Schmidt's Pinch Hit Three-Run Home Run Saves Marshall, Herd Sweeps Saturday Twin Bill

Rachel Schmidt's three-run home run gave the Herd a 5-4 win in game two.

Rachel Schmidt's three-run home run gave the Herd a 5-4 win in game two.

April 21, 2007

HUNTINGTON - A week ago, the Marshall Thundering Herd was reeling after losing its season-worst seventh straight game. Fast-forward to Saturday where Marshall has now won five straight contests.

Rachel Schmidt (Alliance, Ohio/Marlington) delivered a pinch hit three-run, walk-off home run to give the Thundering Herd a 5-4 win and an important Conference USA doubleheader sweep of the Memphis Tigers at Dot Hicks Field.

With the twin bill sweep, Marshall (27-22, 9-11 C-USA) swept a Saturday doubleheader for the first time since sweeping East Carolina in Huntington on March 24. Memphis (27-20, 4-11 C-USA) has now lost three straight C-USA contests and seven of its last eight in conference play.

Game 1 (Marshall 5, Memphis 3)

Box Score

Clinging to a 1-0 lead, Marshall scored four runs in the fifth inning and was later able to hold off Memphis' seventh inning rally for a 5-3 win in game one.

Freshman Caitlyn Jackson (Ontario, Calif./Pomona Catholic) was three outs away from recording her second shutout in C-USA play this season before being pulled in the seventh inning. Jackson (4-3) earned her third consecutive victory in the circle, allowing three runs on nine hits with four strikeouts in six innings.

Senior Amanda Luers (Dover, Ohio/Dover) earned the team's first save of the season, retiring all three batters she faced in the seventh.

Jenna Kubesch (17-8) was dealt the loss for Memphis, allowing five runs on seven hits in six innings, while striking out four batters.

Samantha Rodriguez (Oakley, Calif./Freedom) went 1-for-3 with three-run double, while six other Herd batters added a hit.

Tori Gross was responsible for all three Memphis runs, going 1-for-3 with a three-run home run.

Marshall struck first, taking a 1-0 lead in the second inning. With one on and two out, Rachael Sofie (Everett, Wash./Cascade) came within inches of her first career home run, scorching a double to left field. Sofie's RBI double scored J.J. Bitner (Virginia Beach, Va./Princess Anne) for the game's first run.

Three innings later, the Herd would seemingly put the game out of reach, scoring four runs to take a 5-0 lead. With two on and nobody out, Rachel Folden (Baldwin Park, Calif./Diamond Bar) was intentionally walked, loading the bases for Rodriguez.

Rodriguez made the Tigers pay for their mistake, lacing a three-run double to centerfield, clearing the bases for a 5-0 Herd lead.



The game seemed out of reach until Memphis made a seventh-inning run. After Memphis' first two batters reached safely, Gross cleared the bases with a three-run home run. Luers then came in the game to relieve Jackson, retiring the next three Memphis batters to secure the two-run Marshall victory.
Marshall 5, Memphis 3 (04/21/07 at Huntington, W.Va.) (Game 1)
Memphis............. 000 000 3 -  3  9  0      (27-19, 4-10 C-USA)
Marshall............ 010 040 X -  5  7  0      (26-22, 8-11 C-USA)
Pitchers: Memphis - KUBESCH, J.. Marshall - Jackson, Caitlyn; LUERS, Amanda(7).
Win-JACKSON, Caitlyn(4-3)  Save-LUERS, Amanda(1)  Loss-KUBESCH, J.(17-8)  T-1:41  A-273

Game 2 (Marshall 5, Memphis 4)

Game 2 Box Score

Schmidt's pinch hit three-run home run gave the Thundering Herd a 5-4 come-from-behind victory in game two, securing the doubleheader sweep Saturday.

Luers (10-5) earned the relief victory, needing just two-thirds of inning for the win. Abigail Harter (Monmouth, Ore./Santiam Christian) was on the brink of losing her sixth straight start before Schmidt's game-winning shot. Harter allowed four runs on eight hits in 6 1/3 innings, fanning four batters.

Nicki Johnson (10-12) was the hard-luck loser for Memphis, allowing five runs on six hits in 6 2/3 innings.

Gina Guzzo (Virginia Beach, Va./Kempsville) went 2-for-3 with a solo home run; Sofie also went 2-for-3 with an RBI.

Memphis jumped out to an early 2-0 lead before Marshall provided the equalizing the runs in the second inning. Guzzo led off the second frame with a solo home run to left-center field, cutting the Memphis lead to a run, 2-1.

Four batters later, Sofie doubled down the left field line, scoring Bitner to knot the game at two apiece.

The Tigers would provide the go-ahead run in the third inning to take a 3-2 lead. Memphis would hold on to a one-run lead before adding an insurance run in the seventh inning for a 4-2 advantage.

In the seventh inning, Guzzo singled up the middle to lead off Marshall's game-winning frame. Two batters later, Sofie single to left field, advancing Guzzo to third. Then, Marcena Bertoldo (Beaumont, Calif./Rialto) walked up the plate, but was then lifted in favor of Schmidt as a pinch hitter. Facing a 2-2 count and two outs, Schmidt delivered the pinch hit three-run home run to left field for the 5-4 victory.

The Marshall Thundering Herd will look to sweep its first Conference USA series of the season Sunday in a 1 p.m. finale with the Memphis Tigers.

Marshall 5, Memphis 4 (04/21/07 at Huntington, W.Va.) (Game 2)
Memphis............. 111 000 1 -  4  8  1      (27-20, 4-11 C-USA)
Marshall............ 020 000 3 -  5  6  1      (27-22, 9-11 C-USA)
Pitchers: Memphis - JOHNSON, N.. Marshall - Harter, Abigail; LUERS, Amanda(7).
Win-LUERS, Amanda(10-5)  Loss-JOHNSON, N.(10-12)  T-1:49  A-273
HR MARSHALL - Guzzo, Gina (5); Schmidt, Rachel (4).