MU roundup: Herd strikes early to top Cougars, 5-4
HOUSTON -- Shaelynn Braxton drilled a three-run homer in the first inning to start Marshall on its way to a 5-4 victory over Houston in Conference USA softball Sunday at Cougar Softball Stadium.
Braxton added an RBI on a sacrifice fly and Raquel Escareno belted a solo homer on a 2-for-3 day to lead the Thundering Herd (25-12, 9-3 C-USA) to its fourth straight conference series win against the Cougars.
Houston had the 756 fans and those watching the national telecast on Fox Sports on the edge of their seats in the seventh. Kayla Holland had an RBI on a ground out, reducing the Herd's lead to 5-4. With the tying run at third, Marshall starter Andi Williamson (24-12) struck out pinch-hitter Jessica Snyder to end the game.
Marshall faces a busy schedule this week. The Herd travels to Lexington on Tuesday to face nationally-ranked Kentucky at 5 p.m. Northern Kentucky visits Wednesday for two at Dot Hicks Field. The opener starts at 2 p.m. East Carolina comes to town next weekend for a three-game C-USA series.
ATHENS, Ohio -- Marshall won 11 of 19 events and beat Ohio and West Virginia in the Ohio Team Challenge on Saturday at Goldsberry Track.
The Thundering Herd had 153 points to 107 for Ohio and 72 for the Mountaineers.
Crystal Walker won the 100 (12:00), 200 (24.91) and ran the second leg of the winning 4x100 relay team (46.69). Asia Bange won the 100 hurdles (14:55) and 400 hurdles (1:04.31).
Other Marshall winners were Kearra Haynes (400), Kelley Mortakis (3000 steeplechase), Celia Leonard (5000), Amanda Kennedy (javelin), Jasia Richardson (triple jump) and Shanice Johnson (high jump).
KANNAPOLIS, N.C. -- Marshall finished 12th in the Irish Creek Intercollegiate played on the par-71 Club at Irish Creek. The Thundering Herd shot 299 Sunday for an 882 total.
Nathan Kerns closed with 73 to lead the Herd with a 216 total. Other Marshall scores were Brian Anania, 79 -- 222; Tas Sipowski, 75 -- 223; Logan Lagodich, 77 -- 224; and Jeremy Rogers, 74 -- 231.
North Carolina won with 859, two shots better than North Carolina State.
Kennesaw State's Jimmy Beck was medalist at 205 after carding 68 in the final round. Charlotte's Francis Castro fired a 65 to take second at 206.
DALLAS -- Marshall wound up 15th in the SMU Dallas Athletic Club Invitational contested on the par-72 Dallas Athletic Club. The Thundering Herd posted a 351 Sunday for a total of 1,027.
Korakot Simsiriwong shot 77 in the final round to lead the Herd at 238. Other Marshall scores were Rachel Thompson, 91 -- 252; Maria Battaglia, 91 -- 264; Kristyn Morrone, 93 -- 274; and Caitlyn Morrone, 92 -- 280.
Oklahoma State shot 296 Sunday to win with 896. Oklahoma was second with 901 and Ohio State third with 906.
Oklahoma State's Julie Yang was medalist with 210 after shooting 72. She finished seven shots ahead of Oklahoma's Chirapat Jao-Javanil.
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