No. 25 @HerdSB Takes Two at Middle Tennessee
Taylor McCord ties Herd single-game record with four runs scored in game one
Game One Box Score (PDF)
Game Two Box Score (PDF)
Coach Stanton Post Game Video
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – No. 25 Marshall softball defeated Middle Tennessee, 8-0 and 3-1, Saturday afternoon. The Thundering Herd improves to 37-7 overall and 17-3 in Conference USA play. The Blue Raiders fall to 18-25 and 5-13 in conference action.
Game One: Marshall 8, Middle Tennessee 0
Junior Taylor McCord tied a Marshall single-game record with four runs scored as the Herd took game one in dominating fashion, 8-0.
Senior Jordan Dixon gave another great start for Marshall. The senior ace allowed four hits and struck out six in the shutout win. It was the 27th win of the season for Dixon and also her 22nd career shutout, tying her for second all-time with Marshall Athletics Hall of Famer Sara Gulla.
The Herd got started right away in the first inning as senior Morgan Zerkle led off the game with a single and proceeded to steal second and third. McCord reached on a walk in her first plate appearance, and then stole second to put two runners in scoring position. Freshman Elizabeth DeShields hit an infield single that scored Zerkle. An error on the shortstop during the play allowed McCord to score from second.
Marshall added one more run in the top of the third inning. McCord led off with her 10th double of the season. Three batters later, with two outs and McCord at third, sophomore Abigail Estrada drove in McCord with an infield single. Marshall led 3-0.
In the top of the fifth, McCord scored her third run of the game with a solo home run to left. It was McCord’s team-leading 12th homer of the season and Marshall led by four, 4-0.
The Herd added four more runs in the top of the seventh. McCord started the inning with a one-out single to center. Senior Shaelynn Braxton followed with an infield single. DeShields then loaded the bases after a hit-by-pitch. Sophomore Hayden Ellis stepped up next as a pinch hitter, and delivered for Marshall with a two RBI single to right-center. McCord and Braxton both scored on the play as McCord crossed the plate for her fourth run of the game.
Senior Chloe Parsemain entered the game to pinch run for DeShields at third. Junior Madi Marshall came in to pinch hit and dropped down a perfect squeeze bunt that allowed Parsemain to score. Two batters later, sophomore Samantha Loose entered to pinch hit and singled to center that scored Ellis for the eighth run of the game.
Sophomore Ali Burdette pitched the final inning for the Herd. Burdette allowed just one walk as the Herd finished off the game one win, 8-0.
Taylor McCord was named the Dot Hicks Significant Sticker Award winner for game one. Along with scoring four runs, McCord was 3-for-3 at the plate with a single, double, home run and a walk. The Gilbert, Ariz., native stole her 18th base of the season in the first inning. Defensively, McCord tossed out her 15th runner of the season as Precious Birdsong attempted to steal second in the first inning. McCord has thrown out 36 runners over the last two seasons.
Game Two: Marshall 3, Middle Tennessee 1
Freshman pitcher Kailee Williamson gave Marshall a great start going the first four innings as the Herd held on for a 3-1 win. Shaelynn Braxton belted two home runs and a double in the victory.
Marshall scored two runs in the first inning again to jump out to the early lead. Junior Elicia D’Orazio singled and then stole second. Later in the inning, with runners in the corners, McCord was caught stealing while at first and D’Orazio came home on the play to score the first run. Now with bases empty and two outs, Braxton sent a line drive laser over the fence in center for her first of two solo home runs.
Through the first three innings, Williamson allowed just one base runner to get on for the Blue Raiders on a hit-by-pitch.
Braxton added one more insurance run with a leadoff home run in the fourth. The senior sent another laser shot to left-field that just missed hitting a car. It was the eighth home run of the season for Braxton and her second multi-home run game of the year. The Woodbridge, Va., native hit two against UTSA at Dot Hicks Field on March 12.
The Blue Raiders scored one run in the bottom of the fourth. Williamson faced the first batter in the fifth before the Herd made a change in the circle as Jordan Dixon came in to the contest. Dixon allowed just two hits the rest of the way and picked up her third save of the year, seventh of her career.
Shaelynn Braxton and Kailee Williamson were named Co-Dot Hicks Significant Sticker Award winners in game two. Braxton ended the game 3-for-3 at the plate and 10 total bases. Braxton now has 35 career home runs (second all-time), 170 career RBIs (second all-time) and 40 career doubles (sixth all-time). Williamson pitched the first four innings and allowed just three hits and one run while picking up her fifth win of the season. The freshman pitcher also made a great catch on a low line drive right by her ankles.
Head Coach Shonda Stanton
“Game one was exciting. Zerkle at the top of the lineup with three hits in her first three at-bats. McCord had the monster day going 3-for-3, had the home run and scored four runs so she was huge. And what I really liked was our athletes who came off the bench and did a phenomenal job. Madi put down the bunt and Chloe scored which was exciting. Hayden came in and was ready on the first pitch and laced a two-run single. And then Loose comes up and drives a single up the middle as well and that is what you want. You have to be strong, 18 strong, and that is what I believe we have with this team and I really like the production we are getting out of everybody.”
“Dixon is on a mission. We talk a lot about the individual records but we hammer a lot about where are you going to take this team. It’s all about the team and she gets it. She wants to put this team on her back and take this team places. It was nice to see her in command in game one and then come in and shut it down in game two.”
“Shae is such a leader. To have her out there, she just balls out because she plays so hard but that is what you want from your players and your leaders. This team isn’t what it is without her, because of her leadership and then she comes up and blasts two home runs and the double. I am just really pleased with how she is playing and leading this team.”
“KK (Kailee) gave us a great start in game two. She was outstanding, had just the one run, but she did a phenomenal job for us and that was what we needed in game two. It seemed like we got just enough offensively so her performance was huge.”
Marshall and Middle Tennessee will finish the series, Sunday at 1 p.m. EDT. Fans can tune in to the game on 88.1 WMUL-FM and online at www.marshall.edu/wmul on Stream 1. The Herd will then head back home to finish the regular season against the UAB Blazers, May 5-6.