Herd and Cougars Fight for the Ring

TULSA, Okla. – The championship game has been set, and Marshall has secured its spot in it. The run scored in the first inning proved to be enough, as the Thundering Herd defeated the Blazers 1-0 at the Collins Family Complex on Friday, May 10.

Senior Ashley Gue (2-for-2) was the only player to touch home plate, crossing the dish on a RBI-double from teammate and senior Jazmine Valle (1-for-3). Defending the one-run lead in the circle was senior Andi Williamson, who earned her 31st win with the Herd behind her. Williamson ended the contest with six strikeouts and her seventh shutout victory.

“That’s the best I’ve seen Andi all year,” said head coach Shonda Stanton. “She’s got 31 wins on the season. She is so strong and so dominant and so on. UAB is a heck of a ball club. Marla has done a phenomenal job with that program. Hats off to them for winning the regular season. It’s a great group of girls.

The Herd jumped out to an early lead after freshman Kaelynn Greene (2-for-3) hit an infield single to get on base. In an attempt to pick her off at first, UAB’s catcher made a throwing error that allowed Greene to take second. Gue bunt-singled to get on base and put UAB in a first-and-third situation. In a double steal effort, Greene was thrown out at the plate trying to advance on another throwing error from Blazers’ catcher, but Gue took third base on the play. Valle hit a shot into the left-center gap to bring Gue home and give the Herd a 1-0 advantage. Back-to-back strikeouts ended the inning, 1-0.

In the next two innings, Williamson gave up no hits and the only runners that touched base reached on a walk or error and were left stranded. The Herd connected for three hits between the two innings, but was unable to cross the dish to extend the lead.

The fourth was a three up, three down inning for both teams. For Marshall it continued through the end of the game, but UAB threatened in the bottom of each inning. With one out on the board, back-to-back singles and a tag-up advancement on a fly to right field put runners on second and third with two outs. A lineout to the Herd’s short stop concluded the bottom of the fifth.

The Blazers threatened again in the sixth with another pair of singles to lead off the bottom half of the inning, but two foul pop ups to the catcher and Williamson’s fifth strikeout of the game shut the inning down.

In the final inning of play, a ground out to third and strikeout put two outs on the board before a single put UAB on base. The final out was a grounder to short, securing the 1-0 shutout victory for the Herd.

Marshall will face Houston Saturday, May 11 at 12 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network. It will be the second time the two teams face off in post season with the Cougars currently holding a 1-0 advantage. 

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