Marshall Softball Offense Erupts in Game two for Split with Radford

Updated 4 years ago Special to HNN Provided by Herd Zone
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Marshall softball split another midweek, non-conference doubleheader with Radford Wednesday afternoon falling in game one, 5-0, and then taking game two, 8-3. The Herd recorded 14 hits including three home runs in the victory.

Game 1: Radford 5, Marshall 0

Game one was a pitching and defensive battle for the first three innings. But, in the end Radford (17-8) was able to find the timely hits and take advantage of three Marshall (18-12) errors to get the win.

“I give a lot of credit to Radford,” Herd Coach Shonda Stanton said. “They are very well coached and they played hard and capitalized on our mistakes.”

Junior pitcher Jordan Dixon (Edmond, Okla.) racked up six strikeouts in the first three innings but the Radford batters were able to make an adjustment and scored first with two runs in the fourth. Freshman Ali Burdette (Buffalo, W.Va.) came in to pitch in the fifth inning. Burdette allowed three more runs as Radford added one in the sixth and then two more in the seventh.

Marshall struggled offensively to find its rhythm. The Herd scattered six hits throughout the contest but could not find that clutch hit to keep an inning going or to bring a run across the plate. Sophomore Jordan Colliflower (Huntington, W.Va.) was 2-for-2 at the plate and recorded her fifth stolen base of the season.

Radford pitcher Abby Morrow went the distance to record her 10th win of the season.

Game 2: Marshall 8, Radford 3

Game two started off a little better for the Herd but it would still take to the third inning for Marshall to crack the scoreboard. Once it did, the runs and the hits began to pour through.

Senior Kaelynn Greene (Eastvale, Calif.) recorded the first hit of the game for Marshall in the bottom of the first and then stole second and third to get into scoring position. However, Greene ended up stranded at third with senior Raquel Escareno (Wellington, Colo.) behind her at second after a walk and stealing second.

Radford struck first in the third inning scoring one run to take the lead. However with a runner at second, Jordan Dixon recorded her third strikeout of the game to end the inning and keep it at a one-run deficit.

In the bottom of the third with two outs Greene stepped back up to the plate and attacked the first pitch taking advantage of the defense playing in on the lefty-slapper. Greene slapped one right through the infield that rolled all the way back to the fence in right center. The outfield was playing shallow as well and could not cut it off. Coach Stanton kept waving the California speedster on around the bases and Greene crossed the plate with an inside-the-park home run to tie the game at 1-1. It was the first home run of Greene’s career. She also has 258 hits in her career, just nine shy of taking the top spot from 4-time All-America Rachel Folden (2005-08) who finished with 266.

“(Greene) is so much fun to watch,” Coach Stanton said of her senior. “As a coach it is just a joy to watch her step into the batter’s box. She is a great athlete and she is playing so well right now stepping up at a big time and doing some big things for us.

“She leads the country in stolen bases and that is exciting to see in her senior year and we are really proud of what she is doing.”

The Highlanders struck again in the top of the fourth scoring two more runs. Once again Dixon battled back in the circle and ended the inning with her 700th career strikeout. Dixon joins Andi Williamson (731) and Sara Gulla (727) as the only pitchers in Marshall history to record 700 in a career. The junior finished game two with nine and now sits at 704.

The Herd bats fought back in the bottom of the fourth scoring three more runs to take the lead. Raquel Escareno led off the inning with a single to left field. Freshman Summer Collins (Logan, W.Va.) was sent in to pinch run at first. Next, sophomore Taylor McCord (Gilbert, Ariz.) dropped down a sacrifice bunt to move Collins into scoring position at second. Then another senior came up big for the Herd as Katalin Lucas (Agua Dulce, Calif.) sent the fourth pitch she saw over the fence in left field for a two-run home run. It was the first of the season for Lucas and the 14th of her career. The game was now tied at 3-3.

“Katy is playing hard right now,” Coach Stanton said. “Before the game she didn’t feel well but she came out and grinded and that’s what you want. You want kids who are going to come out and ball out for you and I’m really proud of her as well to come out and play the way she did.”

The Marshall offense was not done there as senior Alyssa Woodrum (West Hamlin, W.Va.) came up to the plate and placed a single into left center. Two batters later with two outs Jordan Colliflower recorded her first hit of game two and put two runners as freshman Samantha Loose (Anaheim Hills, Calif.) had previously reached on a fielder’s choice. Sophomore Elicia D’Orazio (Clermont, Fla.) then grounded one to the shortstop who threw the ball passed the first baseman toward the Radford dugout. This allowed Loose to score giving Marshall the lead, 4-3.

Dixon and the defense then shut down Radford in the fifth as Dixon recorded two more strikeouts and then got the final out on a fly-out to Colliflower in left.

The Herd grabbed one more run in the fifth to take a two-run lead after Escareno belted a pitch over the left field wall. It was the fourth home run of the season for the senior and the 17th of her career. The three round-trippers in the game is a season high for Marshall. It was the first time Marshall hit three home runs in a single game since just over one year ago, March 19, 2015 against the Ohio Bobcats at Dot Hicks field.

The Herd poured in three more insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth to put the score at 8-3. The runs came from five infield hits. Colliflower was the first with her second hit of the game. She advanced to second on an error from the catcher while sophomore Elicia D’Orazio was at the plate. D’Orazio then legged out an infield single to the right side to put runners in the corners for Marshall. Greene then poked a grounder up the middle that the Radford shortstop grabbed on the run but not could make a play anywhere as Colliflower scored and two runners still on base for the Herd.

Two batters later Escareno dropped a squeeze bunt that rolled just up the third base line and there was no chance at getting D’Orazio coming in to score or Escareno up the line to first. Then two batters later Lucas grounded one up the middle that once again the shortstop grabbed on the run and could not make a play. Lucas was safe and Escareno scored. So after three home runs in the game put the score at 5-3, five infield singles scored three more runs for the Herd.

Radford put two runners on in the seventh but were unable to score.

Senior Katalin Lucas was named the Dot Hicks Significance Sticker Award winner in the game two victory. Lucas was 2-for-4 at the plate with three RBI and the two-run home run that tied the game at 3-3.

Marshall will get a little rest next as it is the designated off weekend for the Herd in Conference USA play. Marshall will next take the field Tuesday March 29 with a doubleheader against the Saint Francis Red Flash at Dot Hicks Field. First pitch is set for 2 p.m.​
Comments powered by Disqus