UCF Sweeps Herd in C-USA Softball Doubleheader|
March 29, 2008
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Samantha Rodriguez two doubles and Rachel Folden's double and solo home run was unable to guide the Thundering Herd to victory, as Marshall was swept by the UCF Knights in a Conference USA doubleheader, Saturday afternoon at Dot Hicks Field.
The Herd (12-22, 4-6 C-USA) was held to two hits in game one dropping the decision, 2-1. A five-run fifth inning rally by the Knights (28-14, 7-3) sealed the Herd's fate in the doubleheader finale, as UCF hung on for the 5-3 victory.
Marshall was led by Rodriguez's two doubles and two RBIs. Folden continues to chase the all-time doubles record when she hit her 18th double of the season in game two. She now has 61 career doubles and trails former Herd stand out Amanda Williams by 12.
During game one, the Knights got on the board in the first inning after a close call at the plate. With one-out Tiffany Lane singled toward the left side. She recorded a stolen base and advanced to third on a throwing error on the next play. Breanne Javier grounded out to the shortstop, which resulted in a close plate at home between Lane and Marshall's catcher Rachel Folden after a throw by Melanie Stoehr at first base.
With a 1-0 lead, the Knights increased its lead after another one-run inning. Lexi Gresham doubled down the left field line to lead off the second inning. A pop up to first and a sacrifice bunt followed and a Lindsay Dean single to left field scored Gresham from third, after the sacrifice bunt.
It would become a pitching duel from that point on as both pitchers held the opposing batters to limited hits. In the pitching circle for Marshall was Caitlyn Jackson (5-13), who picked up the loss after the complete-game effort without surrendering another run in the remaining five innings. The Knights' Kime (16-7) finished with 13 strike outs allowing only two hits.
The Herd would eventually cut the deficit in half scoring a run in the sixth inning. Junior outfielder Kristina Knecht started off the inning when she reached on a throwing error by UCF's shortstop. A Deanna Tourville sacrifice bunt advanced Knecht into scoring position at second. After a Herd strikeout, Samantha Rodriguez doubled down the right field line scoring Knecht. A Marshall ground out on the next play ending the Herd's scoring chances.
Marshall got off to a better start in the second game, when Folden blasted her seventh home run of the season over the left field wall in the third inning. She now has 47 home runs during her Marshall career and continues to extend the all-time mark with every home run she hits.
The Knights would answer in the top of the fifth inning with five runs. With runners in scoring position, Abby McClain singled to right field scoring Cat Snapp from third base. Maquita Council's sacrifice bunt attempt was mishandled loading the bases with no outs for UCF. A Lane RBI single through the right side scored pinch runner Megan Murphy. The Knights would tack on three more runs in the inning to claim a 5-1 lead.
Marshall retaliated in the bottom of the fifth inning with a run of its own. Deanna Tourville began the inning with a single up the middle and was eventually driven home by Rodriguez, her second RBI of the day, 25th on the season.
The Herd inched closer in the sixth when it added another run. Freshman Melanie Stoehr started off with a walk and scored from first after a Marcena Bertoldo double down the left field line. The Herd would have the tying run at the plate in both the sixth and seventh innings, but its comeback rally fell short.
Marshall's Erin DeStefano (2-6) pitched four shutout innings, before she faced five batters in the fifth inning. She was credited with all five runs in the contest. UCF's Ashleigh Cole received the victory after giving up one run off three hits in four innings.
Marshall and UCF return to finish its three-game series, Sunday, March 29 at noon. Live streaming and GameTracker will be provided via www.HerdZone.com.
UCF 5, Marshall University 3 (Mar 29, 2008 at Huntington, W.Va.) (Game 2) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- UCF................. 000 050 0 - 5 7 0 (29-14, 8-3) Marshall University. 001 011 0 - 3 7 3 (12-22, 4-6) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Pitchers: UCF - COLE, A.; KIME, A.(5). Marshall University - DeStefano, Erin; MITCHELL, Autumn(5). Win-COLE, A.(11-6) Loss-DESTEFANO, Erin(2-6) T-2h 11min A-220 HR MARSHALL - Folden, Rachel (6). DESTEFANO faced 5 batters in the 5th.