Herd offense comes to life in doubleheader against Liberty


Shannon Stowers

First baseman Briana Daiss eyes a pitch in a game earlier this season. Daiss recorded three RBIs in the first game of Wednesday’s doubleheader.

Marshall University softball won both games of a doubleheader Wednesday against Liberty University. The Herd (22-20, 6-6) won the first matchup, 10-5 and took the second game, 5-3.

In game one, the Herd rediscovered its form at the plate after a tough offensive series against the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. In the 10-run outing, the team totaled 12 hits for a team .387 batting average.

First baseman Briana Daiss led the offensive surge going 3-4 at the plate with three RBIs. Freshman Hayden Ellis also turned in a solid performance connecting for base hits on two her of four plate appearances, including a two-run home run in the top of the fifth inning. Shortstop Elicia D’Orazio matched Ellis’ two hits and registered an RBI to go with three stolen bases.

Marshall took an early lead with aggressive base running in the first inning as D’Orazio got on base with a single before stealing second, third and home. Left fielder Kaelynn Greene displayed similar speed on the base path moments later stealing second and third after drawing a walk. A wild pitch brought Greene home to give the Herd a 2-0 advantage.

Liberty tied the game in the bottom half of the inning after hitting a two-run home run off of Herd starter Jordan Dixon. Marshall took the lead back in the following inning with a D’Orazio single scoring Ellis.

The Herd continued to expand on the lead in the third after Diass hit a single to give Greene her second run of the game. Katalin Lucas added another run on a RBI bunt single.

Liberty eventually cut the Herd lead to 6-4 heading into the fifth inning, but Ellis’ two-run bomb to left center pushed the margin back to four runs. Diass added her third and final RBI an inning later, while Raquel Escareno capped off the scoring in the seventh with a solo home run to center.

Dixon benefited from the offensive explosion as she earned her 17th win of the season after pitching 6.2 innings and giving up four hits, four runs and striking out nine Liberty batters.

The second game saw similar efficiency from the Herd at the plate despite significantly less run production. The Herd bested its hit total from the first game as it connected for 13. Greene, D’Orazio and catcher Taylor McCord each recorded three hits to lead the Herd.

On the mound, Brittanie Fowler picked up her first win of the season after pitching 3.1 innings and allowing just four hits and one earned run in a relief effort.

Dixon started the contest and pitched 3.2 innings, giving up a pair of earned runs and four hits.

McCord got the Herd an early lead in the top of the first with an RBI single up the middle that scored Greene. However, Liberty responded in the second with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the inning.

The Greene, McCord tag team struck again in the Herd to tie the game at two runs apiece after McCord’s single scored Greene for the second time. Just an inning later, the Herd received a gift from Liberty when two fielding errors led to an unearned run from Ellis.

Fowler held strong in the mound through the fifth inning and the Herd added two more runs in the sixth, when Madison Marshall slapped an RBI single to left before D’Orazio sent her home with a triple.

Liberty added one more in the sixth, but the rally was shutdown and the Flames couldn’t muster any runs in the seventh.

Marshall will remain on the road for its next game 4 p.m. Saturday when it takes on Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida. The game will be the first of a three-game series.