Herd Sweep Golden Eagles
Marshall freshman Kaelynn Greene went 6-for-7 on the day with five runs and four stolen bases. In the circle, senior Andi Williamson had a total of 16 strikeouts in 14.0 innings pitched and kept the Golden Eagles off the board in a 6-0 shutout in the second game of the day.
Greene is the first player to score more than two runs (3) in a game this season, and it is the second time this season that she steals three bases in a single game (last was against Drexel on Feb. 25).
“I think Andi (Williamson) gave us good pitching and our defense was solid behind her,” recapped head coach Shonda Stanton. “Kaelynn Greene had a monster day putting the ball in play. She (Greene) was a tough out for them (Southern Miss). Savanah Webster had a great offensive day. Raquel hit a bomb, which was nice to see, and overall, I was really pleased with how we put the ball in play.”
The Herd took down Southern Miss with a quick three-up, three-down top of the first of game one.
Greene (3-for-3) bunt singled to lead off the Marshall lineup.After a one-out single by senior Bri Anna Hope (1-for-2), senior Jazmine Valle was hit by pitch, which loaded the bases for junior Savanah Webster (2-for-4). A Webster single and fielding error by the left fielder, permitted Greene and Hope to score, Valle to advance to third and Webster to take second. Freshman Katalin Lucas (1-for-2) sacrificed a bunt to score Kristina Braxton, who was brought in to pinch run for Valle, and allowed Webster to advance to third. A strikeout ended the inning, but not before an illegal pitch permitted Webster to notch another run on the board, 4-0.
Southern Miss’ Morgan McKeever’s (3-for-4) one-out single to center field sparked up the Golden Eagles in the top of the second inning. A ground out advanced her to second, and mix of a Michelle Stringer (1-for-3) single and throwing error by Williamson allowed McKeever to score, 4-1. A grounder to second closed the top of the inning.
Sophomore Emileigh Cooper was brought in to pinch run for freshman Raquel Escareno (2-for-2), who reached base on a hit by pitch. With one out on the board, Greene stepped up to the plate and singled, permitting Cooper to score. Greene robbed the Golden Eagles of second and advanced to third on senior Ashley Gue’s single (2-for-4). Gue took second on a stolen base and Hope hit into a fielder’s choice that forced Greene out at home. A grounder to the pitcher completed the inning, 5-1.
Taylor Beck (1-for-3) singled up the middle to start the third for the Golden Eagles. Teammate, Sarah Evans (1-for-3) drew a walk, but was out on a double play that put Beck on third. Mackenzie Sher (1-for-3) got the RBI with a single through the right side that allowed Beck to score. A swinging strikeout ended the one-run inning, 5-2.
Freshman Alexandra Bayne was brought in to pinch run for senior Alysia Hively, who reached base on a one-out, left-side single. Escareno kept the singles rolling with a hit to third base. Bayne and Escareno had a double-steal that put them in scoring position with two outs on the board. Two back-to-back, RBI-bunt singles from Greene and Gue extended the Marshall lead, 7-2 and a throwing error by the centerfielder gave Greene the go ahead to notch another run on the board, 8-2. A grounder to the third baseman ended the inning.
The game went scoreless for three complete innings, but the Golden Eagles showed some life in a last-chance attempt to take the game in the top of the seventh.
Williamson walked Kristen Franson, but a fielder’s choice would force her pinch runner Jenifer Gary out at second and allow Beck to remain at first. Beck advanced to second on a wild pitch and reached third on a single by Evans. Caroline Walker had a two-out, RBI single to shortstop, and after Sher walked, McKeever had a two-RBI single that shrunk the Marshall lead, 8-5. A game-ending fielder’s choice forced Sher out at third.
Game one ended with 12 Marshall hits, and Williamson had 10 strikeouts.
In game two, the Herd shutdown the Golden Eagles with seven scoreless innings. Williamson gave up her first hit of the game in the fifth after four straight 1-2-3 innings.
The Herd scored two runs in the first. Greene (3-for-4) singled, stole second and scored off of Webster’s (1-for-3) one-out single. An error by the centerfielder allowed her to round the bases and retain a spot on third base. Hope (1-for-3) reached on an RBI-fielder’s choice and was out trying to take second on the throw to home plate. A fly-out foul to first base closed the two-run inning, 2-0.
The two-run third inning was sparked by a Greene single to third base. She stole second and advanced to third on a Gue (1-for-3) bunt single. Webster lined out to third base for the first out of the inning, but not before Gue robbed Southern Miss of second. Hope hit a bunt single that loaded the bases for Valle, who drew an RBI-walk that allowed Greene to score. Lucas hit an RBI-grounder to second base for the second out of the inning and a line-out to second base finished off the third, 4-0.
An Escareno (2-for-3) one-out homer stretched the Herd lead, 5-0 in the bottom of the sixth. Senior Jessica Ferrick (1-for-1) pinch hit for Gue and singled up the middle to bring home Greene, who reached base on a two-out bunt single and advanced to second on another stolen base. A ground out to the pitcher was the final out of the game and the day.
In game two the Herd registered nine hits, Williamson had six strikeouts and Marshall committed no errors.
The Herd will resume play Sunday, March 17 for the final game of the Conference USA series. The Marshall softball players are looking forward to taking the field with 65 children they’ve paired up with as part of their Lil’ Sis outreach.