No. 25 @HerdSB Completes Sweep of Middle Tennessee
Fifth series sweep of the season for Marshall
Box Score (PDF)
Coach Stanton Post Game Video
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – The 25th ranked Marshall softball team completed its three-game sweep over Middle Tennessee, 2-0, Sunday afternoon. The Thundering Herd improves to 38-7 and 18-3 in Conference USA action. The Blue Raiders fall to 18-26 and 5-14 in conference play.
Marshall has swept Middle Tennessee every season since 2014 when the Blue Raiders first joined Conference USA. It was also the fifth conference series sweep of the season for the Herd.
Senior pitcher Jordan Dixon went the distance for her 28th win of the year. The shutout was Dixon’s 23rd of her career and she moved in to second place all-time, passing Marshall Athletics Hall of Famer Sara Gulla. Dixon allowed just two hits and struck out six.
The Herd received great defensive play with a double play in the first inning and a few crucial catches in the outfield.
The two teams battled through the first three innings scoreless. Senior Morgan Zerkle broke the game open with a solo home run to right to lead off the fourth. It was her sixth homer of the season and 10th of her career.
The Herd scored one more insurance run in the sixth. Sophomore Hayden Ellis led off the inning with a pinch-hit, single to center that hit right off the top of the fence and came back in the field of play. Junior Eloise Tribolet re-entered to run at first. The Herd eventually loaded the bases and senior Shaelynn Braxton drove in Tribolet with a single to take the 2-0 lead.
The Blue Raiders put two on base in the seventh, but Dixon struck out the final batter to end the game and preserve the win.
Jordan Dixon was named the Dot Hicks Significant Sticker Award winner after her sixth shutout of the season. Dixon has 248 strikeouts this year and has pitched 24 complete games. The senior ace lowered her season ERA to a career-best 1.65 and batters are hitting a mere .188 against her.
Head Coach Shonda Stanton
“Our staff is really proud of this team. Pitching and defense will win you championships and we were really strong all weekend. Dixon came out strong and gave up just one hit going into the seventh. Zerkle came up clutch with the long ball. She hit one of the furthest balls I have ever seen outside maybe the one she hit last summer with USA Elite. That was nice to give us the 1-0 lead and then we got an insurance run that we really needed. Our offense never really came up with the clutch hit. But sometimes that happens, the bats will go to a little bit to sleep. But, our pitching and defense were tremendous today.”
“In the outfield we really covered some ground. Estrada did a nice job in left and (Tribolet) in center back at the wall. Our infield did a great job; Elicia set the tone early with the double play on two of their faster kids. Defense and pitching really won it for us this weekend and I’m really proud of this group and where we are.”
Marshall returns to Dot Hicks Field for the final series of the regular season. The UAB Blazers come to Huntington for the Herd’s senior weekend, May 5-6. A single-game will be played Friday, May 5, at 2 p.m. The teams will play the doubleheader on Saturday, May 6, beginning at 1 p.m.