Herd coach reaches milestone in weekend sweep

Head coach Shonda Stanton picks up 500th win as the Herd wins three games in Greenville


Katalin Lucas plays the field during the Thundering Herd’s matchup with the University of Kentucky at Dot Hicks Field in Huntington March 11, 2014.

Marshall University’s softball team earned head coach Shonda Stanton her 500th victory this weekend with a three game sweep of Furman University in Greenville.

Sophomore ace Jordan Dixon made her presence known Saturday with complete game shutouts in the first two contests of the series.

The Thundering Herd took game one by a score of 3-0. Two of the Herd’s three runs were scored by sophomore outfielder Morgan Zerkle and driven in by junior outfielder Raquel Escareno. The third came courtesy of freshman utility player Madi Marshall who knocked in a run with the first hit of her career in the sixth inning.

Dixon did not allow a hit until the fourth inning and finished with 11 strikeouts.

The Herd took game two of the series 3-0 marking coach Stanton’s 473rd in her 16 years at Marshall.

Stanton said she realized during her career her position means more than the numbers in the record books.

“I think, as a coach, you’re all about the competition and about winning,” Stanton said to HerdZone. “But at the end of the day, and the older I get, you don’t look at this as just a job and having to win ball games. You look at it is as calling and what an opportunity it is to be able to bloom where you’re planted and grow with these young ladies.”

The offensive attack balanced out this contest with the three runs driven in by different players. Junior infielder Alyssa Woodrum got things started with a single up the middle in the first inning.

Junior infielder Shaelynn Braxton added on with a single to right field in the fourth innning. Escareno drove in her third run of the day by pushing Braxton over the plate with a double to left-center immediately after.

Dixon kept Furman hitless until the sixth inning in this contest and finished with eight strikeouts.

Coach Stanton praised Dixon’s resilience after a tough stretch over the past few weeks.

“What can you say about Jordan Dixon?” Stanton said. “She was absolutely outstanding. We’ve really challenged her over the past couple weeks, and she goes out and racks up the Ks (strikeouts) in game one and gets a one-hit shutout. [Then she] comes out in game two and has a no hitter going into the sixth inning.”

The Paladins were able to salvage one run in the final game of the series, but still fell to the Thundering Herd, 2-1.

Dixon went the distance and added seven more strikeouts to raise her total to 209 Ks. Dixon is 20-10 on the season.

The scoring was provided by freshman infielder Elicia D’Orazio, who hit a run batted in triple in the third inning, and Braxton who hit a sacrifice groundout in the fifth inning.

Marshall climbed to 21-10 after the sweep and Furman fell to 15-16.

The Herd will play a two game series against Wright State University Tuesday at Dot Hicks Field.

Adam Polsky can be contacted at [email protected]