Herd softball returns home to face league leader WKU


Richard Crank

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

After taking two-of-three games on the road against Southern Miss, Marshall softball returns home Saturday to begin a three-game series against division leader WKU.

“I think that when you are playing a team as talented as Western Kentucky and has the numbers that they do we have to make sure we do all the little things extremely well,” Smith said. “So, we are focusing on defensive fundamentals. We are focusing on hitting good pitches offensively so just getting back to doing the small things extremely well.”

The Herd swept both games of a doubleheader to begin its series with Southern Miss before being shutout in the Sunday series finale.

“I think the atmosphere is great,” Smith said. “I think that our practices have been really productive this week. I think our players are really focused on having a perfect fundamental mind set in making sure we a perfecting the fundamentals. We know Western Kentucky is No. 1 in our conference right now and we know that it is going to be a challenge, so we are locking in on the little things and our players have really bought into this at practice and are doing really well.”

Smith said that she would like to see the same motivation she saw against Southern Mississippi in the upcoming series.

“I think that the weekend at Southern Mississippi, I (felt) like our biggest strength was our fight,” Smith said. “I think that we went down to Southern Mississippi, and they have a really good pitching staff and they have a good offense, and I felt like we out-fought them. I think we showed a lot of grit and that is something we are going to need to continue this weekend and every weekend for us every time we step on the field, we know that the other team is going to talented. We know that and what we can control is that we can fight more than they do. We can care more than they do. That is something we did at Southern Mississippi and we need to continue to do that.”

Despite this, Smith said there is still room for improvement.

“We have to do a better job of playing ball on Sunday.  I think that anyone watching us and looking at our schedule sees that Sundays we struggle,” Smith said. “So, we need to make sure that when we put a great Saturday together that we have to regroup and make adjustments on Sunday. Sunday’s pitchers are going to make adjustments from Saturday. So, we as hitters have to make adjustments to handle the pitching on Sunday.”

The Herd will take on Western Kentucky in a 3-game series that will span two days at Dot Hicks Field. The series begins with a doubleheader Saturday at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. end ends with a game at noon on Sunday.

Millard Stickler can be contacted at [email protected].