Herd Softball Splits, Games Rescheduled Due to Weather

Special to HNN Provided by Marshall University
Remainder of tournament has been rescheduled

HUNTINGTON, W.Va.- Day two of the Marshall Invitational saw pestering rain blanket Dot Hicks Field, but with an experienced field crew three games were worked in before schedule changes were forced to be made. Pulver worked through Buffalo to help the Herd to a 10-4 win, but MU split on the day, falling to Presbyterian 9-7.

The Herd moves to 8-9 on the season with the split on the dreary Saturday morning. The Marshall Invitational has reworked its remaining schedule due to impending weather in the tri-state area. Sunday starts with an 11 a.m. contest against Buffalo followed by a 1 p.m. first pitch against Kent State.

Presbyterian at Marshall – Continuation of Seventh Inning – Friday’s Release
Continuing Friday’s halted game, Presbyterian jump started the seventh-inning opener with a three-run homer to left field from Amanda Miller, giving PC a 9-6 advantage heading into the final frame.

“When you put up seven runs you should be able to win the game,” said head coach Shonda Stanton. “There is no defense against the long ball, I have to give their hitters credit they took advantage of the walks which resulted in multiple-run homers.”

Amanda Lara scored on a wild pitch after a standup double to right field put her in scoring position. The late rally was not enough as the Herd eventually fell 9-7 in the two-day showcase.

Erika Bennett (0-1) received the loss after working the final 4.2 innings in relief, fanning nine PC batters along the way. Leslie Hensley improves to 5-1 with the win while Brittany Howell picked up a save for pitching the final frame on Saturday.

Top hitters in the contest were Alysia Hively, who went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and three RBI and Rebecca Gamby and Jazmine Valle, who each were 2-for-4.

Buffalo at Marshall
It would be the Herd to light up the scoreboard first in its second contest of the day as Alianna Telles roped a triple to right center and scored two batters later on a passed ball, unearned.

The Bulls returned the favor after Alyssa Ward homered to left field to tie it up at 1-1 in the top of the second.

In a battle of the Alysia’s, Marshall’s Hively slugged her fourth homer on the year in the bottom of the second to regain a 2-1 advantage in favor of the Herd.

A brief delay of game in the third did not slow down the MU bats as a hit to right center by Valle hopped the fence for a ruled RBI double that plated Taylor Thompson from second base. The Herd made it a 4-1 cushion as pinch runner Melissa Loesing crossed the plate after a UB error.

“After such a disappointing loss I was extremely proud of our players and how they battled through the weather conditions for a team win,” said Stanton. “I appreciate the efforts of our grounds crew making it possible to get this game in.”

An only fitting situation for the already lengthy game, the Bulls were able to tie it up at 4-4 in the fifth as a Jessica Griffin single to right plated two, followed by Griffin scoring on a Marshall error.

Unwilling to back down, six runs in the bottom of the fifth not only marked the most productive inning of the year for the Herd but also allowed MU to capture what would be the lead and final score of the game at 10-4.

With no outs lit on the board, Marshall saw six-consecutive hitters score – utilizing the bench and tallying six hits to hit through the lineup. Gamby’s two-run homerun sparked the rally followed by RBI hits from Hively and pinch hitter Victoria Marvin.

Natalee Pulver moves to an even 3-3 for the season with the victory after going the distance and retiring five UB batters. Pulver made quick work of the Bulls, seeing the minimum number of batters in the final two innings despite also battling poor weather conditions.

“Natalee showed great composure and toughness in less-than-ideal circumstances,” Stanton said. “We continue to be impressed with what she brings to the game.”

For the contest Marshall posted outstanding numbers from Thompson (3-for-3, one run scored), Valle (2-for-4, one run scored and one RBI) and Hively who hit 2-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBI. Hively continues to dominate at designated player, homering in four of the last five games and hitting at a .600 clip over the weekend with six RBI, four runs scored, a double and a 1.300 slugging percentage.

“Taylor did outstanding in the leadoff position today,” said Stanton. “With all the competition we have in the outfield it is great to see our athletes performing when we call upon them.”

For updated information concerning game times and game outcomes visit the softball schedule page on herdzone.com or by clicking here for the Marshall Invitational home page.