Thundering Herd prepares for Battle at the Beach


Richard Crank

Marshall’s softball team lines up for the national anthem prior to its home game against Charlotte last season.

Marshall softball’s focus is really cleaning up the defensive miscues and the precision of the pitchers, first-year head Coach Megan Smith said in an interview on Wednesday as the Thundering Herd prepares for the Battle At The Beach.

“I think our pitchers performed well,” Smith said. “(We) just gave up too many free passes and too many walks, so we are really looking in on preventing that and our defense being sharper. That is the part of the game we struggled with the most. So, our focus is just cleaning it up on defense.”

The Thundering Herd women’s softball team had its opening weekend this past Friday in San Diego, where it won four of the five games scheduled.

Smith said that the atmosphere around the team is determined going into the next five-game stretch.

“I feel like last week we had a pretty good opening weekend,” she said. “But I saw some things we need to work on, and I think our players have been determined yesterday and today to improve in those areas.”

“We are just excited to get back out and compete. We had a lot of fun this past weekend and we are prepared to get back out their and do it again,” she said.

The Herd finished the USD Tournament this past weekend, when it topped the stretch off by defeating Portland State 7-4 on Sunday.

Smith said that the game against Portland State was one of the two best games the Herd had played that weekend in terms of full team performance.

“Our goal is to have all aspects of our game playing well,” she said. “In that game our offense was much more solid, and our pitching took care of business too, so honestly we were pretty well balanced in that game and we hope to be that balanced in every game.”

The Herd will start the Battle At The Beach on Friday when it will take on Eastern Kentucky and Coastal Carolina in the first two games of another five-game stretch that will end on Sunday. But before that Smith said the Herd needs to focus on getting back to the basics to be successful.

“This past weekend we struggled making too many errors,” she said. “So just getting back to the basics and the fundamentals defensively is our focus and making sure that we are ready against their offense.”

The Herd will travel to Conway, South Carolina, to participate in the three-day event. The first two games are scheduled for Friday with the Herd taking on Eastern Kentucky at 9 a.m. and then Coastal Carolina at 2 p.m.

Millard Stickler can be contacted at [email protected].