April 22, 2012
Box Score (Game 1) | Box Score (Game 2)
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – A pair of close knit of games when in the favor of Marshall softball as it won 5-4 and 9-7 against Longwood Sunday at Dot Hicks Field.
Jazmine Valle hit a walk-off home run for the victory in the first part of the doubleheader while a big fifth inning that featured two Thundering Herd homers helped MU capture the Sunday sweep. With the wins and its fourth straight win, Marshall improved to 29-18 on the season.
“It’s always great to come out and get two wins,” said head coach Shonda Stanton. “Nice to see the long ball with the walk off shot from Jaz, Marvin taking advantage of her opportunity, and Gamby blasting her ball.”
A pitching duel was finally broken up in the fourth as Longwood (26-25) would score first with a Courtney Long double that plated a run and gave the Lancers a 1-0 lead.
The Herd responded in its portion of the fourth with four runs to take the lead. After starting the inning with two hits and a walk to load the bases. Victoria Marvin connected for an infield single to drive in her team’s first run. A walk to Bri Anna Hope followed suit that allowed a run to score and Marshall to take the lead. An error by the Lancers second baseman gave the Herd two more runs and a 4-1 lead following the fourth inning.
Longwood wouldn’t go out easy. Two more runs would cross the plate for the visitors in the fifth with two back-to-back singles up the middle allowing the Lancers to slim the Herd lead to one at 4-3.
Down to their final chance to stop a Herd win, Longwood capitalized with a leadoff home run from Katie Shinrock that knotted the contest at 4-4. Herd starting pitcher Andi Williamson ended the inning with one of her 12 strikeouts to send the game into the bottom of the seventh.
Following a liner off Alysia Hively’s bat for the first out of the inning, Jazmine Valle
ended the contest with a solo blast to center field to send her squad off the field with a 5-4 victory.
Valle was the only MU hitter to collect two hits with a 2-for-4 performance. Williamson (18-11) picked up the win with the aforementioned 12 strikeouts.
Just like in game one, Longwood took the first lead, but this time they did it earlier. Four straight singles from the Lancers got them on the board first when Brooke Short smacked a hit through the right side to drive in a run and a 1-0 lead after the first three outs.
Marshall responded quickly again with three runs in the bottom of the first. Rebecca Gamby got the run scoring started with one of her two hits in the game to drive in the first Herd run. After an error that allowed Kristina Braxton to score, Jessica Hughes finished the run scoring when she nearly smacked a home run to right field that resulted in a double to score one and put MU up 3-1.
A solo homerun from the Lancers in the second inning chased Marshall starting pitcher Natalee Pulver and brought in Erika Bennett. That was answered by an Ashley Gue RBI single to put the score at 4-2 after two innings.
In the fourth inning Megan Baltzell evened up the game with a two out, two run double to bring the score to four apiece.
An inning later, Marshall responded with an offensive output. Gamby started things with a leadoff home run to regain the lead. A wild pitched and a single by Samantha Spurlock scored two runs before Marvin hit her first home run of the season to give MU a 9-4 lead.
The Lancers though wouldn’t go down without a fight. They scored two runs in the sixth after errors by the Herd allowed the runs to cross the plate. The inning chased Bennett out of the game and Williamson took over in the circle. In the final inning, Longwood loaded up the bases to start the inning and plated one run with a Shinrock single. The Lancers though would strand three runners to end the inning and allow the Herd to sneak away with a 9-7 win.
Marshall will play its final non-conference games of the year Wednesday when it hosts Wright State for a doubleheader. Action gets underway from Dot Hicks Field at 2 p.m.
“Coming out for Wednesday, we need to be sharper on defense and have better mental toughness,” said Stanton. “Lots of movement in conference this weekend so we need to be ready with our tune-up against Wright State for our final two weekends.”