April 6, 2011
DAYTON, Ohio - Hot bats and timely hitting help the Marshall University softball team come out victorious 7-6 over Wright State in game one of the twin bill on Wednesday. The Herd outlasted WSU in eight innings for a 1-0 win in the nightcap.
Natalee Pulver picked up her seventh win of the season as the Herd outlasted Wright State (15-16) in game one 7-6; Erika Bennett tallied her second save of the year in the win with a double play that shut down the Raiders' offensive threat in the seventh. Bennett then came back to notch her second win of the season in the 1-0, eight-inning Marshall win.
Marshall (15-20) tacked a pair of runs on the scoreboard in the second as a single to right by Alysia Hively put pinch runner Morgan Cottrell on base. Cottrell would steal second then round third off a Taylor Thompson infield slap - followed by Thompson drawing the defense away from a play at the plate in time for Cottrell to safely advance home.
Thompson came home, unearned, on a Wright State error to give the Herd a 2-0 lead heading into the bottom of the second.
The Raiders tied the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the frame as Kristi Boreing and Katie Kine each scored unearned.
In the third, Marshall loaded the bases with a leadoff double from Jazmine Valle and back-to-back walks to Rebecca Gamby and Melanie Stoehr. The Herd was called for its second runner interference of the game for its first out of the stanza, but was able to convert one run out of the situation as Hively plated Valle during a groundout placing the game at 3-2.
Gamby finished the game 1-for-1 at the plate, reaching on three other occasions via walk.
The score would teeter-totter in the bottom of the third with WSU taking a 4-3 lead on a two-run shot to right from Lindsay Barrett that brought around China Frost and Louie Haney. MU then made a change in the circle with Pulver relieving Andi Williamson after 2.0 innings of work.
Runs continued to be chalked on the board as a bases loaded, two-out situation in the fourth allowed the Herd to walk in Alianna Telles. MU regained a 5-4 lead when a textbook executed bunt by Jessica Hughes moved runners up and plated Valle.
WSU elected to call up Chelsea Contant to pitch for Krystian DeWitt, who left after 3.2 innings and five strikeouts.
The ballgame would be tied yet again in the bottom of the fourth as a RBI single from the Raiders' Frost scored Colleen Schneider to make it 5-5. Marshall recaptured its fourth lead of the contest going up 6-5 in the fifth courtesy of Ashley Gue scoring on a WSU error, unearned.
Gue was an impressive 3-for-3 at the dish with one run scored as the Herd's top hitter in the game.
Unwilling to back down, Wright State tallied one run in the bottom of the frame but it would not take long for the Herd to answer right back with a 7-6 lead as Gamby homered her ninth long ball of the season with a shot down the right field line in the sixth.
Bennett would close the seventh for Marshall as Pulver left the game with runners on first and third. A line drive back to Bennett allowed the reliever to record a double play with Stoehr then force a game-ending groundout to secure the 7-6 MU victory. Pulver (7-10) logged four complete innings in her outing.
Marshall tied its season game-high nine stolen bases, with Gue swiping a team-best three in the matchup.
Contrary to the first game's scoring frenzy, both squads were held off the board through seven complete innings as Bennett led the way for Marshall's defense by only allowing three WSU hits during that time.
Using the international tie-breaker rules, Cottrell would start the eighth inning planted on second base and eventually score the game's only run after taking advantage of a pair of Raiders miscues.
Marshall's defense held strong giving Bennett her second win of the year as she improves to 2-3 in the eight-inning complete game win, fanning six batters along the way.
Samantha Spurlock accounted for two of MU's four hits, hitting 2-for-3 at the plate.
The Thundering Herd returns to the Dot as it hosts Memphis in a three-game series starting with a doubleheader at 1 p.m. on Saturday and a single contest at noon on Sunday. This weekend marks MU's annual Pink Breast Cancer Awareness Game, which will be held during the twin bill Saturday.