Herd Tops Off Fall Season with Two Wins|
Oct. 12, 2013
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. –The Marshall softball team completed fall ball action with two victories on Saturday over West Virginia State (9-1) and West Virginia Wesleyan (8-7).
“I am pleased with this team as a whole,” coach Shonda Stanton said. “The things we’ve got to improve on and do better is just our softball IQ and game sense. These girls have been playing competitive softball their whole lives, and there are some things we did not do to take care of the ball to make this a ball game in game two. I would’ve liked us to finish stronger, but as a whole I’m pleased. We’ve [coaching staff] gotten a lot of answers and have seen a lot of great things from these girls.”
In the two contests, Marshall hit five home runs – earning seven of its 17 runs via long ball. Sophomores Katalin Lucas (Aqua Dulce, Calif.) and Shaelynn Braxton (Woodbridge, Va.), along with senior Taylor Winton (Federal Way, Wash.) contributed one homer. Sophomore Raquel Escareno (Wellington, Colo.) went deep twice.
“To hit five long balls in two games is exciting,” said Stanton. “I am happy to see our upperclassmen and returners step up in the lineup, and our pitchers gave us solid innings, as well.”
The Herd faced off against West Virginia State in game one, and defeated the Yellow Jackets 9-1 in five innings. The game was scoreless, until sophomore Kaelynn Greene (Eastvale, Calif.) drove in junior Emileigh Cooper (Jackson, Ohio) in the third inning.
The Herd offense kicked it into high gear in the next two innings. Marshall scored three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning and five in the bottom of the fifth. Lucas (2-for-3) led off the three-run inning with a homer, before Escareno (2-for-3) added a two-run long ball of her own later in the inning. Marshall drew back-to-back run-scoring walks to end the game in walk-off fashion via the run rule. Winton also had a solid offensive game one, going 2-for-3 with two RBI singles and scored a run.
Marshall welcomed WV Wesleyan in game two and the visitors got on the board first in the top of the first inning with an RBI-double, 1-0.
Marshall answered in the bottom of the first with freshman Morgan Zerkle’s (Milton, W. Va.) RBI single that scored Greene. Zerkle then came around to score off an RBI from Braxton, before Winton crushed a homer to center field in the bottom of the second to give the Herd a 3-1 advantage. Marshall continued to score with two more insurance runs in the bottom of the third with Braxton’s two-run home run.
The Herd added another three runs in the fourth inning on three hits and one error. WV Wesleyan answered with two runs in the top of the fifth to cut the Marshall lead to 8-3. The fifth inning was the first in which Marshall did not score.
WV Wesleyan scored four runs in the top of the seventh to come within just one run of the lead, but sophomore Halie Vance (Tyler, Texas) got the Herd out of the jam to secure the 8-7 victory.
Marshall concludes fall ball play with a 7-1 record. The Herd will return to action in the spring as it looks to defend its C-USA Championship.