Thundering Herd Take Two from Southern Miss on Saturday
March 16, 2013
HUNTINGTON, W. Va. - Marshall pitcher Andi Williamson threw two complete games with 16 strikeouts and two hits in the nightcap to take a pair of Conference USA games over Southern Miss on Saturday from Dot Hicks Field.
Marshall plated eight runs in the first three innings and held off a late Golden Eagle rally to hold on for the 8-5 series opening victory. Pitcher Andi Williamson struck out 10 Golden Eagles en route to the victory. Morgan McKeever led the team at the plate, going 3-for-4 with one run batted in.
In the second game of the doubleheader, Williamson returned to give up just two hits as she shutout the Golden Eagles. The Herd scored pairs of runs in the first, third, and sixth innings to take the 6-0 victory.
The Golden Eagles and Herd will conclude their series tomorrow with first pitch set for Noon from Dot Hicks Field.
Marshall got on top of the Golden Eagles early, plating four runs on three hits after loading the bases in the first inning, while pitcher Andi Williamson struck out three of the first four she faced.
Southern Miss answered back in the second as Morgan McKeever got a liner into center field before advancing over on a Danielle LaPointe ground out. Freshman Michelle Stringer got a curling infield single that Williamson tossed into right field to allow McKeever to come around from second and make it a 4-1 game.
After Marshall scored a single run in the bottom of the second, Mackenzie Sher got the Golden Eagles back to within three with a two-out single through the right side to bring in Taylor Beck from third.
In the third, the Herd used crafty baserunning to get multiple free bases en route to adding three more runs and pushing their lead to 8-2.
The flurry of scoring settled down as the team's went scoreless over the next three innings before Southern Miss got it going again, mustering a two-out rally in the seventh, plating three runs, including two off the bat of McKeever.
However, the Herd settled in and got the tying run to ground out and end the threat.
Williamson (12-11) picked up the win, throwing all seven innings and recording 10 strikeouts. In last season's 12-inning marathon game, Williamson also recorded 10 strikeouts.
The Herd began the second game much like the first, scoring two early runs in the first off a pair of hits in the opening frame.
Another pair of runs in the third gave the Herd a 4-0 lead, and the Golden Eagles were kept off the bases by Williamson until a Mackenzie Sher walk in the fifth. Following Sher's walk to break the perfect game bid, LaPointe ripped a single up the middle to get the Golden Eagles their first hit but both were stranded at second and third.
Marshall made it a 5-0 game in the sixth when freshman Raquel Escareno hit her second homer of the season, a solo shot over the left center wall. Pinch hitter Jessica Ferrick added another run in the inning to push the lead to 6-0.
In the seventh, the Golden Eagles got a two-out double from McKeever, their lone extra base hit of the day, but Williamson completed the game, her second complete game of the day, to earn the shutout victory.
Beth Dietrich (0-5) went the distance for Southern Miss, suffering the loss, while allowing nine hits and six runs (five earned).