Sophomore Abigail Estrada made three great plays in the bottom of the seventh to preserve the win in game one.
March 19, 2017
Box Score Game One (PDF)
Box Score Game Two (PDF)
Coach Stanton Post Game Video
Charlotte, N.C. – The Marshall softball team took the first two games of its Conference USA series at Charlotte, and improved its winning streak to 10. The Thundering Herd came back from a 2-0 deficit to win game one, 3-2. The bats came out hot in game two to win 8-4.
Marshall improves to 19-4 and 5-0 in Conference USA. Charlotte falls to 16-12 and 1-4 in conference play.
Game One: Marshall 3, Charlotte 2
Charlotte kept a no-hitter going into the sixth inning and held a 2-0 lead. Sophomore Ali Burdette came in to pinch hit with one out in the top of the sixth inning, and broke up the no-hitter after legging out an infield single. Junior Madi Marshall came in to pinch run at first base and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from junior Eloise Tribolet.
Then, with two outs and a runner in scoring position, junior Elicia D’Orazio put down a hard slap in the infield that nicked off the glove of Haley Wiseman in the circle and rolled to the back end of the dirt in between the shortstop and third baseman. Marshall crossed the plate for the Herd’s first run. One batter later, senior Morgan Zerkle lined a pitch down the left field line that scored D’Orazio. Marshall tied the game at 2-2.
Senior Jordan Dixon got the start in the circle for Marshall and held the 49ers to just two runs. Now in the sixth, with the bats making the adjustments at the plate, Dixon and the Herd defense came back out in the bottom of the sixth with new fire. One Charlotte batter got on base over the final two innings and did not cross the plate.
Finally, in the top of the seventh, junior Jordan Colliflower scored the go-ahead run on an errant throw that bounced off the top of the first baseman’s glove and went out of play over the top of the first base dugout.
In the bottom of the seventh, sophomore Abigail Estrada made the big plays defensively to preserve the win. On the leadoff batter, Estrada caught a fly ball to deep left field just as she ran into the fence. Estrada then made the catches for the final two outs to improve Marshall to 4-0 in conference action. Due to her play in the seventh inning, Estrada was named the Dot Hicks Significant Sticker Award winner for game one.
Game Two: Marshall 8, Charlotte 4
It took until the fourth inning but the bats came alive for Marshall in game two scoring one in the fourth, four in the fifth, one in the sixth and two more in the seventh.
Ali Burdette received the start in the circle for Marshall and allowed two runs through the first three innings and facing one batter in the fourth. Freshman Kailee Williamson pitched the fourth inning and allowed just one hit. Jordan Dixon finished off the final three innings for the Herd and struck out five to bring her career total to 952.
The 49ers got on the board first in the second with the first of three solo home runs and led 1-0.
The Herd tied the game at 1-1 in the fourth after Abigail Estrada scored on a hit by Jordan Colliflower. Charlotte responded in the bottom of the fourth with one run to take back the lead.
In the fifth inning, the Herd exploded for four runs off five straight hits. With one out, Elicia D’Orazio ran out a double and then scored from a double to left field by Morgan Zerkle. Zerkle then scored on a single into center by junior Taylor McCord. Senior Shaelynn Braxton ripped her 35th career double to put two runners in scoring position as Marshall held a one-run lead, 3-2. McCord crossed the plate on a single to left by Estrada. Braxton came home on a ground out to third by sophomore Briana Daiss.
With a three-run lead, 5-2, Marshall added one more in the sixth. Freshman Elizabeth DeShields led off with the first double of her career. Madi Marshall came in to pinch run at second for DeShields and later scored on a ground out to first by D’Orazio. The Herd led 6-2.
In the bottom of the sixth Meredith Harris belted her second solo home run of the game and cut the Herd lead to three.
Marshall responded with a bomb of its own as Daiss blasted a pitch to right center field for a two-run home run. The Herd put the lead up to five, 8-3.
Charlotte scored one more in the seventh as Haley Pace hit the third and final solo home run for the 49ers. Marshall got the final outs that it needed to grab its 10th straight win.
Briana Daiss was named the Dot Hicks Significant Sticker Award winner after driving in three runs and belting the two-run home run in the top of the seventh.
Head Coach Shonda Stanton:
“We tell our team that we would much rather play poorly and get the wins, but it was kind of a weird day. (Haley) Wiseman you have to tip your cap to her, she was cruising in game one and had a no-hitter going until Burdette beat out the infield single. It was great to see her hustling down the line. And then we were able to get to her just enough from there. Elicia did a great job battling in her at-bat and Madi did a great job to score and then Zerkle came up clutch.”
“Estrada’s play and that catch was a game changer. As soon as she caught it we said that is a Dot Hicks Award winner right there because that changes everything. It changes the complexion of the game when you know you have someone going hard and making plays like that. As a pitcher you know you can trust your defense because they are playing hard behind you.”
“We know Charlotte is going to battle and we know they will tomorrow. I thought Daiss did a nice job staying plugged in to the game and really having a solid at-bat there and for her to drive that ball to opposite field, and we needed that insurance for where Charlotte was coming up in their lineup. It was also great to see the way Liz hit the ball today as well. A lot of times, kids like that are quiet and they kind of go under the radar but she has done a great job stepping up for us at first base.”
Marshall will finish the series at Charlotte with a single game on Sunday, March 18. First pitch is scheduled for noon.