April 15, 2012
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - In the rubber game of the weekend series, Marshall softball was doomed by four errors and fell to the Golden Hurricane, 7-1 Sunday at Dot Hicks Field.
The errors came in each inning Tulsa (29-9, 12-3 C-USA) scored. The Golden Hurricane did not commit an error and featured some flashy glove work to get them out of potential run scoring situations for MU (25-18, 11-7 C-USA).
"We made few too many miscues and Tulsa capitalized on those," said head coach Shonda Stanton.
In the top of the first, Tulsa had its first two batters reach via a walk then an error as second baseman Ashley Gue couldn't handle a throw at first. A passed ball allowed Caitlin Everett to score and put UT up 1-0 early.
Lacey Middlebrooks began the contest for Tulsa. She limited the Thundering Herd to just two hits through the first four innings to keep Marshall off the scoreboard while the Hurricane built its lead.
The big inning for Tulsa came in the third when an MU error allowed one run to score. Current conference hitter of the week Samantha Cobb came up big for her squad with a two run shot off her bat built the UT lead to 4-0 in the third. The big inning chased Herd starter Andi Williamson in favor of Natalee Pulver.
Marshall finally was able to dent the scoreboard in the fifth as Jessica Hughes collected her second career triple. Melissa Loesing laid down a successful sacrifice bunt to bring Hughes in and give MU its first run of the game. It looked as though the Herd would add more to its total, but Middlebrooks was able to stifle Marshall's attack with a strikeout to keep UT on top, 4-1.
After a missed chance by MU to add more runs to the board in the sixth, Tulsa extended its lead in the seventh with a three run inning. Everett picked up her third hit of the day which drove in a run and Skylar Swanson had a RBI on a fielder's choice to build the UT lead to 6-1. Marshall would commit its fourth error on the fielder's choice when a throw went into the dugout and pushed the Hurricane lead to 7-1.
A late effort for more runs by Marshall faltered in the seventh and Tulsa took the rubber game of the series, 7-1. Williamson suffered the loss for the Herd, dropping to 16-11 on the year. Middlebrooks picked up her second straight win of the weekend, striking out five, and improved to 13-3.
Each team had eight hits, with each Herd hit coming from a different player.
"I really believe in this group and know we have what it takes to get the job done," said Stanton. "Now we need to enjoy some out-of-conference games before we finish off the C-USA slate with ECU and UCF."
Marshall continues its long home stand when regional rival Morehead State visits Huntington on Wednesday. The two previously met this year in Charleston, S.C., when the Herd won 9-4. The doubleheader between the two will get underway at 2 p.m.