Herd Plunders Pirates, Takes Two at ECU
Marshall looks for sweep on Sunday
March 21, 2014
GREENVILLE, N.C. – Marshall softball (9-19, 3-5) had three firsts in Friday’s doubleheader against Conference USA foe ECU (15-10, 4-4 C-USA). The Thundering Herd had two consecutive wins, two back-to-back errorless games and won a conference series for the first time in the 2014 season.
The Herd has now taken a one-game advantage in the all-time series between the two schools (17-16).
Marshall reached double digits (12) in the hit column in Game 1, for the first time since March 6 against FAU.
The Herd will play the final game of the series Saturday at 1 p.m., before heading back to Huntington, W.Va. to play Miami (Ohio) in a midweek contest Wednesday at 4 p.m.
Marshall 9, ECU 1 (6)
The Herd erupted for three runs in the first inning against the homestanding Pirates.
With two out, senior Savanah Webster (Las Vegas, Nev.) singled through the left side of the field to reach base. Sophomore Shaelynn Braxton (Woodbridge, Va.) stepped into the batter’s box and hit her eighth homer of the season over the opposite-field wall to give Marshall a 2-0 lead.
Sophomore Raquel Escareno (Wellington, Colo.) followed S. Braxton’s lead and hit a solo-shot over the center field wall for her third bomb of the season to make it 3-0.
The Pirates found their way into the game in the bottom of the third inning after a two-out triple put a runner in scoring position. An infield single brought in the run before the third out was recorded to cut the Marshall lead to 3-1.
A lead-off double from S. Braxton (3-for-4) led off the top of the fourth inning for the Herd. She scored on an RBI single from Escareno (3-for-4) to push the margin back to three at 4-1.
Three consecutive singles from junior Kristina Braxton (Woodbridge, Va.), sophomore Kaelynn Greene (Eastvale, Calif.) and freshman Morgan Zerkle (Milton, W.Va.) loaded the bases in the top of fifth with no outs. Webster was hit by pitch and credited with an RBI to make the score 5-1.
A forceout at home recorded the first out of the inning, but kept the bases loaded. Escareno earned her third RBI of the game with her third hit to extend the Herd’s lead to 6-1. Sophomore Katalin Lucas (Agua Dulce, Calif.) was the Herd’s second out of the inning, but brought a runner home and advanced two on a sacrifice fly to right to stretch the lead to 7-1.
Marshall continued firing, scoring another two runs in the top of the sixth. After loading the bases with back-to-back singles and a walk, S. Braxton hit a two-RBI single through an infield gap to put Marshall in a possible run-rule situation.
The Pirates led off the bottom of the inning with a single and a walk, but the Herd was able to shut down the side to end the game in six innings.
Freshman Jordan Dixon (Edmond, Okla.) secured the win (5-11), behind 12 Marshall hits and no errors.
The Pirates connected for seven hits and committed one error in the game.
Marshall 7, ECU 1
Game 2 had a slow start with three scoreless innings, until Marshall found its offensive groove and ECU committed a couple of errors to build the Herd's momentum in the fourth inning.
Back-to-back singles from Zerkle and Webster, mixed in with a stolen base, three errors, and a wild pitch allowed the Herd to take a 2-0 lead.
ECU shrunk the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning with a lead-off solo homer to set the score at 2-1.
Marshall loaded the bases in the following inning off of a single and two walks with two outs. Webster (2-for-4) then hit an RBI single to give the Herd a 3-1 lead and start a rally.
A wild pitch brought the fourth run across the dish and S. Braxton (1-for-3) followed with a homer that cleared the bases and gave Marshall a 7-1 advantage.
Escareno doubled and Lucas walked, before senior Taylor Winton (Federal Way, Wash.) – who ledoff the five-run, four-hit inning with a single – lined out to end the two-out rally.
Dixon and the Herd did not allow the Pirates back into the game, keeping the score at 7-1 for a Dixon win (6-11).
Marshall outhit ECU 8-to-7 and recorded no errors, while the Pirates committed three.