Softball Hosts Marshall Invitational Starting Friday

Special to HuntingtonNews.Net

HUNTINGTON, WVFollowing three weeks of competition on the road, the Marshall softball team will stay home this weekend and welcome three teams for the Marshall Invitational.

Bucknell, Kent State and IPFW will head to Huntington to compete against each and the Thundering Herd at Dot Hicks Field. Action will begin Friday and run during the day Saturday and end on Sunday.

Marshall (7-7) enters the weekend’s action after participating in the Citrus Classic at the ESPN Wide World of Sports last weekend. The Herd came away with only one victory, an 8-0 win over St. John’s, but played top-25 team Florida State close and lost by a run to Maryland on Sunday, a team currently receiving votes in the poll.

Ashley Gue led the Herd last weekend with a .500 batting average that propelled her to tops on the team for batting average this season. She is now hitting at an average of .390 and leads her squad in stolen bases at ten.

Andi Williamson has been the green and white’s workhouse in the circle. With a team 42.1 innings worked, the junior has put together an earned run average of 1.82 in 11 appearances. Williamson has compiled a record of 4-4 with 52 strike outs so far this season.

Head Coach Shonda Stanton continues pursuit of her 400th career victory this weekend. She is currently 13 wins away with 387 career victories. Entering her 14th year leading the Herd, Stanton has collect 360 of her wins with MU, with the remaining 17 wins coming while at the helm of IUPUI.

Kent State and Marshall are matching up for the first time after playing two nine inning games in last year’s invitational, including the Sunday finale last year that was a 17-16 win for the Herd in a game that lasted four hours and 26 minutes. The game, which MU won by scoring seven runs in the bottom of the ninth to win, included a total of 31 hits, 16 walks, and Jazmine Valle tying a Marshall single-game high for runs batted in with six.

The Flashes will come to Huntington with a 4-6 but fresh off wins over NC State and Georgetown during the Wolfpack Challenge. Fellow participant IPFW stands at 6-2 after claiming the title in the Chanticleer Challenge and defeating host Coastal Carolina.  Bucknell (2-1) enters the invitational for only their second weekend of action.

The Herd’s first game of the weekend will come against KSU Friday at 12:30 p.m. MU will play following that contest against IPFW, tentatively scheduled for a 3 p.m. first pitch. First game of the entire invitational is Friday at 10 a.m. between Kent State and IPFW.

GameTracker and live audio from WMUL 88.1 FM are available for free for each contest of the invitational.  Links to each plus video can be accessed from the Marshall Invitational Central Page.