Herd softball welcomes Ohio for midweek rivalry matchup


Richard Crank

Marshall pitcher Kailee Williamson (77) prepares to throw a pitch during a 2018 game against Morehead State at Dot Hicks Field.

 After a 3-2 performance at the Holy City Showdown, the Marshall softball team opens its 2019 home slate Wednesday afternoon against longtime rival Ohio.

The Herd’s overall record stands at 10-5, with all five losses being one-run contests.

“Overall I think it was a solid performance,” head softball coach Megan Smith said regarding the team’s performance over the weekend. “I think our pitching and defense were stellar all weekend and consistently stellar. Our offense was just a little inconsistent.”

Marshall freshman pitcher Mya Stevenson and sophomore infielder Aly Harrell have hit four home runs apiece and nine and 13 RBI, respectively, since the season started. Senior outfielder Hannah Giammarino follows behind with three home runs and 12 RBI. The Herd has hit 15 home runs and totaled 73 RBI while owning a .434 slugging percentage. The team is hitting .272 as a team while limiting its opponents to a .204 batting average. 

Marshall’s opponent on Wednesday, the Ohio Bobcats, enter the midweek matchup at 7-5 and just came off a 5-0 win over Evansville over the weekend in a neutral-site game in Carbondale, Illinois. 

“Offensively, we just need to work on some basic stuff, getting back to basic fundamentals,” Smith said. “Being able to recognize good pitches and being able to hit it with their pitch. Ohio is a really strong team. “We’re preparing to face a really tough team. For us to be successful, we have to focus on what we do well.”

The Herd continues to practice each day and work on getting better. Wednesday’s game will be the first time that Coach Smith will get to coach the Herd on its home turf.

“I’m so excited to play a home game so early,” Smith said. “I’m not used to that. It’s going to be exciting to see the people who I know who are so supportive of our program.”

Following the midweek game, the Herd will compete in its first home series with three games against the Rider University Broncs on Saturday and Sunday before heading back on the road to Morehead, Kentucky, to take on the Morehead State Eagles, another nearby rival.

“I’m excited to be with our fans,” Smith said. “We take one opponent at a time. It’s exciting to be home and for our players to sleep in their own beds and compete here. Our players are committed to competing for Marshall.”

First pitch between the Thundering Herd and Bobcats is set for 3 p.m. at Dot Hicks Field in Huntington. 

Taylor Huddleston can be contacted at [email protected].