During game one, Natalee Pulver made quick work of the first two innings, seeing four batters both innings to keep the board blank. However, in the third the Bobcats were able to plate four runs off four hits forcing the Herd to call up Erika Bennett from the bullpen. Pulver left after 2.1 innings of work and one strikeout.
Ohio was able to tally on a final fifth run, unearned, in the frame to take a 5-0 lead heading into the fourth. Bennett would eventually close the final 3.2 innings of the game while retiring four batters.
The Herd would not stay shutout for long though as a RBI-single from Alianna Telles scored Ashley Gue from second – followed by a sacrifice fly from Victoria Marvin to plate pinch runner Brittney Ybarra, closing the gap at 5-2.
Top hitters for the Herd were Gue, who went 2-for-3 at the dish in the contest with one run scored, and adding assistance was Rebecca Gamby who went 2-for-4.
Junior Jessica Hughes recorded her 65th career stolen base during the inning, to bump her to third all-time in Marshall history for the category. On the day for both games the Herd went a perfect 15-for-15 on stolen bases, giving the squad 61 for the year.
Marshall was unable to record runs later in the game as it eventually fell 5-2 in the opening game of the twin-bill. Pulver took the loss, moving her to 3-4 on the year while Ohio’s Emily Wethington (4-2) tallied the win.
Game two saw a different tone from the Marshall club as the team rallied in the second with a lead-off single from Taylor Thompson.
Two batters later Bri Anna Hope homered to left field to give MU a 2-0 cushion in the early goings.
The long ball is her career first and the Herd’s 16th as a team this season.
Thompson would finish the game 2-for-3 at the dish with one run scored.
In the third the Herd struck again with four runs as pinch runner Melissa Loesing would steal second and third to come home on a wild pitch making it 3-0. Ybarra would also register a pair of stolen bases on the path to scoring.
Ohio called up Wethington in the third in relief of Caitlin Colvin, who would take the loss after two innings and allowing three walks.
Giving Marshall a 6-0 lead would be third baseman Marvin via a two-run homer to left that brought around Melanie Stoehr who reached on a fielder’s choice.
Marvin went 2-for-4 with one run scored and two RBI in the contest.
The Bobcats made it a 6-2 ballgame in the bottom of the third as a double to right from Wethington scored Alexis Joseph and Erin Lashley.
Marshall held on for the 6-2 win as Bennett improves to 1-1 after going the distance and fanning two Bobcat batters.
Next up for Thundering Herd softball is its 2011 Conference USA opener at Tulsa on Saturday, March 12 at 1 and 3 p.m., followed by a 1 p.m. first pitch on Sunday.
Andi Williamson, a sophomore pitcher and Chapmanville Regional High School graduate, is a member of the Marshall team.