March 20, 2012
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - In a game that lit up the scoreboard and featured 22 combined hits, Marshall softball withstood a furious Belmont comeback to capture a 11-7 victory Tuesday at E.S. Rose Park.
"After jumping out to a quick lead, I would have liked to close the door," said head coach Shonda Stanton. "Belmont was able to capitalize on our mistakes but I was happy we were able breakthrough in the end."
Very quickly the Thundering Herd bats got to work as two runs scored in the first inning thanks to a sacrifice fly from Rebecca Gamby and a single from Jazmine Valle gave MU a 2-0 early lead. Three more runs in the second inning and one more in the third gave MU a 6-0 lead.
After a trio of one run innings for the two squads, Belmont began their furious comeback in the fourth with a three run home run from Heather Turner to trim the Marshall lead to 7-4. Belmont would tie the game during the fifth inning as three hits and two Herd errors notched the game at seven apiece.
Following the sixth inning, which was the first inning that featured no runs, Marshall would take the lead when Taylor Thompson drew a bases loaded walk to score one run. Ashley Gue added two more runs with her two RBI single and Alianna Telles collected her second RBI of the game with a groundout that allowed Thompson to come around for an 11-7 lead.
Andi Williamson (12-6) started the contest for MU and was relieved in favor of Natalee Pulver once the Herd took a four run lead. Erika Bennett, whom came in for Pulver exited after the Bruins tied the game and Williamson re-entered. The junior returned to the circle in the fifth and wrapped up the game by not allowing anymore Bruins to cross the plate. She picked her sixth win in the last seven decisions with six strikeouts.
"Jaz came up big for us and Amanda Lara was able to make the most out of her opportunity," said Stanton. "Taylor's walk and Gue's two run single were huge for us in the seventh and we also received good work from Bri, Ali, and Andi throughout to help us persevere in the end."
Becca Gift (3-11) suffered the loss for Belmont. She went the distance and struck out five Marshall batters.
The Herd connected for a season high 13 hits, which came from 11 different batters. Jazmine Valle went 3-for-3 to lead MU while Bri Anna Hope smacked two hits and scored twice. Each member of the Herd's roster made appearance at point in the game.
"It was a total team effort today. We used all 20 players and multiple people stepped up for us to finish off our road trip 5-1. This will drive us into our weekend series with UAB."
Marshall will welcome the UAB Blazers for a three game showdown starting with a single game Friday at 3 p.m. and a doubleheader Saturday. The Blazers currently sit in first in Conference USA while MU is tied for second.