May 1, 2011
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall softball drew a close to its home venue in 2011 with a nip and tuck affair that resulted in a tie, 8-8, against UTEP at the Dot due to a predetermined drop time. Rebecca Gamby's heroic grand slam put the Herd back into the game but it was not enough to clinch a victory.
The Thundering Herd (19-29-1, 5-14-1 C-USA) had a plethora of offensive sparks from its lineup on the day; Ashley Gue continued her domination of the weekend going 2-for-3 with two runs scored. Senior Melanie Stoehr made her last showing at the Dot a perfect one, checking in with a 2-for-2 tally and also reaching on a walk. Samantha Spurlock also joined in nabbing a hit and scoring two runs.
Despite a slow start the story of the day came from Marshall's catcher Rebecca Gamby, who hit a grand slam in the fifth to tie the game at 5-5 and gave the Herd offense a much needed jolt of momentum. The feat not only gives Gamby her 12th long ball of the season, but it also marks the sixth conference opponent she has gone yard against this year.
The Miners (16-34-1, 1-19-1 C-USA) chalked up the first run of the day in the top of the third when Becky Smith came home on a double to right center by Laura Ramos. UTEP extended its lead to an uncontested 5-0 in the fourth as four scored on two hits and three Marshall miscues, forcing the Herd to breeze through three pitchers.
In the fifth, MU led off with three straight singles to juice the bases for pinch hitter Taylor Winton, who successfully drew a walk to push Gue home and give the Herd its first run of the day. Gamby followed two batters later with her grand slam to right center that scored Gue, Spurlock, Taylor Thompson and Jessica Hughes and tied the ball game at 5-5.
Unwilling to relinquish its lead, the Miners picked up an additional three runs in the sixth off a two-RBI triple from Kayleigh Walts and a third via a Laura Ramos RBI-single through the left side to go up 8-5 heading into the bottom of the sixth.
Alianna Telles kept the Herd alive with a sacrifice fly to center to score Gue. Marshall then brought home two unearned runs that tied the game at its eventual final score of 8-8 through six. Pinch runner Bri Anna Hope scored off a UTEP error followed by Spurlock crossing the plate courtesy of a single through the left side by Jazmine Valle.
Courtney Auger started in the circle for the Miners but left after 4.1 innings worked to be relieved briefly by Joanna Krienitz. Laura Ramos finished the game on the rubber, closing the final frame with two strikeouts.
Andi Williamson had a whirlwind of a day pitching for Marshall, after opening the first 2.2 innings the sophomore reentered in the sixth to face an additional three batters and stave off further threats from the UTEP lineup. Natalee Pulver, Erika Bennett and Rachel Rillo also came in relief on the day while senior Rillo retired two batters in 2.1 innings worked.
Up next for the Herd is its final Conference USA series of the season, a matchup in Birmingham, Ala. against the Blazers of UAB. A doubleheader is slated for a 2 p.m. start on May 7, with the final game of the 2011 regular season starting at 1 p.m. on May 8.