LYNCHBURG, Va. - Marshall University avoided elimination Friday at the National Invitational Softball Championship with a pair of victories.
Marshall (41-21) defeated Rutgers in the afternoon, 4-0, and George Washington at night, 3-1.
The Thundering Herd's next Liberty Regional game was set for10 a.m. Saturday against Kent State (28-25). With a win Marshall advances to face host Liberty at 1 p.m. and again at 4 p.m. if necessary in the double-elimination finals. The Liberty Flames (39-20) beat Kent State, 4-0.
Marshall rallied with three runs in the sixth inning against George Washington (44-18).
Back-to-back doubles with two outs by Briana Daiss and Blakely Burch produced one run and Hayden Ellis finished the rally with a two-run home run to left-center field off George Washington ace Sierra Lange that also brought home pinch-runner Abigail Estrada.
Kailee Williamson (12-3) pitched a complete game six-hitter.
Marshall blanked Rutgers to start the day and eliminate the Scarlet Knights (29-26).
Abbie Tolbert did the job in the pitching circle, throwing a complete game while allowing only four hits, The senior walked three and recorded six strikeouts.
The Herd came out swinging and produced three runs in the first inning.
Aly Harrell, batting leadoff, rapped a double into left-center field and Mya Stevenson followed with a run-scoring single. After a Stevenson stolen base Herd shortstop Sierra Huerta unloaded a two-run home run, her ninth homer of the season.
Marshall added some insurance in the fourth inning. With two outs Daiss singled into left field and Ellis picked up an RBI with a double to right-center field.
Harrell and Ellis both were 2-for-3.
The four hits for Rutgers included doubles by Katie Wingert and Aleah Marra.
Rutgers starting pitcher Corah Price (16-12) took the loss after allowing all four runs in a four-inning appearance.