@HerdSB Splits at FIU as Dixon Records her 100th Win
Senior ace wins game one for the milestone
Game One Box (PDF)
Game Two Box (PDF)
Coach Stanton Post Video
MIAMI – Senior pitcher Jordan Dixon earned her 100th career win as the Marshall softball team won game one at FIU, 2-1, before falling in game two, 8-4. The Thundering Herd is now 33-6 and 15-2 in Conference USA. The Panthers are 33-11 and 9-5 in C-USA.
Game One: Marshall 2, FIU 1
Jordan Dixon went the distance for her 24th win of the season, and 100th of her career in game one. Dixon has won her last 17 starts and became the first pitcher in program history to reach the century mark.
Marshall struggled offensively with just four hits in game one. FIU recorded six hits, but Dixon and the Marshall defense made the plays to get out of the innings.
FIU score first with one run in the bottom of the third. The Herd responded as senior Morgan Zerkle took advantage of a high flyer, which was pushed back by the wind, and landed in between two defenders in the outfield for a leadoff double in the top of the third. With two outs, and Zerkle still at second, freshman Elizabeth DeShields delivered with a single down the left field line that scored Zerkle. The game was tied at 1-1.
In the bottom of the fifth, FIU loaded the bases but the Herd once again got out of the inning without allowing a run.
In the top of the sixth, junior Taylor McCord walked with two outs. Next, senior Shaelynn Braxton lined a double off the center field wall that scored McCord from first. Marshall took the lead 2-1.
The Marshall defense held on as the Panthers put two runners on in the bottom of the seventh, before a pop out to junior Elicia D’Orazio at second, ended the game.
Senior Shaelynn Braxton was named the Dot Hicks Significant Sticker Award winner for game one with the clutch, two-out double to center that brought home McCord for the go-ahead run. For Braxton, it was her 39th career double, tying her for sixth place with Leigh Wintter (2003-06) and Rebecca Gamby (2009-12).
Game Two: FIU 8, Marshall 4
Marshall recorded 11 hits in the nightcap but could not find the timely hit, or the defensive stop, as FIU scored five runs in the third inning on the way to an 8-4 win.
Sophomore Ali Burdette started in the circle for the Herd and pitched into the third inning. Freshman Kailee Williamson entered the game in the third, gave up two runs and was credited with the loss. Jordan Dixon came in to pitch and lasted into the sixth before giving up a solo home run. Burdette came back into the game and finished the final two outs.
FIU scored first in the bottom of the second and then the Herd responded with three runs in the top of the third to take a two-run lead. Elicia D’Orazio led off the inning with a bunt-single. D’Orazio scored two batters later as Taylor McCord launched her 11th home run of the season. Shaelynn Braxton stepped up next to the plate and blasted her 33rd career home run to left. Braxton is now second all-time.
In the bottom of the third, FIU took advantage two Marshall errors and three free passes (two hit batters and one walk) for five runs to take the lead for good at 6-3.
Marshall scored one more run in the fourth as sophomore Hayden Ellis crossed the plate on a sacrifice fly to center by Zerkle. FIU added one more run in the fourth and another in the sixth for the 8-4 victory.
Head Coach Shonda Stanton
“It was nice to see Dixon reach that milestone, obviously with 1,000 Ks and now the 100th win it puts her with some elite pitchers in the country and in the history of Conference USA. She was the second to do that. And, I didn’t feel that we played particularly well in game one. We chased a lot of bad pitches, but we got the clutch hit when we needed it after McCord’s walk. Shae came up big and really drove that ball to center hard for us to score from first.”
“If you look at the box score and tell me we have 11 hits, I expect that we are going to win a ball game. Burdette was 3-for-3 and Elicia and Zerkle at the top of the lineup both with two hits, we were just never able to string the right hits together. We never came up with the big clutch hit, had a base running mistake with no outs that cost us a little bit there as well.
“And then when it comes down to it, they got eight runs off eight hits because we kicked the ball around, whether it was a routine ground ball in the infield that we didn’t make the play on, or trying to turn a double-play and we are not there in time at the bag and we throw it away. We have a play at the plate and the throw goes off the runner and we are not in great backup position on time and two runs score. So uncharacteristically, we played really poorly defensively and with a team like FIU, you have to tip your cap to them. They are a good ball club. They have won a lot of games and they are going to do exactly what they did and that is take advantage of every mistake we made. I’m really disappointed in how poorly we played defensively today.”
Marshall and FIU will finish the series Sunday at 12 p.m. from Felsburg Field.