Herd Softball to open C-USA play this weekend with WKU


Zachary Hiser

Redshirt senior Blakely Burch commands her team’s attention in a huddle against Bellarmine Saturday, March 27.

Fresh off a series win against the Bellarmine Knights, the Marshall softball team is preparing to begin Conference USA play at home this weekend against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers.  

Marshall comes into the four-game series with an 11-4 record, while Western Kentucky comes into Huntington with a 15-4 record.  

Marshall head coach Megan Smith Lyon said that the team has shown flashes of its full potential, but the best is yet to come.  

“We haven’t had the normal non-conference season that we’re used to,” Smith Lyon said. “We’re still figuring some things out, but I think we have shown moments where we are solid in all aspects.”  

Freshman right fielder Kay Kay Kenney, who hit her first home run Sunday against Bellarmine, said that she is looking forward to going against WKU and other Conference USA teams and that there is a big picture up ahead.  

“Our ultimate goal is to win a conference championship,” Kenney said. “I think the conference schedule is going to be really fun, and it’s going to prove how talented this team is.”  

Selected to finish second in the east division to WKU in the preseason poll, Marshall will not be easing into conference play.  

The Hilltoppers are on a five-game winning streak and took down the No. 7 Kentucky Wildcats in its last matchup, winning the game 2-1 in nine innings.  

“I think we can accomplish big things here at Marshall.”

— Madison Whitaker, senior infielder

Senior second baseman Madison Whitaker, a transfer from Wright State, said she looks forward to a challenging matchup against the WKU Hilltoppers.  

“I’m really excited to see some really good competition and excited to see how we work together as a team,” Whitaker said. “I think we can accomplish big things here at Marshall.”  

Whitaker, similar to Kenney, hit her first home run as a member of the Thundering Herd in game three against Bellarmine; it was her ninth home run in her collegiate career. She finished her career at Wright State with 86 hits, 43 runs, 16 doubles, two triples, eight home runs and 53 RBIs.  

It is unclear whether or not Marshall redshirt senior shortstop Sierra Huerta will be cleared to play after she was inactive in game three against Bellarmine due to an  undisclosed injury suffered in game two.  

Whitaker stepped in for her, taking the field as the starting shortstop. If Huerta is inactive, Whitaker could assume the starting shortstop spot again.  

Game one will begin Thursday at 1 p.m. Games two and three will be on Friday at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., and on Saturday before Easter Sunday, the series will wrap up at 12 p.m. The Thursday and Saturday games will air on ESPN+.

All four games will be broadcast live on WMUL-FM 88.1.

Noah Hickman can be contacted at [email protected].