Thundering Herd, Cougars Splits Twin Bill Saturday|
May 2, 2009
HOUSTON, Texas - The Marshall University softball team split a doubleheader Saturday against the University of Houston taking the first game 7-6 and dropping game two 7-4.
The Thundering Herd (30-18, 11-9) got up by four in the game one before a comeback from the Cougars (24-23, 11-10) but won in extras as the team hit four home runs. In game two, Marshall led by one in the sixth before Houston squeezed out four in the seventh.
"Great job of getting our 30th win on the season in game one," head coach Shonda Stanton said. "Once, we had the lead in game two we needed to shut the door. We are doing some things very well, but the inability to take care of the ball cost us the ball game. We need to move forward and play finish the regular season strong. "
Both teams will wrap up the regular season with a single-game Sunday starting at 2 p.m. EST. The game will be broadcast live on CBS College Sports and Gametracker will available for the contest.
Houston jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first as Jessica Valis walked and Katie Bush reached on an error with both runners advancing to second and third on the throw. After Elaina Nordstrom walked, Laurie Wagner had a sacrifice fly to right scoring two runs.
The lead would be short lived however as senior Kelly Nielson (Tucson, Ariz.) reached on catcher's interference by Nordstrom and senior Rachael Sofie (Everett, Wash.) hit her sixth home run of the season tying the game at two.
Marshall grabbed its first lead of the contest as sophomore Melanie Stoehr (Tacoma, Wash.) hit a solo shot to center. The home run was Stoehr's sixth on the season.
The team added to its lead in the fourth as junior Marcena Bertoldo (Beaumont, Calif.) doubled. Bertoldo advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by freshman Melissa Loesing (Grapevine, Texas) and was able to tag up on a sacrifice fly by freshman Alianna Telles (Sylmar, Calif.).
With a 4-2 edge in the sixth, the Herd padded its lead with two more runs as Bertoldo hit a bomb to left field for her fourth of the year. Loesing singled, stole second and came around to score on a single by Telles for the second run.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Cougars attempted a comeback as Katy Beth Sherman doubled and Valis followed up with a single to center scoring Spittler. Valis advanced to second on interference by Bertoldo and Bush reached on a fielder's choice before Casey Willow then homered to right field tying the game.
Going into extra innings, Nielson led off the inning with a single shot of her own to center and her sixth of the season. Junior Katie Murphree (Tallahassee, Fla.) regained control in the circle shutting down Houston in the bottom for her 13th win of the year.
The four home runs by the Herd ties a season high mark for a single game. Marshall has hit nine home runs in the past three games. Bertoldo finished 3-for-4 with two runs and an RBI.
"It is exciting to see a number of different players knock the ball out of the park and make a difference in the game," Stanton added.
The Cougars jumped out to another lead plating one in the first as Bush singled and Laurie Wagner reached on a fielder's choice with two outs before Melissa Gregson singled to center scoring Bush. Gregson was thrown out trying to take second by senior Joscelyn Bitner (Virginia Beach, Va.).
In the second, the Herd captured the lead scoring two runs in second as Stoehr started things off with a walk and had sophomore Jessica Hughes (Stillwater, Okla.) entered as a pinch hitter.
Hughes stole second and third followed by walks from Nielson and Stoehr. With the bases loaded and two outs, senior Rachel Schmidt (Alliance, Ohio) came in to pinch hit and doubled to right scoring two runs.
In the fifth, Marshall added to its lead scoring Telles who singled to center and advanced to second on a sacrifice by Bitner as junior Caitlyn Jackson (Ontario, Calif.) doubled to right center giving the Herd a 3-1 advantage.
The game became tied in the fifth as Houston plated two runs. It started as Willow singled and Sherman reached on a throwing error putting runners on second and third and loading the bases with a Valis walk. Wagner then reached on a second error in the inning scoring Valis and Sherman scored.
"When we commit five errors and crucial errors at that, it is difficult to succeed," Stanton said.
With a tie game in the sixth, Nielson singled to left center with an advance to second and scored as Sofie doubled to right center giving the lead back to Marshall.
Houston tied the game in the sixth as Spittler reached on an error and Willow bunted and an errant throw to second traveled into the outfield scoring Spittler and putting Willow on third. Willow scored on a bunt by Sherman taking the lead.
The Cougars scored two more on a single from Wagner and taking a 7-4 lead through six innings. In the game, Marshall had five different players record one hit apiece.