May 4, 2013
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – The Marshall softball team (31-20, 12-10 C-USA) split the day with UTEP (13-34, 2-20 C-USA) on Saturday, May 4 at Dot Hicks Field. After losing game one in a detrimental seventh inning that cost them a 6-4 loss, the Thundering Herd regained momentum in game two to take a 4-2 victory over the Miners.
Marshall hadn’t lost to UTEP since the March 13-14 series in 2010, where the Herd fell to the Miners in all three games. The Herd swept the Miners in the following two seasons.
Marshall ended the day with six runs on 14 hits, while UTEP scored eight runs on 13. The Herd committed four errors compared to the Miners’ six on the day.
Senior Ashley Gue was 3-for-6 in a combined two-game effort, while teammate and freshman Shaelynn Braxton went 3-for-7.
In the circle, senior hurler Andi Williamson had 12 strikeouts on the day and pitched two complete games – earning her 28th victory a new personal and Marshall record.
Game one began in a scoreless first inning. Marshall scored the primary run of the game in the bottom of the second with a lead off single from senior Bri Anna Hope (1-for-4). She advanced to second on a passed ball, robbed the Miners of third base and scored on another passed ball.
The Herd stretched the lead with two more runs in the bottom of the fifth to give Marshall a 3-0 advantage over UTEP. Freshman Katalin Lucas (1-for-3) led off the inning with a single to center field and then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from freshman Kaelynn Greene (1-for-3). Gue (2-for-3) reached on a bunt single to put runners on first and third. Sophomore pinch runner Kristina Braxton scored on a wild pitch, and Gue crossed the dish on a UTEP error that allowed S. Braxton (2-for-4) to reach base. The Miners recorded the next two outs to end the two-run inning.
The game remained scoreless until UTEP’s offense started firing in the top of the seventh inning. With one out on the board, the Miners connected for six straight singles, three of which were RBI hits. After Williamson recorded the second out with her third strikeout of the game, UTEP took the lead when a walk allowed the go-ahead run to score. Pitcher Colleen Hohman helped her own cause and added two insurance runs with a 2-RBI single in the next at bat, 6-3.
After the third out was recorded in the six-run inning, Marshall was able to take one back in the bottom of the seventh as Gue scored on senior Alysia Hively’s groundout. The Herd’s rally came up short, however, as a game-inning groundout stranded S. Braxton at third and secured the 6-4 victory for UTEP.
Game two began in the Miners’ favor, scoring two runs in the third inning after a scoreless first and second inning. UTEP scored its first run on a throwing error by Marshall’s shortstop and the second run was walked in on loaded bases and two outs.
The Herd was able to get one back in the bottom of the inning, which was led off by freshman Raquel Escareno’s single to left field. Sophomore pinch runner Emileigh Cooper advanced to second on a ground out to second base that recorded the second out of the inning. A ground out to second base ended the inning, but not before Cooper scored on an error by Miners’ second baseman that cut the deficit by one, 2-1.
The Herd continued to trail the Miners until stringing together a pair of singles after a base on balls to load the bases on one out. UTEP’s shortstop made a fielding error that allowed the tying run to cross the dish and put another Marshall runner on base. Three back-to-back singles followed the error and allowed two more runners to score, for Marshall to take a 4-2 lead.
Both teams were kept off the board for the remainder of game two, giving the teams a 1-1 standing heading into the series finale on Sunday, May 5, which is set to begin at 11 a.m. ET.
The Sunday game will be the final game for seniors Jessica Ferrick, Ashley Gue, Alysia Hively, Bri Anna Hope, Jazmine Valle and Andi Williamson at Dot Hicks Field. All six of them will be honored pregame and postgame.