March 3, 2011
HUNTINGTON, W.Va.- Returning from a three-week road swing to host its home opener at Dot Hicks Field is the Marshall University softball team. The Thundering Herd's first home game is Friday at 1 p.m. against Kent State.
The Marshall Invitational includes Kent State (5-9), Presbyterian College (7-1-1), Buffalo (2-8) and your Thundering Herd (6-8). Friday's first pitch is a neutral meeting between Kent State and Presbyterian at 11 a.m. MU will then play a doubleheader with contests at 1p.m. against KSU and 3 p.m. versus PC.
Saturday features four games starting at 9 a.m. with UB and PC. Marshall takes on the mid-morning games, 11 a.m. against UB and 1 p.m. against KSU. Rounding out day two will be a 3 p.m. meeting between PC and KSU.
All games are subject to change pending weather. Check back with herdzone.com for up-to-date information concerning game times.
In the final day of the tournament, KSU and UB open the day with a 10 a.m. contest. Marshall closes out the tournament with a noon game against UB, the third meeting between the two teams this season.
Coming off wins last weekend over Georgia Southern and Belmont, the Herd defense looks stronger as it assists the ever improving offense to back up the pitching staff that recorded two shutout performances and a near-perfect game by Andi Williamson.
Pacing the pitchers is Williamson, who has a club-best 2.78 ERA, five wins and 58 strikeouts in 50.1 innings pitched. Against Georgia Southern the sophomore pitched a perfect game leading into the sixth before registering the one-hit shutout, fanning eight batters along the way.
In her first collegiate victory, Natalee Pulver threw a five-inning run rule shutout against Belmont and for the week held a 1.68 ERA, only walking one and allowing two earned runs.
At the plate MU has received production coming off the bench from Bri Anna Hope (.357 avg), Taylor Winton (.300 avg) and Alysia Hively (.333 avg). In her first career starts, Hively homered against Belmont and Auburn to tie for a team-high two home runs. Top hitters are Amanda Lara and Jazmine Valle, with 12 and 10 hits respectively. Lara also has a team-best 10 runs scored.
Radio will be available for all games featuring Marshall, as will video for a fee through All-Access. GameTracker will be provided for all games during the Marshall Invitational.
Marshall softball is hosting Camper Reunion Day on Saturday with the Thundering Herd taking on Buffalo at 11 a.m. and Kent State at 1 p.m. All campers in attendance will receive a FREE game of bowling along with a post-game meet and greet with the team. Be sure to ask about all the in-game promotions throughout the Marshall Invitational this weekend.
Sunday at noon also kicks off our Team Friends Challenge. The Marshall softball athlete with the most support in attendance will receive a night of FREE bowling for her and all of her friends. Go Herd!