The Parthenon

Filed under Softball, SPORTS

Herd softball wins weekend C-USA series over Charlotte

Freshman+infielder+Grayson+Radcliffe+exclaims+in+celebration+after+Marshall%E2%80%99s+game+three+win+over+Charlotte+this+past+weekend.+Radcliffe+continues+her+freshman+season+as+she+is+early+in+her+collegiate+career.
Freshman infielder Grayson Radcliffe exclaims in celebration after Marshall’s game three win over Charlotte this past weekend. Radcliffe continues her freshman season as she is early in her collegiate career.

Freshman infielder Grayson Radcliffe exclaims in celebration after Marshall’s game three win over Charlotte this past weekend. Radcliffe continues her freshman season as she is early in her collegiate career.

Richard Crank

Richard Crank

Freshman infielder Grayson Radcliffe exclaims in celebration after Marshall’s game three win over Charlotte this past weekend. Radcliffe continues her freshman season as she is early in her collegiate career.

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Marshall softball clinched its three-game weekend series 2-1 with a Sunday victory against Charlotte at Dot Hicks Field.

“Every league game matters, and I’m really happy we found a way to secure the series win,” head coach Jen Steele said.

Marshall (21-22-1, 10-7-1 C-USA) took game one by a score of  5-1. The 49ers (14-28, 6-12 C-USA) got on the board first with a Spenser Gray RBI single in the second inning, but the Herd bounced back and took a 4-1 lead in the fourth.

The Herd plated four runs in the inning, using singles by freshman left fielder Wylie Glover and senior second baseman Elicia D’Orazio and an error by Charlotte second baseman Lizzy Birch. Marshall added another run in the fifth, when Glover doubled to right field, scoring freshman first baseman Aly Harrell.

In the second inning, sophomore Kailee Williamson stepped in the circle to pitch the final six innings in relief of junior pitcher Abigail Tolbert. Williamson allowed four hits, walked two and struck out two as she secured her seventh win of the season.

“We got a really nice pitching performance from (Kailee) Williamson,” Steele said. “She came into a tight situation and helped minimize the damage.”

Senior right fielder Jordan Colliflower’s 23-game hitting streak was snapped in the first game of the series. Colliflower hit .472 during the streak, which was the second-longest in program history.

In game two, Marshall gave up two runs in the first inning, as the 49ers chased Tolbert from the circle after she recorded one out. The Herd got a run back in the fourth, though, when sophomore third baseman Blakely Burch doubled down the right field line, scoring freshman pinch-runner Rachel Rousseau to make it a 2-1 game. However, Charlotte once again increased its lead to two runs in the sixth, when third baseman Bethany Doty singled to left, scoring
Meredith Harris.

In the bottom half of the inning, Marshall cut Charlotte’s lead to 3-2, as Harrell led off the inning with her team-leading seventh home run of the season—a solo shot to left field. However, 49er’s shortstop Haley Pace hit a two-run home run off Williamson in the seventh to increase Charlotte’s lead to 5-2, and pitcher Haley Wiesman shut down the Herd to give her team the win and split the doubleheader.

“It’s tough to bounce back after you drop game two, but I’m proud of the team for battling through an early morning start and wet conditions,” Steele said.

Marshall took Sunday’s rubber match—which was pushed up to 9 a.m. due to weather concerns—7-5 and took the series. It was the first time Marshall won a home series against Charlotte and the second-straight season Marshall took a series over the 49ers.

“Before the game, we challenged the team to find a way to win, regardless of how we did it,” Steele said. “We wanted to make sure we scored early in the game instead of waiting until the last inning.”

Charlotte took a 3-0 lead in the third, using singles by Pace, Harris and designated player Bailey Rhoney—coupled with errors by D’Orazio and senior center fielder Eloise Tribolet.

The Herd answered in the bottom of the third, though, scoring six runs to chase the pitcher, Wiseman, out of the circle and break the game open. Tribolet made up for her error in the previous half-inning with an RBI triple that scored freshman shortstop Grayson Radcliffe. After two more Herd base hits, Harrell singled to right-center field, scoring Tribolet and D’Orazio to tie the game at 3.

Senior catcher Taylor McCord then followed Harrell with a single to center field, scoring Colliflower and giving the Herd a lead it would not relinquish. A sacrifice fly by junior designated player Briana Daiss and a single by Burch pushed across two more runs.

“Once Charlotte scored three, the easy thing to do would have been to let down,” Steele said. “Not only did we not let down, but we batted around that inning. We don’t usually put together huge innings like that, so our response was incredible.”

The 49ers came within one run in the fifth, as Pace and Rhoney each hit RBI singles, but that was all the scoring Charlotte would have. Harrell singled to center field in the sixth inning, scoring Colliflower for the final run of the game.

Tolbert earned the win after pitching 4 2/3 innings in relief of Williamson, giving up two runs on six hits with one walk and two strikeouts.

Marshall finishes its seven-game home stand with a doubleheader Wednesday against James Madison (30-9, 10-2 Colonial Athletic Association) starting at 2 p.m.

Courtney Andrews can be contacted at [email protected]

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