Marshall to Host No. 8 Kentucky in Home Opener


Pitching coach Chanda Bell will be coaching against her alma mater on Tuesday.

Pitching coach Chanda Bell will be coaching against her alma mater on Tuesday.

March 10, 2014

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MARSHALL (6-14, 1-2 C-USA) VS. No. 8 KENTUCKY (18-3, 2-1 SEC)
Tuesday, March 11 | 4 p.m.
Huntington, W.Va. | Dot Hicks Field

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Marshall softball will open its 2014 home schedule with a Tuesday afternoon matchup against No. 8 Kentucky (18-3). The Thundering Herd (6-14) will play in front of its home crowd in the regular season for the first time since winning the 2013 C-USA Tournament and making an appearance in the NCAA Regionals.

Live stats will be available through HerdZone.com, and live updates will also be available on Twitter (@HerdSB). Live streaming will be available, as well and links will be Tweeted before game time. Final results can be found on HerdZone.com at the completion of each day.

HAVE YOU HERD?
The Herd earned its first Conference USA victory in an 8-5 victory over C-USA newcomer Florida Atlantic last Wednesday before dropping the final two games of the series. Marshall completed its trip to Boca Raton, Fla., by competing in the FAU Parents' Weekend Tournament. The Herd fell to No. 14 South Alabama, 1-0, before defeating Michigan State, 2-1, in walk-off fashion to split the day.

Sophomores Kaelynn Greene (Eastvale, Calif.) and Shaelynn Braxton (Woodbridge, Va.) combine to lead the Herd in almost every offensive category. Greene boasts a team best .423 batting average, with 30 hits and a .423 on-base percentage. Braxton leads Marshall with 16 RBI, 43 total bases, six home runs and four doubles. Each has scored a team-high 15 runs.

Freshman Jordan Dixon (Edmond, Okla.) and redshirt freshman Lindsey Fadnek (Coalfield, Tenn.) have handled the bulk of the pitching responsibilities for the Herd this season. Dixon has started 13 games and appeared in 18, currently holding a 4-9 record with 72 strikeouts. Fadnek's 14 appearances include six starts, with a 2-3 record. 

SERIES HISTORY
Kentucky holds a 9-3 advantage in the all-time series. Marshall and Kentucky last met in the NCAA regionals last season in Lexington, Ky. The Wildcats edged the Herd, 2-1, in eight innings. Kentucky had previously secured another one-run victory over the Herd in a 4-3 victory in April.

SCOUTING THE WILDCATS (18-3, 2-1 SEC) 
Kentucky is led offensively by junior Griffin Jolner. Her .375 batting average, 21 hits, six home runs, 14 RBI, 42 total bases and .750 slugging percentage are all team bests for the Wildcats.

Senior Emily Gaines owns Kentucky's second-best batting average, a .346 mark, behind a .462 slugging percentage and five RBIs.

Three Wildcats have seen action in the circle, and each have an ERA of at least 2.03 or better. Sophomore Kelsey Nunley leads with 11 appearances and nine starts. She holds a 7-1 record and 2.00 ERA and has recorded 53 strikeouts. Freshman Megan Prince (5-1, 1.85 ERA) and senior Lauren Cumbess (4-0, 2.03 ERA) have each made seven appearances.

UP NEXT
Marshall will remain in Huntington to face another ranked opponent over the weekend in No. 21 Tulsa. The three-game C-USA series features a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday, with the series finale Sunday at noon.