May 6, 2012
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – An extra inning pitching duel was finally broken open in the tenth inning as Alysia Hively hit a walk off home run to give MU a 1-0 win and a sweep of UCF.
With the victory, the Thundering Herd ends the regular season at 34-20 and 15-9 in Conference USA. MU finishes third in conference and will face East Carolina in the C-USA tournament. Action starts on Thursday from Birmingham, Ala. Marshall's game will begin at 5:30 p.m. ET.
“It’s exciting to see Hively, who works hard, finish the game for us in thrilling fashion.” said head coach Shonda Stanton. “We put in a total team effort this weekend and that’s how we were able to finish strong”
Sunday’s match-up pitted two of the best pitcher’s in the league and they did not disappoint. Mackenzie Audas of UCF (39-16, 15-9 C-USA) handcuffed the Herd batters by not allowing a hit until Jazmine Valle collected a leadoff single to begin the fifth.
For the Herd, Andi Williamson shut down the Knights when it mattered. She forced UCF to strand nine runners in the game, which included the third and fifth innings when their first two batters reached but were unable to score thanks to Williamson and great Marshall defense.
Starting from the fifth inning on the Herd had its chances to win the ballgame. This included the eighth inning when Taylor Thompson stole third base and attempted to go home as an errant throw went into the outfield, however the UCF left fielder made perfect throw and moved the game into the ninth.
gunned down a UCF runner at second for a pivotal out in the top of the tenth to help move the game into the bottom of the inning and Hively’s opportunity.
After four pitches, Hively got what she wanted and sent a rocket over the outfield fence and the Herd bench into jubilation for a 1-0 win.
Williamson (23-12) picked up her 23rd win in the game, tying the single season win total at Marshall. She also fanned six batters to up her total to 253. Audas (21-9) suffered the loss, striking out six with just two walks.
“Andi was phenomenal. She put in another pitcher of the year type performance today,” said Stanton. “She couldn’t have done it without an outstanding defense behind her.”
Hively was the only Herd batter to collect multi-hits in the contest. She along with her teammates did not commit an error for all three games against the Knights.
Sunday’s 15th conference win ties for the most C-USA wins for Marshall.