April 15, 2008
MOREHEAD, Ky. - A two-out two-run sixth inning rally lifted the Marshall Thundering Herd softball team to a 5-4 victory over nonconference opponent, Morehead State, in Tuesday's doubleheader finale at University Field.
Trailing 4-3, the Herd managed two runs in the top of the sixth from three hits and a walk. Pinch hitter Rachel Schmidt singled to start the inning and moved to second on a Joscelyn Bitner sacrifice bunt. After a foul out, senior Rachel Folden reached first base on a four-pitch walk. Senior Samantha Rodriguez tied the game with a RBI single to shallow centerfield, scoring Bertoldo, who re-entered the game for Schmidt. Tied 4-4, Caitlyn Jackson singled toward the left field line to score the eventual game-winning run, Folden, from second base.
Marshall's (21-25) Autumn Mitchell (8-4) earned the victory after going 5.0 innings allowing four runs from seven hits. Erin DeStefano came in relief in the sixth inning and pitched 1.1 innings allowing two hits. Jackson closed the game in the seventh and picked up her first save of the season.
Marshall out-hit the Eagles (26-10) 12-9, led by Rodriguez's 3-for-4 performance and one RBI. Folden and Melanie Stoehr followed with two hits apiece.
MSU waisted no time as it quickly gained a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. First baseman Brandy Bucher reached on a two-out walk, and scored on the next play, when freshman Rebecca Butler hit her 11th double of the season and 25th RBI.
The Herd answered when it scored two runs in the top of the second inning after producing four hits. Junior shortstop Kelly Nielson started the inning with a single to left field. Speedster center fielder, Bitner, ended her hitting slump when she placed a bunt between the Eagle's pitcher and catcher and beat out the throw, recording her first hit of the season.
With runners on first and second, Folden slammed a two-RBI double to the left field wall, scoring both Nielson and Bitner. Folden now has 19 doubles this season and increased her extra base hit mark to 34 this season. Senior Samantha Rodriguez
singled on the next play, but Folden was called out at home when the Eagle's center fielder, Courtney Seiler threw her out.
The Eagles tied the game at two in the bottom portion of the inning. A two-out Allie Honkofsky double to left center, set up MSU for its second run of the game. Honkofsky moved to third when Courtney Seiler singled through the left side. Second baseman Bri Jones knocked in Honkofsky with a two-out RBI single, her ninth RBI of the season.
Tied at two, the Herd regained the lead when lead off hitter Folden began the top of the fifth inning with a walk. She advanced to second and third base with ground outs from Rodriguez and Jackson. With two outs, junior Rachael Sofie cracked a RBI single with a blooper into left field.
The Herd returns to action when it travels to Hattiesburg, Miss., for a Conference USA three-game series against Southern Miss. The Herd and the Golden Eagles will square off in a doubleheader, Saturday, April 19 at 1 p.m. (CT). Series finale is slated for Sunday, April 20 at noon (CT).