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Marshall Hits the Road to Start Busy Midweek

Senior Ashley Gue leads the team in nonconference steals with 15. She has 97 in her career, six shy of second place Jessica Hughes (103).

April 8, 2013

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Huntington, W.Va.—The Marshall softball team (25-13, 11-4 C-USA) will kick off a busy midweek with a trip to No. 20/21 Kentucky (27-10, 8-4 SEC) Tuesday, April 9 for a single game at 5 p.m. ET before returning to the “Dot” to host Northern Kentucky (7-28,1-14 A-Sun) in a doubleheader Wednesday, April 10 at 2 p.m. ET.

The Last Meeting
No. 18 Kentucky10
April 13, 2011
Huntington, W.Va.

The last time Marshall beat a ranked team was in a 6-1 defeat of No. 24 Ohio State on April 2, 2008. The Herd last faced off with a ranked opponent earlier this season, dropping three games against No.21/22 Tulsa. Prior to this season, the 2011 matchups with Kentucky were Marshall’s last contests against top-25 talent.

This will be the 11th meeting between Marshall and Kentucky, with the Wildcats holding an 8-2 advantage over the Thundering Herd. The two teams last met for a doubleheader in 2011 when Kentucky – then No. 18 – picked up 9-4 and 10-4 victories. The Wildcats jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning in game one and never relinquished the lead. Seniors Jazmine Valle and Ashley Gue each went 1-2 in the game with a run scored. Valle added an RBI in the defeat. The second game had a similar story line, with Kentucky scoring four runs in the top of the first.

Kentucky enters the game fresh off a sweep of SEC foe South Carolina this past weekend. The Wildcats bring a balanced offense to the plate, having four players with 21 or more RBIs and six players with 15 or more runs scored. Nikki Sagermann leads the team with a .375 average, including two doubles and three home runs. Griffin Joiner has hit eight long balls and boasts a .653 slugging percentage, both team highs.

In the circle, Kelsey Nunley has a 17-4 record for the Wildcats behind a 2.09 ERA. She is holding opponents to a .211 average, and has recorded 117 strikeouts. Lauren Cumbess also shoulders the pitching load for the Wildcats. She has a 7-3 record in 16 appearances.

After the matchup in Lexington, Ky., Marshall will return to Dot Hicks Field to host Northern Kentucky. This will be the first game between the two schools. The Norse is currently riding a seven-game losing streak, including losses to Stetson, Morehead State, and Jacksonville. Dee Dee Davis is leading Northern Kentucky with a .266 batting average, 29 hits, and 13 RBI. She has hit two home runs for the Norse, and is the only player on the team with a triple.

The Herd is 14-9 in nonconference games this season. Bri Anna Hope leads the Herd with a .346 average and .577 slugging percentage. Hope is followed closely by Gue (.344) and Valle (.310). Valle also has a team-high of eight doubles and is tied for the team lead with 12 RBI with Alysia Hively, who also leads the Herd with 4 nonconference home runs.

Andi Williamson is 13-8 in the circle in nonconference action. She has posted a 1.98 ERA and recorded three shutouts and 176 strike outs.

Marshall is coming off a series victory in Houston from the past weekend, from which freshman Shaelynn Braxton received league credit for an outstanding weekend (C-USA Hitter of the Week).