@HerdSB Defeats FAU for 30th Win of the Season
Marshall now 30-5 overall and 12-1 in Conference USA
Box Score (PDF)
Coach Stanton Post Game Video
HUNTINGTON, W.Va.—The Marshall softball team earned its 30th win of the season, in just 35 games, with a 4-2 victory over the Florida Atlantic Owls Saturday evening at Dot Hicks Field. The Thundering Herd is now 30-5 and 12-1 in Conference USA play. Florida Atlantic falls to 25-13 and 7-3 in conference action.
Linda Dixon, mother of Marshall senior pitcher Jordan Dixon, tossed out the ceremonial first pitch for Marshall’s “Strikeout for Cancer Day”, as the Herd wore special pink jerseys. The Marshall players also donned headbands with the words “Faith.Fight.Frost” in support of former Marshall softball star, and current University of Indianapolis head softball coach Melissa Frost (1994-97).
Dixon and the Marshall defense played hard in the first contest of the three-game series to earn the team’s 30th win. Dixon struck out nine while allowing just four hits. For the senior ace, it was her 22nd win of the season, 15th consecutive victory and the 98th of her career.
Florida Atlantic did open the scoring as Mia Olson homered to left-center, giving the Owls an early 1-0 lead.
Sophomore Abigail Estrada responded for the Herd in the bottom of the second, as she homered to right field, evening the score at 1-1. It was Estrada’s fourth home run of the season.
An inning later, the Herd added three more runs. Senior Morgan Zerkle ripped a line drive into right field for her fifth triple of the season. That tied the program single season record set by Amanda Williams in 2004. With Zerkle at third, junior Taylor McCord homered to left field, giving the Herd its first lead of the afternoon, 3-1.
Later in the inning, sophomore Briana Daiss singled to left and freshman Elizabeth DeShields reached on a catcher’s interference call. Estrada then recorded her second RBI of the game and her 15th of the season on a single to left, scoring Daiss from second, and moving the score to 4-1 in favor of the Herd.
In the top of the fifth inning, Amanda Peck for the Owls led off with a hit-by-pitch. Four pitches into the next at-bat, McCord gunned down Peck attempting to steal second. It was just the second time all season that Peck was caught stealing. The second batter of the inning, Madisyn Palmer reached with a walk, and on the very next pitch was caught stealing at second. The two runners caught stealing were a game-changer for the Herd as the next batter, Emily Lochten, hit a solo shot to center field for FAU. It cut the lead to 4-2, but with the two runners caught stealing it kept the damage to just one run.
Dixon and the Marshall defense responded by retiring the final seven batters.
Taylor McCord was named the Dot Hicks Significant Sticker Award winner. The junior belted the two-run home run in the third inning, her 10th of the season, and was walked once. Defensively, McCord cut down the two base-stealing attempts in the fifth, bringing her season total to 13 runners caught stealing. McCord set the Marshall single-season record in 2016 with 21 runners caught stealing.
Head Coach Shonda Stanton
“It was a beautiful day and a great crowd for our pink game. It was really nice to see the moment in the beginning with Jordan’s mom coming out looking bald and beautiful and Jordan shaved her head in love and support and unity with her mom. For them to have that moment with Linda throwing the first pitch and then for us to be able to honor Dixon with her 1,000th strikeout was a great, moving moment today.”
“And or course our thoughts and prayers are with Missy Frost as well. A former player here and she has done some incredible things over at the University of Indianapolis. She was recently diagnosed with cancer as well and seeing her fight it and being successful, it was just a great moment.”
“They got the early lead with the solo home run. We left a pitch up, but it was great with Abby Estrada going to deep to equalize the game. Then our offense did well with being able to extend the lead with two outs in the third and take that 4-1 lead, which we really needed when you look at some of the hitters they have in their lineup. Lochten hit the solo shot but the game changer was Taylor McCord behind the plate. She had the two-run homer but then she comes up and throws out two runners in the same inning and that was before the Lochten home run. And you look at Elicia on the other end of those plays, coming and putting the tag down, that was huge. Great players make great plays.”
Marshall will finish the series with Florida Atlantic on Sunday with a doubleheader beginning at 10 a.m.