Dixon dominates on the mound as Herd softball defeats Middle Tennessee in weekend series


File Photo

Marshall pitcher Jordan Dixon winds up up in a game last season.

The Marshall University softball team swept Middle Tennessee State University in its three-game weekend series at Dot Hicks Field.

The Herd (25-23) responded from being its swept itself April 16-17 by Florida Atlantic University to push its way back to .500 in conference play at 9-9.

Herd pitcher Jordan Dixon achieved both quality and quantity on the mound over the course of the series as her excellence paved the way for the sweep.

Dixon was named the Conference USA Pitcher of the Week after pitching all 19 innings of the series, allowing just nine hits and a pair of runs, only one of which was earned run. Dixon had Blue Raider batters fanning at everything with her stuff on the mound striking out a combined 30 batters over the three games.

“We had an outstanding weekend as a team and it starts in the circle,” head coach Shonda Stanton said in a press release. “Dixon was dominant and her performance was what we needed at this point in the season.”

Marshall took the first game of the series in five innings after the Herd run-ruled Middle Tennessee State in its 8-0 win. Dixon struck out 10 batters and allowed two hits. Offensively, Katalin Lucas bolstered the Herd offense going 3-3 at the plate to go with three RBIs, including a two-run homer in the third inning. Catcher Taylor McCord and shortshop Elicia D’Orazio each registered a pair of hits with D’Orazio also collecting two RBIs.

Dixon completed her second shutout of the weekend in the second game of the series, which the Herd won 6-0. Dixon allowed just two hits and had batters repeatedly waving at air en route to recording 12 strikeouts and no walks.

McCord continued her hot hitting streak as well notching two hits in four at-bats to go with three RBIs. D’Orazio was locked in at the plate again as well with two hits and two runs in three at-bats.

In the series finale, Dixon sustained her stellar performance despite starting her third game in two days. She went the full seven innings, allowing five hits and one earned runs while striking out eight in the 9-2 victory.

McCord finally cooled off from the plate, but others picked up the slack, and D’Orazio remained efficient, connecting for two hits and a pair of RBIs. For the series, D’Orazio totaled six hits and four RBIs. Requel Escareno also provided run support for the Herd a two-RBI single to centewr field in the fourth inning. First baseman Briana Daiss, left fielder Kaelynn Greene and center fielder Morgan Zerkle combined for nine hits in 11 at-bats with each registering three hits. Zerkle also added two RBIs.

The Herd will remain at Dot Hicks Field for its next series against Florida International University, which begins 1 p.m. Saturday with the first game of a doubleheader.