April 6, 2013
HOUSTON, Texas—The Marshall softball team (24-13, C-USA 10-4) ended two of its winning streaks in a split day against Houston (25-11, C-USA 9-2) at the Cougar Softball Stadium on Saturday, April 6. The Thundering Herd dominated the Cougars in game one, forcing a run-rule in a 13-1 victory, but fell short in game two, 6-4.
The Herd ended its overall win streak on 14 games – a new Marshall softball record – and 10 consecutive conference wins – a first for Marshall softball.
Senior Alysia Hively has set a new reach-base streak for the Herd this season. After reaching base in both games today, she sets the bar at 15 (previous, 14). Hively also sits at a five-game hitting streak with the ability of matching the season-high of six, which was previously held by freshman Kaelynn Greene, on Sunday. Senior Ashley Gue went 5-for-6 on the day, receiving her second perfect hitting game of the season in game one. Her last was Feb. 10 against FAU.
The Herd made its presence with an aggressive first inning in game one. After a one-out single put Gue (4-for-4) on first, teammate and senior Jazmine Valle (2-for-3) hit one in the left-side gap to put the Herd in scoring position. Gue scored on freshman Shaelynn Braxton’s (3-for-4) single up the middle, but Valle recorded the second out of the inning attempting to advance to third on the play. The one-run inning ended with a grounder to third base, 1-0.
The Cougars took the Herd head on, also scoring one in the first inning. After a walked hitter advanced bases on a sacrifice bunt and illegal pitch, Houston forced a Marshall error in a first and third situation that allowed a run to score.
The first inning ended in a 1-1 tie and remained the same through a scoreless second inning.
With two quick outs in the top of the third, Gue fired up a Marshall rally with a shot to left field. Valle connected for an RBI-single for the go-ahead run, and Braxton smashed a two-run homer over the left-field fence to extend the lead to 4-1. Webster kept the rally alive with a single to short stop, but was left stranded after a foul out to first base ended the three-run inning.
Marshall kept Houston off the board the rest of the game, and senior Andi Williamson gave up her first and only two hits of the contest in the bottom of the fourth. The Herd continued trouncing the Cougars with a six-run fourth inning and three-run fifth inning to force game one to an end in the fifth.
The Herd went through its complete line-up in the fourth inning and capitalized on five hits and two Houston errors to extend the lead to 10-1 on two outs.
In the fifth, Marshall connected for three hits and took advantage of two more Houston errors to take a 12-run lead, and win 13-1.
The Herd had a total of 15 hits in the first game and committed one error. Freshman Katalin Lucas (1-for-4) increased her team-lead of conference doubles with a three-RBI rocket in the fourth (5), while Greene (2-for-4) increased her team-lead in conference hits (18). Hively (1-for-2) and junior Savanah Webster (1-for-2) drew the only two walks of game one.
Game two started and ended in a different fashion, as Houston took an instant 2-0 lead in the first inning to put the game in their favor.
The Herd was able to tie the game in the second, but was unable to hold down the Cougars and was powerless until the final inning of the game.
Houston scored two in the bottom of the second and fifth to take a 6-2 lead over Marshall.
The Herd made a vigilant effort in the final inning of the game with a lead-off single from freshman Alexandra Bayne, (2-for-3) who scored on a Greene (1-for-4) triple that shrunk the Houston lead to three, 6-3. Gue (1-for-2) kept the Herd booming with a single, but was forced out at second on Braxton’s (1-for-4) one-out, RBI-fielder’s choice that put the Herd behind by two, 6-4. Webster ripped a single to short stop, but was left stranded along with Braxton when a pop up to the second baseman ended the inning and game.
Marshall and Houston will face off for the series win in a single-game on Sunday, April 7. It will be the first televised game of the season. Fox Sports will be covering the game, and although game time is set for 12:00 p.m. CT, televised times may vary depending on location.