May 11, 2012
Championship Central | WMUL 88.1 FM | GameTracker | Live In-Game Chat
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – A single by Samantha Spurlock in the10th inning gave softball a 3-2 win over UAB and advances the Herd to the Championship Game of the C-USA Tournament.
Marshall (36-20) will play Tulsa at 11 a.m. ET Saturday from UAB Softball Field in the C-USA Championship Game. The game time has been moved up three hours due to anticipated inclement weather. CBS Sports Network will televise the game live.
It will be second appearance for the Thundering Herd in the final game. The last appearance was in 2006 against the Golden Hurricane.
“We talked early in the game about the difference between wanting to win and deserving to win and I believe this team deserves to be in the C-USA Championship game, head coach Shonda Stanton said. “ We have played outstanding softball starting from UCF weekend and have peaked at the right time. “
Friday night’s semifinal game was a closely contested match-up with the host Blazers. The Herd would find itself in trouble early and often throughout the game, but in most cases worked out of the jams.
UAB though would be able to strike first with a run in the top of the third. Kristen McGrath singled into center and drove in one run to put the Blazers up 1-0.
Marshall though wasted little time to respond. In the bottom portion of the third, Spurlock started the inning with a double to left field. After advancing to third, Alianna Telles went for the suicide squeeze and successfully executed the play, allowing Spurlock to score and Telles to reach first with a RBI.
The scoring continued in following inning. The Blazers caught the Herd off-guard and Hailey Davis stole home for UAB’s second lead of the game, 2-1.
MU would successfully execute its second suicide squeeze of the game in the bottom half of the fourth. Alysia Hively scored on Spurlock’s sacrifice bunt to tie the game at two each.
The 2-2 score would remain on the scoreboard over the next five innings. Each squad had their chances to take the lead through the remainder of regulation and into extra innings. The Blazers stranded 13 runners total, including seven from the seventh inning on. The Herd stranded 12 in the game with eight after the fifth inning.
The best chance for Marshall came in the bottom of the 10th. Rebecca Gamby would lead off with a double to center. Jazmine Valle followed after and reached on a hit by pitch. She and Gamby were advanced one base on a sacrifice bunt by Hively. An intentional walk by Jessica Hughes loaded up the base for the Herd with one out.
Following a strikeout for the second out, Spurlock delivered with a single through the middle to score pinch runner Kristina Braxton from third for a 3-2 win in 10 innings. The senior from Huntington went 2-for-3 with two RBI.
Despite allowing 12 hits, Andi Williamson picked up win number 25 of the season. She struck out seven and is five away from tying the single-season Marshall record of 270 (Sara Gulla, 2011).
Along with the television broadcast, Saturday’s game can be heard on WMUL 88.1 FM and www.marshall.edu/wmul. Live stats from GameTracker and a live in-game chat will be available on HerdZone.com.