Herd Relies on Strong Pitching, Small Ball to Take Doubleheader Shutout Sweep of UAB

March 25, 2006

HUNTINGTON - For the second consecutive weekend, the Marshall Thundering Herd claimed a Conference USA series sweep at Dot Hicks Field. The Herd posted a pair of shutout victories over the UAB Blazers Saturday, extending its Conference USA winning streak to seven games.

Marshall (19-14, 7-2 C-USA) has now won seven straight games at home, while UAB (18-10, 5-4 C-USA) lost its first conference series of the season.

Senior Amanda Williams (Powder Springs, Ga./Harrison) finished the afternoon 3-for-6 with an RBI. Williams needs four hits to become the school's all-time hits leader. Samantha Rodriguez (Oakley, Calif./Rescue) drove in three runs on 3-for-6 hitting.

Jacy Leon paced UAB at the plate, going 3-for-5. Holly Krzan, UAB's top hitter and two-time C-USA Hitter of the Week, finished the weekend 1-for-9 after a 1-for-6 afternoon Saturday.

Game 1 (Marshall 6, UAB 0)

Game 1 Box Score

The Thundering Herd continued its winning ways in Conference USA play, taking a 6-0 win over the Blazers in game one.

Junior Abigail Harter (Monmouth, Ore./Santiam Christian) pitched a complete-game shutout, scattering five hits with two strikeouts. Harter (7-7) has now won four of her last five appearances in the circle.

UAB's Kayla Harris (6-3) suffered the loss, allowing six runs on eight hits in five innings. Harris struck out five batters, while walking three. Amanda Antonovich struck out one and walked another in one inning of relief.

Williams and Rodriguez each registered two hits and an RBI for the Herd, while Rachel Folden (Baldwin Park, Calif./Diamond Bar) went 2-for-3 with two doubles.

Marshall broke the scoreless tie in the second. With the bases loaded with two outs, Noelle Adams (Wheeling, W.Va./The Linsly School), who pinch-ran for Rodriguez, scored on an illegal pitch. The UAB pitching miscue gave the Herd a 1-0 lead.

The Herd added a run to its lead in the third. After a lead-off double by Williams, Ashley Mitchell (Kennesaw, Ga./Harrison) advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt. Williams then scored on a wild pitch, increasing the Herd's lead to 2-0.

Marshall would add two more runs in the fourth and fifth innings to take the resulting 6-0 win. With two outs in the fourth, Joscelyn Bitner (Virginia Beach, Va./Princess Anne) reached on a fielding error by UAB second baseman Leigh Walker. Bitner then scored on Williams' RBI double to give the Herd a three-run lead. Williams later stole home, giving Marshall the 4-0 lead.



After Folden doubled to center field to lead off the fifth inning, Rodriguez plated her with an RBI double to right-center field. Jessica Williams (Powder Springs, Ga./Harrison) later scored Rachael Sofie (Everett, Wash./Cascade) on an RBI single to right field for the Herd's sixth and final run of the first game.

Marshall 6, UAB 0 (Mar 25, 2006 at Huntington, W.Va.) (Game 1)
UAB................. 000 000 0 -  0  5  1      (18-9, 5-3 C-USA)
Marshall............ 011 220 X -  6  8  1      (18-14, 6-2 C-USA)
Pitchers: UAB - Harris; Antonovich(6). Marshall - Abigail Harter.
Win-Abigail Harter(7-7)  Loss-Harris(6-3)  T-1:53  A-107

Game 2 (Marshall 4, UAB 0)

Game 2 Box Score

Marshall clinched its second straight three-game home Conference USA sweep with its 4-0 win over UAB in game two.

Senior Veronica Ralston (Tucson, Ariz./Catalina Foothills) won her second straight complete-game (11-7), scattering two hits with six strikeouts. Ralston struck out 12 batters in 14 innings against the Blazers in two starts.

UAB's Jennifer Nelson (8-3) was dealt her second loss of the series, allowing four runs on seven hits in six innings. Nelson struck out nine batters, while walking one.

Amanda Williams went 1-for-3 with an RBI, while Rodriguez drove in two runs. Jessica Williams and Sara Spenia (Las Vegas, Nev./Durango) each drove in a run for the Herd.

Unlike game one, the Herd didn't score until the sixth inning. Amanda Williams led off with a single to right field. She then advanced to second on Mitchell's bunt single. Folden followed with a walk to load the bases for Rodriguez.

Rodriguez singled up the middle, scoring Williams and Mitchell to give the Herd a 2-0 advantage. Deanna Tourville (Rescue, Calif./Ponderosa) followed with an infield single, loading the bases once again for the Herd.

Bitner, who pinch ran for Folden, scored on a fielding error by Krzan, increasing the Herd lead to three runs. Spenia then plated Sofie on an RBI groundout for the resulting 4-0 score.

Marshall 4, UAB 0 (Mar 25, 2006 at Huntington, W.Va.) (Game 2)
UAB................. 000 000 0 -  0  2  1      (18-10, 5-4 C-USA)
Marshall............ 000 004 X -  4  7  0      (19-14, 7-2 C-USA)
Pitchers: UAB - Nelson. Marshall - Veronica Ralston.
Win-Veronica Ralston(11-7)  Loss-Nelson(8-3)  T-1:43  A-117

The Marshall Thundering Herd returns to action next weekend with a three-game Conference USA series at East Carolina in Greenville, N.C. Saturday's doubleheader is slated for 1 p.m., while a single game is scheduled for 12 p.m. Sunday.