March 7, 2013
HUNTINGTON W,Va. - The Marshall softball team (10-9) will travel to Tulsa, Okla. this weekend to open Conference USA play with three games against the No. 21/22 Golden Hurricane (16-5) beginning with a double header on Saturday, March 9. Marshall is 4-3 in conference openers since joining Conference USA in 2006.
The Thundering Herd enters the series on a five-game win streak after winning the Marshall Invitational with a perfect 4-0 record this past weekend. Senior pitcher Andi Williamson earned all four wins for the Herd and currently holds a 10-8 overall record with a 2.18 earned run average.
Offensively, senior Bri Anna Hope
looks to extend her hot streak into conference play. Hope was named Conference USA Hitter of the Week for her efforts in six games against Drexel, UNC Greensboro, Buffalo and Robert Morris. During that span, Hope went 8-for-17, recording eight RBIs and scoring six runs. Hope also hit two home runs, including a grand slam, and delivered two walk-off hits for the Herd.
Tulsa enters the weekend with the best record in Conference USA. The Golden Hurricane has earned Conference USA honors five times this season. Juniors Haley Henshaw and Jill Barrett have each earned Hitter of the Week. Tulsa junior hurler, Aimee Creger won Pitcher of the Week two weeks straight and senior Lacey Middlebrooks has also earned the recognition. As a whole, Tulsa is hitting .278 and has a 2.01 earned run average.
This will be the first time Marshall and Tulsa meet to open Conference USA play. Last season, the Golden Hurricane won three of four games against the Herd, including a victory in the Conference USA Championship Final by a score of 3-2.
Shonda Stanton will look to earn her 400th victory as the Marshall head coach, as she enters Saturday's contests one win shy of the mark. Stanton is in her 14th season at Marshall and currently has a record of 399-333-2 (426-358-2 overall). She recorded her 400th career win last season in an 8-0 victory against UTEP on April 1, 2012.