Pitching Pushes Softball Past Memphis

Special to HuntingtonNews.Net

HUNTINGTON, WV - The Marshall softball team (14-10, 4-1 C-USA) used dominant pitching and timely runs to win two 1-0 games over the Memphis Tigers (6-21, 0-5 C-USA) Saturday at the Tigers Softball Complex.

It is the first time in the history of MU softball that the team won two 1-0 games on the same day.
“Pitching and defense was what it was all about today,” said head coach Shonda Stanton. “Andi was great in game one and Natalee was phenomenal in game two. While defensively we made plays behind them. That’s the difference in winning two one runs games.”

Game One

Andi Williamson continued her strong pitching on the season with a complete game shutout. Along with a stout Thundering Herd defense, Marshall took down the Memphis Tigers in game one Saturday, 1-0. Williamson (9-6) picked up her ninth win of the 2012 season by allowing only two hits, while walking two and fanning five opposing batters. The junior improved her earned run average to 1.75 and also fielded her position well by contributing five assists.

At the plate, Marshall only crossed the plate once, but it was all that was needed on the day. Victoria Marvin provided the lone RBI when she roped a single to right field that allowed Jessica Hughes to score. Hughes finished the game with a 2-for-3 effort, both bunt singles.

The Herd defense was nearly as good as Williamson’s performance in the circle. In several occasions, MU made tough plays to retire Memphis when they put the ball in play. MU was able to persevere in the one run game by not committing an error during the contest.

Ellen Roberts (4-9) took the loss for Memphis by allowing six hits and while striking out four.

Game Two

Natalee Pulver (4-3) followed up her teammate’s performance in game one by shutting out the Tigers to grab game two from the Tigers 1-0.

Both sides were dominant in the circle. Neither squad recorded a hit until Alianna Telles broke through with a single to start the fourth inning. Memphis would not reach base until Amber Lindhal put a single up the middle in their portion of the fifth.

Memphis starting pitcher Jordan Richwood (0-6) was effective for her squad by allowing only two Herd hits and while fanning six batters. The Tiger offense however could not capitalize on chances to plate a run as they left a runner on base in both the fifth and sixth innings.

Marshall would score the winning run in the top of seventh. Emileigh Cooper came to plate in replace of Ashley Gue and she battled to draw a walk. Gue, who would re-enter to run, advanced to second with her 17th stolen base of the season, and moved to third base on a wild pitch. After the second out of the inning, the junior would cross the plate when a pitch from Richwood would go wayward and allow her to score and give her squad the 1-0 lead.

“Cooper came up big by drawing the walk and allowing us to steal a base and eventually score a run,” said Stanton.

Pulver and her defense, which was outstanding despite committing one error, stopped any chance for Memphis to score in the seventh to end the contest. The sophomore pitcher struck out seven and didn’t walk a Memphis batter.

“I am proud of our group and what we accomplished today,” Stanton finished after the day. “All of the kids are contributing and everybody is doing something to allow us to win.”

The third and final game of the series gets started at 1 p.m. ET Sunday.

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