Herd Softball Heads to No. 20 South Carolina for the Carolina Classic
Marshall will play No. 20 South Carolina, George Washington and Liberty
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COLUMBIA, S.C. – The Marshall softball team has headed south for the fourth straight weekend for its final early season tournament. The Thundering Herd is playing in the Carolina Classic March 2-4, hosted by No. 20 South Carolina. The George Washington Colonials and the Liberty Flames are also participating in the tournament.
Marshall plays George Washington on Friday, March 2 at 12 p.m., and then Liberty at 2:30 p.m. The Herd has just one game on Saturday, March 3 at 3 p.m., against the 20th ranked Gamecocks. Marshall finishes the weekend on Sunday, March 4, against Liberty at 12:30 p.m., and then South Carolina at 3 p.m.
Fans can tune in to all the games through 88.1 WMUL-FM and online at www.marshall.edu/wmul. Marshall’s games against George Washington and Liberty will also be simulcast on Facebook Live.
Last Time Out: Home Opener vs. Kent State
Marshall looked to improve after going 2-3 at the Spartan/Paladin Invitational and took a big step in the right direction with a 10-4 win over Kent State at Dot Hicks Field. The Herd had a season-best 13 hits including seven for extra bases. Senior Taylor McCord (2), freshman Aly Harrell (2) and junior Abigail Estrada (1) combined for five doubles and seniors Elicia D’Orazio and Madi Marshall each hit a triple. Sophomore Kailee Williamson got the start and her third win of the season. Junior Ali Burdette came out of the bullpen to close off the final two innings.
Scouting the Opponents
George Washington: Marshall leads series 1-0, last meeting Feb. 11, 2012 a 4-2 Herd win
The Colonials are off to a 9-3 start and are coming into the weekend as winners of seven of the last eight. George Washington took a doubleheader sweep of Howard for the home opener, 8-0 and 16-0. Earlier this week, senior pitcher Sarah Costlow and sophomore Elena Shelepak racked up Atlantic 10 player of the week honors. Costlow leads the team with a 1.58 ERA, a record of 4-0, 31 innings pitched and 18 strikeouts. Opponents are hitting .231 against her. Shelepak hit .500 over five games this past weekend. She hit two home runs, two doubles, scored five runs and drove in four. Sophomore Priscilla Martinez leads the Colonials with a .367 average. Sophomore Jenna Cone, who was selected to the USA Softball Top 50 Watch List, is hitting .314 with three home runs and a team leading 12 RBI. Marshall and George Washington have met just once before and the Herd came away with the walk-off win, 4-2, as senior Rebecca Gamby jacked a two-out, three-run home run.
Liberty: Marshall leads series 12-3, last meeting April 13, 2016 Herd took the doubleheader
The Flames are 10-4 to begin the year with losses to Central Michigan, San Diego State, No. 3 UCLA and No. 15 Arizona State. Liberty is coming off a 2-3 performance at the Mary Nutter Classic in California where along with the last three losses, the Flames picked up wins over UNC and UC Davis. Five of the main starters for Liberty are all batting over .300. Sophomore Amber Bishop leads the way hitting .358, 19 hits, 13 runs, five doubles and two triples. The team batting average is .278 with opponents hitting .225. Liberty has outscored the competition 63-37. In the circle, the staff ERA is 2.29, led by junior Julia DiMartino with a 1.53 ERA and a 6-3 record. She has 59 strikeouts in 50.1 innings. Marshall and Liberty last met for a doubleheader in Lynchburg, Va. The Herd came away with two wins.
No. 20 South Carolina: Series tied at 1-1, last meeting Feb. 28, 2015 a 2-0 South Carolina win
The 20th ranked Gamecocks are 15-1 this season with the only loss coming back on Feb. 10 against FIU, 3-1. Since the loss, South Carolina has rolled off 12-straight wins. A home doubleheader against Duke Wednesday was postponed due to rain. The team is hitting .291 and has outscored the competition 95-19. The Gamecocks have hit 14 home runs and have not allowed to leave the park. In the circle, the staff ERA is 1.14. Sophomore Cayla Drotar has a 1.04 ERA and a record of 7-0 in 47 innings. Junior transfer Dixie Raley sports a 0.78 ERA with a record of 4-0 in 27 innings. Raley transferred from Georgia Southern and faced the Herd in 2017. Marshall last played South Carolina in Columbia in 2015, the Herd lost 2-0.