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@HerdSB Completes Series Sweep over FAU

Sophomore pitcher Ali Burdette picked up her fifth win of the season in the series finale against Florida Atlantic.
April 9, 2017

Final Stats

Game One Box (PDF)
Game Two Box (PDF)
Coach Stanton Post Game Video
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Marshall softball team defeated the Florida Atlantic Owls, 6-3 and 2-0, Sunday afternoon at Dot Hicks Field. The Thundering Herd improves to 32-5 and 14-1 in Conference USA play. Marshall is 12-0 at home this season. Florida Atlantic falls to 25-15 and 7-5 in conference action.
Game One: Marshall 6, Florida Atlantic 3
Marshall’s senior ace Jordan Dixon won her 16th consecutive start and improved to 23-4 this season with her 99th career win. Dixon struck out 10 batters while scattering six hits in her 19th complete game of the season.
Florida Atlantic jumped out to an early 3-0 lead through the first four innings. Marshall struggled to find the timely hit, stranding five runners on base through three innings.
In the bottom of the fourth, sophomore Abigail Estrada and freshman Elizabeth DeShields led off the inning with a pair of singles to take first and second base. Junior Madi Marshall’s sac bunt allowed both runners to advance, and then an error by the second baseman gave time for Estrada to cross home plate and get one run back for the Herd. Junior Eloise Tribolet’s RBI single shortly after scored DeShields from third cutting the FAU lead to one, 3-2. Tribolet stole second to move into scoring position, but it did not matter as senior Morgan Zerkle homered to right field. The two-run shot, her fifth of the season, gave Marshall the lead 4-3.
Dixon and the Herd defense shut down the Owls for the remaining three innings.
In the bottom of the sixth, Marshall put two more on the board when FAU pitcher Tatum Buckley walked junior Elicia D’Orazio and Zerkle. Senior Shaelynn Braxton drove in both runners with a single to left. Marshall led 6-3 and held on through the top of the seventh for the win.
Morgan Zerkle was named the Dot Hicks Significant Sticker Award winner after scoring two runs and hitting the go-ahead, two-run homer in the fourth.  
Game Two: Marshall 2, Florida Atlantic 0
Sophomore Ali Burdette got the start in game two and pitched the first four innings. In the first, second and fourth innings FAU loaded the bases, but Burdette and the Marshall defense made the plays to get out of each inning without allowing a run. The Owls went on to strand 12 runners on base. Burdette earned her fifth win of the season.
Jordan Dixon took over after two batters in the fifth. Dixon got the save pitching the final three innings and recorded three more strikeouts.
In the second inning, Shaelynn Braxton smashed a leadoff home run to give the Herd the lead. It was Braxton’s fifth of the season and 32nd of her career, tying her for second all-time with Samantha Rodriguez (2005-08). Marshall ended the inning with a one-run lead. Braxton was named the Dot Hicks Significant Sticker Award winner for game two.
Marshall scored its second and final run in the fifth. Elizabeth DeShields hit a one-out double down the left-field line. Senior Chloe Parsemain entered to pinch run at second for DeShields. Two batters later, Eloise Tribolet dropped down a bunt single. She was then caught in a run-down between first and second after Parsemain had rounded third. After an error on the throw to second, Parsemain scored from third for the first run of her career.
The Marshall defense made the plays through the final two innings and Dixon struck out three to complete the series sweep. The win set a program-record for most series sweeps in Conference USA play with four.
Head Coach Shonda Stanton
“It was a great matchup all weekend. As a fan, you have to love this weekend. You are seeing two competitive, really good ball clubs out of C-USA going at it. You are seeing the long ball, bunts being dropped and beaten out for singles; it was just a lot of fun. And then what a spectacular day defensively. We only had four hits in that ball game and they had 10. They left a ton of base runners on because of our defensive play.”
“Burdette did a great job today in keeping the ball down in the zone. So she shot a lot of ground balls and we made plays defensively. She got ahead in the count early and that was really a difference maker. I would have liked to have left her out there longer, but when they got two runners on in the fifth, and you have someone like Dixon on the bench, we are going to use her. But, Burdette was huge. She gave us an outstanding start and then Dixon shut it down and closed out the game.”
“Braxton had a great day. You know, seniors step up and she was huge all day. From that very first inning of the first game when she made the play on the leadoff batter, Palmer, I knew it was going to be a good day. She was outstanding and she hit the hard. It was nice to see the long ball especially in game two when we were not hitting as well and getting a lot of week pop ups.”
“Kentucky will be a great matchup. They have a beautiful facility. (Head coach) Rachel (Lawson) has done a great job with that program. It’s a quality opponent and that is what you want. We are playing well and it is great for us to go over there. I love the matchup and this is an exciting few weeks for us. We got to kick it off with FAU and we knew this was the stretch that was going to be the challenge for us.”
Marshall hits the road for a single game at No. 20 Kentucky, Tuesday April 11 at 6 p.m. The Herd returns to Conference USA play on the road at FIU, April 14-15.