March 29, 2013
Huntington, W.Va.--The Marshall softball team (22-12, 8-3 C-USA) secured a series win against Memphis (14-24, 3-8 C-USA) with two victories at Dot Hicks Field on Friday, March 29. The Thundering Herd has now won eight-straight conference games, 12-straight regular season games and 19-straight home games--all are new records for the Marshall squad.
Senior Jazmine Valle went 4-for-7 on the day with a game-winning, RBI triple in game one and a two-run homerun that gave the Herd the first lead of game two. Teammate and senior Bri Anna Hope also went 4-for-7 on the day with the first extra-inning hit and sole run of game one. Defensively, Valle had five assists and seven putouts, while Hope contributed four assists and seven putouts. Senior hurler Andi Williamson pitched a total of 16 innings and ended the day with two wins and 15 strikeouts.
In game one, both teams threatened to score early, but a 0-0 tie prevailed for 11 complete innings.
The game was decided after Hope (2-for-4) reached base on a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt off the bat of freshman Katalin Lucas (1-for-2). Then, Valle (1-for-4) blasted a walk-off triple down the right-field line to bring in Hope for the 1-0 shut-out win.
Williamson held the Tigers hitless in the final seven innings of the game, surrendering her last of three hits in the fourth inning. During that span, Williamson allowed four walks - two of which were intentional - but never faced more than four batters in an inning.
The Herd recorded seven hits on the afternoon and defensively, did not commit any errors. Williamson picked up 13 strikeouts and earned her 20th win of the season.
Game two started off in similar fashion with a hitless first inning, but quickly took a turn in favor of the offenses.
With one out in the top of the second, Memphis' Kelly Braman connected for a double to left field. Amber Lindahl drove in Braman with an RBI single to give the Tigers an early 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the inning, however, the Herd claimed the lead with a one-out, two-run home run from Valle (3-for-3) that allowed the previously walked freshman, Shaelynn Braxton (1-for-2), to score.
After a scoreless third inning and a 1-2-3 top of the fourth, Marshall exploded with four runs to take a 6-1 lead.
Hope (2-for-3) led off the bottom of that inning with a bunt single, moved to second on a sacrifice from Lucas and scored on a Valle bunt single. Senior Alysia Hively brought home sophomore Emileigh Cooper, who came in to pinch run for Valle, before Raquel Escareno blasted a two-out, two-run homerun to left field. Memphis made a pitching change, and Sara Pearson got the Tigers out of the inning with a strike out and did not allow the Herd to score again.
Memphis retaliated in the top of the fifth, scoring two runs on three hits and one Marshall error.
In the sixth inning, freshman Halie Vance took over the circle for Williamson and retired the Tigers in order for the final two innings of the game, earning the her first save of her collegiate career and securing the series win for the Herd.
Marshall will conclude the three-game series against Memphis Saturday, March 30 at 12:00 p.m. ET.