May 12, 2006
TULSA, Okla. - Second team All-Conference USA selection Abigail Harter (Monmouth, Ore./Santiam Christian) pitched a complete-game four-hitter, while Deanna Tourville (Rescue, Calif./Ponderosa) hit a solo home run to lead the Marshall Thundering Herd to a 1-0 victory Friday over the top-seeded Tulsa Golden Hurricane.
The victory sealed a spot in the Conference USA Softball Championship game for the Herd (33-22) Saturday at 3:30 p.m. (EDT).
The tournament's top-seeded Tulsa Golden Hurricane (32-22) will face the winner of Friday evening's match-up between No. 3 Houston and No. 6 Southern Miss Saturday at 11:30 a.m. (EDT).
With the win, the Herd will make its second consecutive conference tournament championship game appearance. Last season, the Herd advanced to the Mid-American Conference Championship game.
The complete-game shutout was the sixth shutout of the season for Harter (17-9) who won her seventh consecutive start. Harter allowed only base runner past second base on the afternoon.
The win was the Herd's 11th of the season when scoring fewer than six runs and its first when scoring only one run. Marshall is now 1-6 when scoring only one run in a game this season, while improving to 3-6 in one-run decisions.
Julie Fennell (12-8) suffered the loss, allowing one run on six hits in six innings. Fennell struck out a game-high six batters.
Tourville finished 1-for-3 with the solo home run. Ashley Mitchell (Kennesaw, Ga./Harrison) and Rachel Folden (Baldwin Park, Calif./Diamond Bar) each went 2-for-3. Sara Spenia (Las Vegas, Nev./Durango) added the Herd's other hit of the afternoon.
Folden extended her hitting streak to eight games with the multi-hit performance.
Four different Tulsa batters recorded a hit. Kelli McGlasson, Kelly Miller and Lindsay Galloway each went 1-for-2, while Sara Dyer went 1-for-3.
It took nearly two innings, but the Herd jumped out to the early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning. Tourville delivered Julie Fennell's first pitch over the left field fence to give Marshall the early score. It was Tourville's seventh home run of the season and her first since April 12 at Eastern Kentucky.
From there, Harter allowed only two hits over the final four innings to clinch the Herd's first C-USA Championship game appearance.
The 2006 Conference USA Softball Championship game will be aired live on CSTV at 3:30 p.m. (EDT). Fans can call their local cable provider to order CSTV. The game can also be seen live over the internet at www.CSTV.com.
Fans can also tune in live to WMUL 88.1 FM or by logging on to www.marshall.edu/wmul, 20 minutes prior to first pitch.
2006 Conference USA Softball Championship
Donna J. Hardesty Sports Complex (Tulsa, Okla.)
Thursday, May 11
Game 1 - No. 6 Southern Miss 2, No. 3 Houston 1
Game 2 - No. 5 East Carolina 8, No. 4 UAB 0
Game 3 - No. 2 Marshall 7, No. 6 Southern Miss 4
Game 4 - No. 1 Tulsa 4, No. 5 East Carolina 3 (10 innings)
Friday, May 12
Game 5 - No. 6 Southern Miss 3, No. 4 UAB 1 (UAB eliminated)
Game 6 - No. 3 Houston 7, No. 5 East Carolina 0 (East Carolina eliminated)
Game 7 - No. 2 Marshall 1, No. 1 Tulsa 0
Game 8 - No. 3 Houston 7, No. 6 Southern Miss 1 (Southern Miss eliminated)
Saturday, May 13
Game 9 - No. 1 Tulsa vs. No. 3 Houston (10:30 a.m. EDT)
Game 10 - Game 9 winner vs. No. 2 Marshall (3:30 p.m. EDT)*
*Championship Game televised live on CSTV