Valle lifts Herd to sweep of UCF
ORLANDO -- Jazmine Valle delivered an RBI single in the top of the eighth inning to lift Marshall to a 5-4 victory over UCF and sweep of Saturday's Conference USA doubleheader at UCF Softball Complex. The Thundering Herd won the opener, 3-1.
The Knights (18-17, I-8 C-USA) scored twice in the fifth and once in the sixth to take a 4-3 lead. Marshall got that run back in the top of the seventh on a single by Alysia Hively, double by Raquel Escareno and error by the UCF third baseman that allowed Hively to score.
In the eighth, Bri Anna Hope ripped a double to left. Katalin Lucas executed a sacrifice bunt to get Hope to third and she came home on the hit by Valle.
Andi Williamson came on the fifth for the Herd, gave up two runs but still got the win. The right-hander (18-11) went the distance in the opener to get a sweep as well. The Herd's two-run sixth proved big. Lucas had an RBI double and the second run got in on an error.
UCF's Mackenzie Audas started both games for the first time in her career and the sophomore became the first Knight since Lindsay Enders in 2005 to pitch two complete games on the same day in a doubleheader.
This was the final regular-season meeting between the two schools. UCF is headed to the Big East next season. The Knights lead the all-time series 16-13, but Marshall took the last six.
The Herd extended its winning streak to eight. Marshall returns home this week for games against Wright State and Memphis. The Herd and Wright State meet in a doubleheader at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Dot Hicks Field. Memphis is in Saturday and Sunday for a C-USA series. Saturday's twinbill starts at 1 p.m. The finale next Sunday begins at noon.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Crystal Walker set a school record in winning the long jump in the 34th Florida State Relays held over the weekend. The senior's jump covered 6.27 meters (previous mark was 6.25 by Sikeetha Shepard-Hall in 2006). Walker had one of 12 personal bests for the Thundering Herd. Only five events were completed Saturday due to bad weather.
Shyra Molton, Walker, Delkira Maybin and Moriah Njoku ran 46.40 to place fifth in the 4x100 relay. That time is second best in school history. Vanessa Jules won the high jump (1.68 meters).
Julia Galloway placed fourth in the 10,000 in 40:19.82 for a personal best. Kelley Mortakis took fifth in the 5,000 in a personal-best 18:16.26. Amanda Hottenstein was fourth in the hammer (46.24 meters) and Amanda Kennedy was fourth in the javelin (42.65 meters).
The Herd will return to action April 6 at the Ohio Team Challenge in Athens.
RADFORD, Va. -- Eric Escobedo had a two-run single to highlight a 5-run first inning and Marshall held on to edge Radford, 5-4, in the second game of Saturday's doubleheader. The Highlanders (12-10) won the opener, 8-3.
Chase Vogelback also had an RBI in the big first inning for the Thundering Herd (10-12).
The Highlanders struck for two in the fourth and two in the ninth to make it close. Alexander Lee belted a two-run homer in the fourth. Josh Reavis and Josh Gardiner each delivered RBI singles in the ninth, but Josh King, who allowed the two runs, retired the Jeff Kemp on an infield fly and Ryan Burgess on a grounder to the mound. Radford stranded seven runners over the final three innings.
Sunday's finale in the four-game series was canceled. The Herd will return to action Tuesday against Kentucky in Lexington. Game time is 6:30 p.m.
GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Marshall is tied for 19th place with Temple after two rounds in the Furman Intercollegiate being played on the par-72 Furman University course. The Thundering Herd shot 298 Saturday for a 36-hole total of 608.
Nathan Kerns leads Marshall with 146 after posting a 72 Saturday. Other Herd scores are Brian Anania, 72 -- 150; Jeremy Rogers, 75 -- 155; Tas Sipowski, 79 -- 157; and Logan Lagodich, 80 -- 160. Jake Miller, competing as an individual, carded a 79 for 165.
Virginia Tech shot 286 for a 566 total and 4-shot lead over North Florida. Western Carolina is third at 576.
Virginia Tech's Trevor Cone and Iowa State's Scott Fernandez are tied for the individual lead at 137. Cone shot 69 Saturday and Fernandez had 68. Western Carolina's J.T. Poston is a shot back going into Sunday's final round.
LAS VEGAS -- Marshall takes on SMU on Sunday at 4 p.m. The Thundering Herd edged UNLV, 4-3, on Saturday.
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