Herd Softball Heads South for the Spartan/Paladin Invitational
Marshall to play Furman, USC Upstate, Presbyterian and Winthrop
Marshall Game Notes
Spartan Tournament Page
Marshall Radio Broadcast
Facebook Live Link
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Marshall softball team hits the road for the third consecutive weekend, down to the Spartan/Paladin Invitational, co-hosted by the USC Upstate Spartans and the Furman Paladins.
The Thundering Herd will play Furman (2 p.m.) and USC Upstate (4 p.m.) in Spartanburg, S.C., on Friday Feb. 23. Marshall then heads to Greenville, S.C., on Saturday Feb. 24 to take on Presbyterian (12 p.m.) and Furman (4 p.m.). Marshall finishes the weekend against Winthrop on Sunday Feb. 25 at 12 p.m.
The full tournament schedule along with live stats and video links for the home teams can be found at the Spartan Tournament Page. Marshall’s games will be broadcast on 88.1 WMUL-FM and online at www.marshall.edu/wmul through one of the Listen Live links. The Herd’s games against neutral competition will be simulcast through Facebook Live.
Last Time Out: The Michele Smith Pediatric Cancer Foundation Invite
Marshall went down to Clearwater, Fla., and put together a much improved team performance over the three-day tournament. The Herd ended the weekend 3-2 (4-5 overall for the season) with wins over Oakland (5-2), Missouri (8-2) and UMass-Lowell (4-2). Marshall fell to USF (5-1) and were barely edged out by No. 10 Tennessee (5-4) as the Lady Vols pulled it off in the bottom of the seventh. Junior Ali Burdette pitched exceptionally well, finishing with an ERA of 0.68 and allowing just two runs while appearing in all five games. Burdette pitched 20.2 innings of relief work and did not allow a run to Oakland, USF, Missouri and UMass-Lowell. The two runs were scored by No. 10 Tennessee.
Senior Taylor McCord jacked her first home run of the season in the win over Oakland. Senior Elicia D’Orazio continues to be a dominant force as she collected seven more hits including a 4-for-4 performance against UMass-Lowell. D’Orazio reached a major career milestone, as she became the 11th member of the 200 Hit Club at Marshall. She also tied Marshall Athletics Hall of Famer Sierra Davenport for third all-time with 130 career stolen bases. Freshman Armani Brown made a big contribution in her three starts at second with four hits, two RBI, one stolen base and just one error in 17 chances.
Junior Abigail Estrada and senior Eloise Tribolet were major factors in the Herd’s win over Missouri; Marshall’s first over an SEC team since Feb. 23, 2001, a 10-5 win over Kentucky. Estrada recorded two hits and scored three runs. Tribolet was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate and scored twice. The Herd gave an immense effort against No. 10 Tennessee, holding a one-run lead from the second into the seventh. All-American Meghan Gregg drove in the game-winning run.
Scouting the Opponents
Furman: 25 meetings, Furman leads series 14-11 (Last meeting: 3-1 Furman 2/9/18)
The Paladins are off to an 8-3 start, which includes a 3-1 win over Marshall back on Feb. 9. Furman has won six of its last seven including two wins over Presbyterian (4-3 & 5-1) on Wednesday. The Paladins are hitting .263 as a team and have 27 extra base hits. Seniors AnnaRose Borelli and Candace Johnson lead the team batting .320. Redshirt junior Lauren Duggar leads the team with 12 hits and six stolen bases. Defensively, Furman has just nine errors and a fielding percentage of .972. In the circle, junior Emily DeMonte has a 0.44 ERA in 31.2 innings pitched and a 5-0 record. Senior Lindsey Bert is 3-2 with a 2.81 ERA and 40 strikeouts in 37.1 innings.
USC Upstate: First ever meeting
The Spartans have been on a roll to begin the season 9-0. USC Upstate has taken doubleheaders over Gardner-Webb (8-4 & 15-1), Fairfield (10-1 & 8-0), Colgate (7-0 & 8-7), Charlotte (4-1 & 3-2) and a single game over ETSU (4-0). The Spartans have outscore the opposition 67-16 and are hitting .368 with 15 doubles, four triples and nine home runs. Senior Karla Beasley is hitting .519 and has five jacks with 11 RBI. The Spartans can hit and run as the team has 23 stolen bases with junior Ansley Gilstrap leading with five. In the circle, junior Christina Biggerstaff and sophomore Erin Hill are both 3-0. Biggerstaff sports a 0.88 ERA and 40 strikeouts in 24 innings. Last time out: in game one at Charlotte, the two teams were scoreless through seven until the Spartans scored four runs on three hits and one error. Biggerstaff tossed a complete game one-hitter for the win. In game two, it was tied at 2-2 until USC Upstate scored one in the top of the seventh with an RBI single.
Presbyterian: Two meetings, series tied 1-1 (Last meeting: 8-1 Marshall 3/3/17)
Presbyterian enters the weekend with a 1-8 record. The lone win came over Iona, 10-5, in eight innings. The Blue Hose just dropped a doubleheader to Furman on Wednesday. The team is hitting .188 this season and has been outscored 50-17. Junior Jonnie Petree leads the squad hitting .310 with nine hits and has eight of the team’s nine stolen bases. In the circle, the team ERA is 5.77 and opponents are hitting .296. Senior Kaylee Allen has the only win and sports a 5.85 ERA in 20.1 innings pitched with 21 strikeouts. Marshall junior Abigail Estrada hit her first career home run off Allen in 2017.
Winthrop: Nine meetings, Marshall leads 5-4 (Last meeting: 7-5 Winthrop 2/16/14)
The Eagles started the year 4-1 after putting up a solid performance at the Red & Black Showcase hosted by Georgia. Winthrop’s only loss was to Georgia (9-0), but featured wins over Evansville (4-3 & 1-0) and Samford (6-0 & 7-2). Following opening weekend, junior pitcher Kiley Majette was named the Big South Conference Pitcher of the Week. Majette was 2-0 in three appearances including a no-hitter against Samford, and tied a career-best with 12 strikeouts against Evansville. Offensively, junior Morgan Lowers leads the team with a .533 average, eight hits and three doubles. Sophomore Ansley Gilreath hit two home runs. The last time these two teams met was Feb. 16, 2014 in Auburn as the Eagles won 7-5. The Herd attempted a comeback, scoring three runs in the bottom of the seventh but it wasn’t enough.