D'Orazio and @HerdSB Lead the Nation in Stolen Bases
D'Orazio wins the Golden Shoe Award
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Junior Elicia D’Orazio and the Marshall softball team finished the season atop the nation in stolen bases. D’Orazio wins the New Balance/NFCA Golden Shoe Award as the individual leader. The junior stole a team and Conference USA record 59 bases, an average of 1.09 per game. Marshall led the country with 162 total and 3.00 per game.
"This is one of the most exciting awards for our program because we pride ourselves on wanting the next 60 feet," Herd coach Shonda Stanton said. "Elicia is one of the most exciting base runners I have ever coached and can single handedly manufacture runs. We are pleased for her to receive this recognition."
D’Orazio has been among the nation’s leaders in stolen bases throughout most of the season. The fleet-footed junior recorded at least one theft in 36 of 54 games. Seventeen times she stole more than one base and tied her career-high with four against UAB on May 5. In that same contest, D’Orazio broke Marshall’s single-season record of 51 set by Kaelynn Greene in 2016. Against Wright State (April 5), D’Orazio became the sixth player in Marshall history to reach 100 career stolen bases. She is now fourth all-time with 122.
She began the season with two steals in the 2017 opener against Lipscomb and even stole home in the bottom of the eighth to give Marshall the 2-1 win. The Clermont, Fla., native ripped off two steals at No. 3 Florida State on Feb. 11.
The Puerto Rico National Team member was not done with stealing in just the regular season. D’Orazio nabbed six more stolen bases through the Conference USA Tournament and the NCAA Regionals in Lexington, Ky. After setting her sights on Marshall’s record, D’Orazio went after the C-USA single-season mark of 57 set by Chrystal Stevens of Southern Miss in 2000.
Needing just one more to break the record, and Marshall trailing 1-0 to DePaul at Regionals, D’Orazio got on base in the bottom of the sixth with an infield single. After advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt, the speedster stole third to break the C-USA record. She accomplished the feat in 23 fewer games than Stevens. Still not done, the nation’s leader in thefts stole home two pitches later to tie the game at 1-1.
Marshall has become public enemy number one in grand larceny on the bases. The Herd led the country in stolen bases for the third time in the past seven seasons, and is the only program to lead the country more than twice since 2000. Marshall first accomplished the feat in 2011 and then again in 2015. In 2015, the Herd also sported the Golden Shoe Award winner in sophomore Morgan Zerkle who had 47 and an average of .94 per game. The Herd has recorded over 100 steals in a season nine consecutive years and 11 times in program history. The team has broken the program record in three consecutive seasons as well. Marshall has been ranked in the Top 10 in the country (11) more times than any other school since Shonda Stanton took over in 2000. Alabama is next at seven.
The Herd shattered the team and Conference USA single-game record with 16 thefts against Delaware State on March 5. It was one away from the NCAA record of 17 set by Nicholls State against Saint Peter’s on April 1, 1994. Marshall’s old record of 11 was set against Middle Tennessee on April 10, 2015. The old C-USA record of 12 was done by East Carolina against UNC Wilmington on March 28, 2012.
Six different players contributed to the record-setting thievery: Zerkle 5, Shaelynn Braxton 4, D’Orazio 2, Abigail Estrada 2, Eloise Tribolet 2 and Hayden Ellis 1.
During the season, six players combined for 39 games with two or more steals: D’Orazio 17, Zerkle 12, Estrada 3, Tribolet 3, Taylor McCord 3 and Braxton 1.
Marshall also featured the largest difference in stolen bases this season of 142. The Herd stole 162 and allowed just 20. Marshall is averaging 107.11 steals per season under coach Stanton and an incredible 137.78 over the past nine seasons.