Williams, Mitchell Provide 1-2 Punch in Herd's 5-1 Win Over Houston Saturday

April 15, 2006

Box Score

HUNTINGTON - Despite leaving 15 runners on base, the Marshall Thundering Herd scored five runs in the opening three innings to take a 5-1 conference win over the Houston Cougars Saturday at Dot Hicks Field.

For the second weekend in a row, the Herd (25-20, 11-7 C-USA) avoided a three-game C-USA sweep. Last weekend, the Herd dropped both ends of a conference twin bill at UTEP before prevailing in the series finale.

Houston (28-18, 9-6 C-USA) secured the series win with Friday's double-dip sweep, but failed to capture its would-be second C-USA sweep of the season.

Junior Abigail Harter (Monmouth, Ore./Santiam Christian) exacted revenge on the Cougars, striking out three batters in a complete-game five-hitter. Friday, Harter (11-9) surrendered three runs on eight hits and was credited with a loss.

Houston's Candi Kloecker was dealt the loss, allowing five runs on six hits in 2 2/3 innings. Kloecker (8-9) struck out two batters, while walking three. Angel Shamblin scattered five hits in 3 1/3 innings of scoreless relief.

Amanda Williams (Powder Springs, Ga./Harrison) went 2-for-4 with a double, home run and two RBI. Ashley Mitchell (Kennesaw, Ga./Harrison) extended her hitting streak to 11 games, going 3-for-5 with an RBI. Jessica Williams (Powder Springs, Ga./Harrison) also extended her hitting streak to seven games, finishing the morning 1-for-4 with a run scored.

Sara Spenia (Las Vegas, Nev./Durango) went 2-for-3 with an RBI.

Jessica Valis paced the Cougars offensively, going 2-for-3. Three other Cougars registered a hit.



The Herd jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning thanks to Williams' lead-off home run to right-center field. With the blast, Williams became the third player in school history to hit at least 20 career home runs, joining current teammates Leigh Wintter (Acworth, Ga./North Cobb) and Rachel Folden (Baldwin Park, Calif./Diamond Bar).

Marshall increased its lead to 2-0 in the ensuing inning. With two on and two out, Mitchell's infield single allowed Noelle Adams (Wheeling, W.Va./The Linsly School) to advance to third and later score on a Jaci Gonzalez throwing error.

Houston responded in the third inning, pulling to within one run, 2-1. With the bases loaded, pinch runner Laurie Wagner drew a walk to score Brandi Clark.

However, the Herd would put the game out of reach in the bottom of the third, thanks to a three-run frame. With one out, Jessica Williams singled to left field. Two batters later, Williams scored on Spenia's RBI single up the middle.

Joscelyn Bitner (Virginia Beach, Va./Princess Anne) followed with a single. Amanda Williams then doubled to left-center field, scoring Spenia. Bitner later scored on Mitchell's RBI single to center field.

From there, Harter allowed two hits over the finally four innings to preserve the Herd's four-run victory.

The Marshall Thundering Herd continues its current eight-game home stand Tuesday when it hosts former Mid-American Conference rival Ohio. The non-conference twin bill will begin at 1 p.m.

Marshall 5, Houston 1 (Apr 15, 2006 at Huntington, W.Va.)
Houston............. 001 000 0 -  1  5  3      (28-18, 9-6 C-USA)
Marshall............ 113 000 X -  5 11  0      (25-20, 11-7 C-USA)
Pitchers: Houston - Kloecker; Shamblin(3). Marshall - Abigail Harter.
Win-Abigail Harter(11-9)  Loss-Kloecker(8-9)  T-2:03  A-157