Herd Extends C-USA Winning Streak to Five with Dramatic 3-2 Win over UAB

March 24, 2006

Box Score

HUNTINGTON - Sara Spenia (Las Vegas, Nev./Durango) scored the game-winning run on a fielding error by UAB's Holly Krzan in the bottom of the seventh inning, giving the Marshall Thundering Herd a 3-2 win over the Blazers Friday evening at Dot Hicks Field.

With the win, Marshall (17-14, 5-2 C-USA) extended its Conference USA winning streak to five games and moved within half a game of first-place Tulsa (5-1 C-USA). The loss drops UAB (18-8, 5-2 C-USA) to a second-place tie with the Herd.

Marshall starting pitcher Veronica Ralston (Tucson, Ariz./Catalina Foothills) became the first Herd pitcher to reach 10 victories (10-7) this season, pitching a seven-inning gem. Ralston struck out six batters, while holding the Blazers to two runs on five hits and one walk.

UAB's Jennifer Nelson (8-2) lost for the first time in her last four outings. Nelson allowed three runs on five hits, while striking out seven batters in 6 2/3 innings.

Sophomores Rachel Folden (Baldwin Park, Calif./Diamond Bar) and Deanna Tourville (Rescue, Calif./Ponderosa) each recorded a hit and an RBI for the Herd. Folden's RBI was her 40th this season and gave her 100 for her short career. Folden is only the second player in program history to hit the three-digit mark, behind teammate Amanda Williams (Powder Springs, Ga./Harrison).

Spenia was the only Herd batter to register a multi-hit performance, going 2-for-3 with the game-winning score.

Five different Blazers recorded a hit, while Krzan went 0-for-3.

UAB cracked the scoreboard first in the opening inning, taking an early 1-0 lead. With one out, Chelsea McCall tripled to left field. Two batters later, McCall scored on a passed ball by Folden.



The Blazers extended its lead to two runs, 2-0, in the second inning. Leigh Walker led off with a single to left field. After advancing to second on a wild pitch, Walker moved over to third on Jacy Leon's single to left field. Walker later scored on Allison Davis' RBI sacrifice bunt.

Marshall responded in the third, cutting the Blazers lead in half. Spenia singled to center field to lead off the inning. Williams then walked and later advanced to second on a fielder's choice. Folden followed with an RBI single through the left side, scoring Williams to cut the deficit to 2-1.

The Herd added another run in the ensuing inning, knotting the game at two apiece. Tourville's solo home run to left-center provided the equalizer in the fourth inning.

After two scoreless innings, UAB was unable to present a scoring opportunity, as Ralston retired the Blazers in order in the seventh.

Marshall, however, was able to capitalize on UAB's costly error. With one out, Spenia singled through the left side. Courtney Kacenga (Sierra, Ariz./Vista) then bunted her over to second. Spenia later advanced to third on a passed ball. Williams followed with a two-out walk, putting runners on the corners.

Ashley Mitchell (Kennesaw, Ga./Harrison) then hit a hard chopper to Krzan, who was unable to make a play at first base or home. The fielding error allowed Spenia to score, giving the Herd the dramatic 3-2 victory.

The Marshall Thundering Herd will conclude its three-game Conference USA series against UAB with a 1 p.m. doubleheader Saturday. Fans are reminded that both games will broadcast live on WMUL 88.1 FM. Live stats will also be available at www.HerdZone.com.

Marshall 3, UAB 2 (Mar 24, 2006 at Huntington, W.Va.)
UAB................. 110 000 0 -  2  5  1      (18-8, 5-2 C-USA)
Marshall............ 001 100 1 -  3  5  1      (17-14, 5-2 C-USA)
Pitchers: UAB - Nelson. Marshall - Veronica Ralston.
Win-Veronica Ralston(10-7)  Loss-Nelson(8-2)  T-1:56  A-117