It was Staff Appreciation Day as all those who were recognized tossed out a group ceremonial first pitch.
April 18, 2017
Box Score (PDF)
Coach Stanton Post Game Video
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – The Marshall softball team defeated the Ohio Bobcats, 3-2, Tuesday afternoon at Dot Hicks Field on Staff Appreciation Day. With the win, the Thundering Herd improves to 34-7 and is undefeated at home (13-0). Ohio falls to 27-14.
To begin the day, many academic and athletics staff members were invited by the team to come and be recognized with the lineups and then everyone tossing out a ceremonial first pitch. After the festivities, Marshall went to work to bounce back from losing its last two games.
Senior pitcher Jordan Dixon made quick work of the Bobcat batters throughout the game. Dixon allowed just three hits and struck out six batters. Both runs were unearned. The senior ace earned her 25th win of the season and 101st of her career.
Offensively, senior Morgan Zerkle set the tone early with a single to left on the first pitch in the bottom of the first. Zerkle stole second and third, but Marshall stranded two runners on base.
The Herd got on the board in the third inning to take a 2-0 lead. Zerkle recorded her second hit of the game, and moved into second place all-time with her 267th and later 268th hit, passing Rachel Folden (2005-08). Kaelynn Greene (2013-16) holds the top spot with 299.
Zerkle was retired at second on a fielder’s choice that allowed junior Elicia D’Orazio to be safe at first. D’Orazio stole her 44th base of the year before junior Taylor McCord drove in D’Orazio with a double to left. McCord then scored as senior Shaelynn Braxton singled to right.
Marshall added an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth that ended up being the difference in the game. Zerkle hit a one-out single to center and then scored when McCord belted her first career triple off the fence in center.
In the top of the sixth, Ohio scored two runs to cut the deficit to one. The Bobcats had one runner on from a Marshall error and two outs when Morgan Geno hit a two-run homer to left-center. Sophomore Abigail Estrada made a diving catch in left to end the inning.
The Marshall defense retired the Bobcats in order in the top of the seventh to preserve the 3-2 victory.
Taylor McCord was named the Dot Hicks Significant Sticker Award winner after going 2-for-2 with two RBIs, one double, one triple, a stolen base and a hit-by-pitch. Both McCord and Zerkle reached base in all three-plate appearances.
Head Coach Shonda Stanton
“What a great day. It was staff appreciation day so it was nice for our student athletes to be able to interact on the ball field for the first pitch, having professors and some administration come out. It was a great day.”
“It was great to see the team respond from the previous weekend. And we know with this ball club if we get two of the three components (pitching, defense and hitting) that we are going to be successful. I felt that today, Dixon gave us a great start but defensively I felt that we played really well behind her. Zerkle made the diving stop up the middle and then the flip to two. Elicia did a great job pursuing the ball hard and going into the rail in the first base dugout. And then I thought we got some great jumps on the ball in the outfield that normally might drop in other situations, but we have a fast outfield and I was very pleased to see them take care of business.”
“Offensively, we got just enough. Zerkle was money at the top of the lineup going 3-for-3. Digging things out, going opposite field and up the middle so she did a number of things. We had a few stolen bases and it was nice to see two-out hitting. McCord got the Dot Hicks Significant Sticker Award for being so clutch. She plated the first run and then Shae came up with two outs and plated another run for us to go up 2-0. Then, obviously we needed the insurance run when McCord got the triple so that was huge for us to go up 3-0 because they got the two-run shot. So it was just enough.”
Marshall makes a quick turn-around and travels to Morehead, Ky., Wednesday, April 19, for a single-game. First pitch against the Morehead State Eagles is scheduled for 3 p.m. The Herd played the Eagles earlier in the season at Dot Hicks Field on March 28. Jordan Dixon pitched her second career no-hitter in the 8-0 win. Marshall is 28-8 all-time against the Eagles. Morehead State is 23-17 this season. Fans can tune into the game on 88.1 WMUL-FM and online at www.marshall.edu/wmul as Scott Hall will have the call.