April 13, 2013
HUNTINGTON, W.Va.— Marshall (27-16, C-USA 11-6) fell to East Carolina (17-24, C-USA 7-7) in both games of the doubleheader on Saturday, April 13, snapping Marshall’s streak of four-straight series wins. The Thundering Herd hadn’t lost on home turf in 363 days, almost a full-year. Its home-win streak ended after 22-consecutive victories at the “Dot,” previously losing at home to Tulsa 7-1 on April 15, 2012.
Between both games, the Herd committed fourteen errors – seven a game, tying the most in program history. The last time the Herd had seven errors was on May 10, 2007 in a 5-3 loss against UCF in the C-USA Tournament. Contrariwise, East Carolina had an errorless game one and committed three in game two. The Herd had a total of 12 hits and seven runs on the day compared to the Pirates’ 23 hits and 28 runs.
East Carolina forced game one to end in a mercy rule in the sixth inning after scoring 11 runs and holding Marshall to 1.
East Carolina got the offense started in the top of the second after a scoreless first inning. A pair of RBI singles down the left-field line and an error allowed three Pirates to score and give them an early 3-0 lead.
After retiring the Herd in order in the bottom of the second, the Pirates offense struck again in the top of the third. With one out, Jordan Lewis crushed a home run to left field to push East Carolina further ahead, 4-0.
Marshall recorded its first hit in the bottom of the third when freshman Kaelynn Greene (1-for-3) reached with a bunt single. The Herd was unable to move her around, and she ended the inning stranded on first.
East Carolina’s offense exploded once again in the top of the fourth. The Pirates scored three runs on one hit and two Marshall errors, 7-0.
Marshall finally got on the board in the bottom of the fifth with freshman Alexandra Bayne’s (1-for-2) leadoff and first collegiate home run to shrink the deficit by six, 7-1.
East Carolina countered in the top of the sixth with each of the Pirates’ first four hitters crossing the plate. Lewis hit her second home run of the game for three RBIs in the inning to extend the lead to 11-1.
The Pirates retired the Herd in the bottom of the inning to win in it in six innings via mercy rule.
East Carolina’s offense came out firing again in the second game. The Pirates utilized two walks and an error to load the bases, before Kaic Clark delivered an RBI single to score Kristi Oshiro. A throwing error allowed another run to score and Cicely Lopez followed with an RBI single of her own to give the Pirates an initial 3-0 lead.
Marshall threatened in the bottom half of the inning after Greene reached on a lead-off single. She advanced to third on a pair of groundouts and ended the inning stranded in scoring position.
East Carolina put another run on the board in the top of the second – and again in every inning despite the fifth, scoring five runs in the third, two runs in the fourth, two runs in the sixth and four runs in the seventh.
The Herd tackled on two in the second, after two walks and a single from junior Savanah Webster (3-for-3) loaded the bases with no outs. Freshman Katalin Lucas (1-for-3) reached on a fielders’ choice that scored pinch runner Kristina Braxton, before a throwing error on the play allowed the second run of the inning to score, as well. In the following at bat, freshman Raquel Escareno (1-for-3) hit a single to center field. Lucas was tagged out at the plate trying to score, and Escareno was tagged out trying to advance to second to end the inning.
East Carolina stole the momentum back in the top of third, and extended the Pirates’ lead to 9-2. After retiring the Herd in 1-2-3 order, attacked again in the fourth to push ahead 11-2.
Marshall kept the Pirates off the board in the top of the fifth – one of only three innings in the doubleheader in which East Carolina failed to score.
Webster sparked the Herd’s offense with a lead-off single in the bottom of the fifth. Lucas then stepped into the batter’s box and crushed a two-run home run to left field. The homer was Lucas’s second of the season. The home cut the Pirates’ lead to 11-4, but it was regained in the top of sixth.
The Herd kept fighting and in the bottom of the sixth, freshman Shaelynn Braxton (1-for-4) hit her sixth home run of the season to allow the Herd to avoid succumbing to the mercy rule in a second straight game. Braxton’s two-run shot to left field scored senior Alysia Hively, who had reached with a lead-off error. Senior Jazmine Valle (1-for-2) and Webster kept the action going with hard-hit singles, but after a fielders’ choice put runners on the corners with two outs, a diving play ended the inning.
The Pirates kept Marshall scoreless in the final inning of play, after scoring four in the top of the inning, 17-6.
The two teams will meet for the series finale at 12:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 14 at Dot Hicks Field.