Herd Advances to C-USA Championship Semifinals, Overpowers Southern Miss 7-4 Thursday

May 11, 2006

Box Score

TULSA, Okla. - Senior Leigh Wintter (Acworth, Ga./North Cobb) drove in a tournament-record four RBI to lift the second-seeded Marshall Thundering Herd to a 7-4 win over sixth-seeded Southern Miss Thursday at the 2006 Conference USA Softball Championship.

The Herd (32-22) will face No. 1 Tulsa Friday afternoon at 5 p.m. (EDT) at the Donna J. Hardesty Sports Complex. Fans can tune in live to WMUL 88.1 FM or www.marshall.edu/wmul. Live stats will also be available at www.HerdZone.com.

Wintter went 1-for-1 with the four runs batted in - the one hit being a crucial three-run home run in the fifth.

Conference USA Player of the Year Rachel Folden (Baldwin Park, Calif./Diamond Bar) went 2-for-4 with two RBI, extending her conference-leading total to 56 runs batted in.

Senior Jessica Williams (Powder Springs, Ga./Harrison), a first team All-Conference USA pick, drew a tournament-record four walks in the win.

Second team All-Conference USA performer Abigail Harter (Monmouth, Ore./Santiam Christian) notched her sixth consecutive win (16-9) as a starter. The southpaw allowed four runs on six hits, while striking out one in a complete-game decision.

Southern Miss (28-37) freshman Lacey Gros (14-19) was dealt the loss, allowing five runs on six hits in a four innings. Samantha Davis allowed two runs on two hits in two innings of relief.

Ashley Brenan and Kristin Pilgrim each hit a home run for the Golden Eagles.

Southern Miss took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning thanks to C-USA Championship opening game hero Brenan's solo home run to left field.

The Herd responded in the bottom of the first, scoring a pair of runs to take its first lead of the game, 2-1.



After Amanda Williams (Powder Springs, Ga./Harrison) flied out to left field, Ashley Mitchell (Kennesaw, Ga./Harrison) doubled down the left field. The extra base hit was only Mitchell's second double of the season.

Folden then plated Mitchell with an RBI single to right field, knotting the score at 1-1. Gros then issued two free passes Jessica Williams and Samantha Rodriguez (Oakley, Calif./Freedom) to load the bases with one out.

Gros proceeded to hit Wintter, allowing Folden to score from third to give the Herd its first lead of the day.

Marshall padded its lead in the fourth. Joscelyn Bitner (Virginia Beach, Va./Princess Anne) led off the inning with a triple to right field. Amanda Williams then singled to center field, but Bitner was thrown out at home on the play. Two batters later, Folden's second RBI single of the afternoon scored Williams, giving the Herd a two-run lead.

The Herd put the game out of reach in the fifth inning, scoring four runs on three hits to take a commanding 7-1 lead. After a Jessica Williams lead-off walk, Rodriguez doubled to right field, advancing Williams to third.

Deanna Tourville (Rescue, Calif./Ponderosa) then plated Williams with a fielder's choice sacrifice bunt for a three-run advantage.

Winnter followed with a three-run home run to right-center field gave Marshall a six-run cushion. For Winnter, it was her first home run since April 12 at Eastern Kentucky.

Southern Miss took three of those runs back in the sixth on Pilgrim's three-run home run to right field, cutting the deficit to 7-4.

However, Harter and the Herd's defense proved to be too much in the end, as Marshall won its second consecutive game against the Golden Eagles.

Marshall 7, Southern Miss 4 (May 11, 2006 at Tulsa, Okla.)
Southern Miss....... 100 003 0 -  4  6  0      (28-37)
Marshall............ 200 140 X -  7  8  3      (32-22)
Win-Abigail Harter(16-9)  Loss-Lacey Gros(14-19)  T-1:39  A-154