the ensuing three innings to take a 12-8 come-from-behind victory over the UCF Golden Knights Sunday at Dot Hicks Field.
With the win, Marshall (16-12, 4-2 C-USA) increased its winning streak to four games and claimed its first Conference USA series sweep. UCF (13-20, 0-6 C-USA) lost its second straight C-USA series, extending its losing streak to nine games.
Abigail Harter (Monmouth, Ore./Santiam Christian) earned her third consecutive win (6-6) in the circle, allowing only two base runners in 3 1/3 innings of relief. Marshall starting pitcher Veronica Ralston (Tucson, Ariz./Catalina Foothills) was dealt the no-decision, surrendering seven runs on seven hits in 3 2/3 innings. Ralston (five) and Harter (two) struck out a combined seven batters on the afternoon.
UCF's Ashley Baker (1-5) received the loss, allowing five runs on four hits in one-third of an inning. Baker replaced starter Magon Paul in the sixth inning. However, Paul re-entered later in the frame, replacing the sophomore. Paul allowed seven runs on 14 hits in 5 2/3 innings.
In a repeat performance of Saturday, seven different players recorded a multi-hit game for the Herd. Jessica Williams (Powder Springs, Ga./Harrison) went 3-for-4 with an RBI, falling a home run short of the cycle. Courtney Kacenga (Sierra, Ariz./Buena) went 3-for-4 with two RBI.
Amber Lamb went 2-for-4 with two RBI for the Golden Knights, while Katie Feaster and Breanne Javier each added a home run for UCF.
For the third straight game in the series, UCF took a 1-0 lead in the first inning. However, the Herd was unable to respond in the bottom of the first as it did in the previous two games.
UCF added three more runs in the third, increasing its lead to 4-0. Lindsay Dean led off with a single to right-center field. After Lamb's single down the left field line, Javier cleared the bases with a three-run home run to center field.
The Golden Knights then added to its seemingly insurmountable lead in the fourth. Cat Snapp led off with a single to left field. Jennifer Tomasetti then reached on a fielder's choice. Lamb followed with a two-RBI double down the left field line, giving UCF a 6-0 lead. After Harter replaced Ralston in the circle, Feaster gave the Golden Knights an eight-run lead with a two-run home run to center field.
Then, the Herd's comeback began. Jessica Williams led off the bottom of the fourth with a triple down the right field line. Leigh Wintter (Acworth, Ga./North Cobb) then plated Williams with an RBI sacrifice fly, cutting UCF's lead to 8-1.
With two outs in the fifth, Samantha Rodriguez (Oakley, Calif./Freedom) singled through the left side. Deanna Tourville (Rescue, Calif./Ponderosa) followed with a two-run home run to right-center field.
The Herd cut the Golden Knights' lead in half, 8-4, on Wintter's infield RBI single that plated Williams.
While it took UCF four innings to score eight runs, it took the Herd only the sixth inning to match the run total. Marshall scored eight runs on eight hits in the sixth to take a 12-8 lead and complete its impressive comeback.
With two on and nobody out, Amanda Williams (Powder Springs, Ga./Harrison) doubled down the right field line, plating Noelle Adams (Wheeling, W.Va./The Linsly School). Rachel Folden (Baldwin Park, Calif./Diamond Bar) followed with a two-RBI single to left field. Rodriguez's RBI single to right field scored Ashley Mitchell (Kennesaw, Ga./Harrison), knotting the game at 8-8.
Jessica Williams' RBI single to left field gave the Herd its first and only lead of the afternoon, 9-8. The Herd's scoring barrage continued as Sara Spenia (Las Vegas, Nev./Durango) and Kacenga added RBI singles to close out the inning.
The four-run lead would be all Harter would need as she retired the UCF side in order in the seventh inning to clinch the Herd's first Conference USA series sweep.
The Marshall Thundering Herd returns to action this week as it travels to Southwest Virginia for a pair of non-conference doubleheaders. The Herd will face Radford Tuesday at 2 p.m., followed by a 2 p.m. twin bill at Virginia Tech Wednesday.
Marshall 12, UCF 8 (Mar 19, 2006 at Huntington, W.Va.)
UCF................. 103 400 0 - 8 8 1 (13-20, 0-6 C-USA)
Marshall............ 000 138 X - 12 18 2 (16-12, 4-2 C-USA)
Pitchers: UCF - M. Paul; A. Baker(6). Marshall - Veronica Ralston; Abigail Harter(4).
Win-Abigail Harter(6-6) Loss-A. Baker(1-5) T-2:18 A-214