GREENSBORO, N.C. – Marshall softball loses 4-3 to Drexel and defeats UNC Greensboro 4-3 on Monday, February 25, the last day of the Spartan Classic. The Herd goes home with a 3-2 weekend in Greensboro, N.C.
The Drexel Dragons and The Thundering Herd were scoreless through two innings.
Dragons’back-to-back singles put Maggy Fermo (2-for-4) and Sylvia Llamas (2-for-4) on base with one out in the top of the third. Marshall senior Andi Williamson forced Jessica O’Hara back to the dugout with a looking strikeout, but a wild pitch to Comfort Ahonkhai (2-for-3) allowed runners to advance. Ahonkhai ‘s single brought in the first run of the game, but another strikeout closed the top of the third with Drexel leading the Herd 1-0.
The Herd’s senior center fielder Ashley Gue (1-for-2) reached first on a walk with one out registered. Senior second baseman Bri Anna Hope (1-for-1) singled to second base, moving Gue into scoring position. Drexel’s Shelby Taylor rung up the second out of the inning, bringing the Herd’s junior outfielder Savanah Webster (1-for-4) up to the plate. Webster singled through the left side to load the bases, but a fly out would end the inning and leave three stranded on base.
The Herd's defense held off the Dragons with a 1-2-3 inning, bringing freshman outfielder Kaelynn Greene (1-for-2) up to the plate. Greene doubled to right center and stole third. Senior Jessica Ferrick reached base on a walk, but kept running to take second, while Greene took home to score one run for the Herd. Ferrick advanced to third on an error by the Dragons’ second baseman. Gue walked, but was caught stealing second for the third out of the inning, keeping the score tied 1-1.
In the top of the fifth, Drexel hit two back-to-back singles and a two-run double by Llamas to give the Dragons a 3-1 lead. Williamson rung up the Dragons’leadoff hitter Hanna Parrish and walked Ahonkhai. An Ellen Scott (1-for-3) single through the right side brought in Llamas, who had previosly advanced to third on a wild pitch. Freshman Katalin Lucas tagged Ahonkhai out at home plate for the third out of the inning, score 4-1.
Marshall’s second baseman, Hope, reached base on a walk to start the top of the fifth. A strike out and fly out to center brought Lucas (2-for-4) up to the plate with two outs on the scoreboard. Lucas slammed a two-run homer to center field, shrinking the Dragons’ lead 4-3. A strikeout would end the bottom of the fifth, but the Herd came back to the plate after shutting the Dragons down with a three-up, three-down sixth inning.
The Thundering Herd was unable to score again, leaving a total of eight runners stranded on base and having three errors. Marshall dropped 4-3 to the Dragons in the first game of the day.
A walk, UNCG error and wild pitch put Gue and Hope (1-for-4) on second and third with no outs to start the second game of the day for Marshall. Lucas hit a SAC bunt that allowed Gue to score and Hope to advance to third. The inning ended with a line out to third and fly out to center.
Marshall’s freshman pitcher Halie Vance allowed Spartans’ Aisha Figueroa (2-for-4) a single, but the Herd’s defense forced her out at second and allowed Danielle Vega to take first. A fly out to center field and strikeout left UNCG scoreless in the first.
Shaelynn Braxton (1-for-3) came up to the plate for the Thundering Herd and smashed a triple to the right-side fence, recording the first triple of the season. The Spartans’ right fielder’s throwing error allowed Braxton to immediately score and clear the bases for Alysia Hively (1-for-3). Hively kept Marshall alive with a solo-shot over the fence. UNCG brought in Nicole Thomas for starting pitcher Erica Navarette. Thomas was able to get the Spartans’ out of the inning, trailing Marshall by three 3-0.
A Marshall fielding error allowed Spartans’ Heather Robb (1-for-3) on base and a ground out to third base allowed her to advance. Tatiana Alcala singled to the pitcher and robbed Marshall of second base, but Vance and the Herd got out of the inning without allowing UNCG to score.
Hope homered to right center to start the third inning, stretching the lead to 4-0. The Spartans were able to send two back to the dugout. Alexandra Bayne (1-for-2) hit a two-out single to left field, but was left stranded.
Vance walked two and a Marshall fielding mistake loaded the bases with two outs on the board, bringing Robb to the plate for UNCG. Robb hit a three-run double to center field to put the Spartans behind The Herd by a run, 4-3. Williamson was brought in for Vance, and a pop up would end the third inning.
The Thundering Herd and Spartans sparred for four more innings, but the Herd came out on top with a 4-3 win.
It was the first time this season that Marshall hit three homers in a game, and it is the 15th time in Marshall’s history, last time was April 11 against Ohio. Gue has tied the third all-time record of 88 career stolen bases. She shares third place with assistant coach Amanda Williams.