May 8, 2014
BOCA RATON, Fla. – Marshall softball (27-30) secured a spot in the Conference USA semifinal with a six-hit, four-run fifth inning to shutout UAB (31-25) for the second consecutive season in the tournament. The Thundering Herd recorded 10 hits in the 4-0 victory.
"I'm so happy for our student athletes," coach Shonda Stanton said. "Our older kids have talked all year about being able to play in back-to-back-to-back championship games, and in order to do that you have to win the first game."
Coming into the first-round game, UAB held a 15-11 overall advantage over Marshall, but in conference postseason, the Herd held a 2-0 record over the Blazers (2012: 3-2 (10); 2013: 1-0). With today’s win, Marshall now improves to 3-0 against UAB in tournament action.
Sophomore Shaelynn Braxton (Woodbridge, Va.) recorded the first run of the game with an infield-RBI single that scored her sister junior Kristina Braxton (Woodbridge, Va.) in the top of the fifth. Senior Savanah Webster (Las Vegas, Nev.) and sophomore Raquel Escareno (Wellington, Colo.) were responsible for the rest of the RBI in that inning.
Freshman Jordan Dixon (Edmond, Okla.) earned her 19th victory and struck out nine batters in today’s contest.
Sophomore Kaelynn Greene (Eastvale, Calif.) pushed the Herd’s single-season hits record to 79 in today’s ball game after going 2-for-4.
The Herd will compete Friday at 2 p.m. against the winner of the No.3 FIU vs. No. 6 ECU contest, which is set to begin at about 1:45 p.m.
Marshall 4, UAB 0
The game started in similar fashion for both teams in the first inning, as Marshall and UAB were able to get two runners on base, but were unable to bring them around to score.
The pitcher’s duel continued through the second inning. Dixon had fanned four Blazers, while UAB’s Leigh Streetman had sat down three members of the Herd at that point in the contest.
The battle for the first run and lead of the game continued through a scoreless third and fourth inning, but the Herd won the fight and broke the game open in the top of the fifth with four runs.
Junior Emileigh Cooper (Jackson, Ohio) led the inning off with an infield single, but was called out on a fielder’s choice that allowed K. Braxton to reach base safely. The bases were quickly loaded with a bunt single from freshman Morgan Zerkle (Milton, W.Va.) and slap single from Greene.
Two consecutive RBI singles from S. Braxton (3-for-4) and Webster (2-for-4) put two Marshall runs on the board, 2-0. Escareno (1-for-3) followed with a two-RBI single into left field to give the Herd a 4-0 advantage.
Neither team was able to score again in the rest of the ball game, giving Dixon the victory (19-20). Marshall played an errorless game, while UAB committed one error. The Herd outhit the Blazers 10-to-8.