MU's Jules leads women's heptathlon
HOUSTON -- Vanessa Jules from Marshall University holds the first day lead in the women's heptathlon at the Conference USA Track and Field Championships.
Jules placed first in three of four heptathlon events Thursday. Jules won the 100-meter hurdles (13.82 seconds), the high jump (5-feet, 11.25 inches) and the 200-meter run (24.37 seconds) while finishing fifth in the shot put (36-00.25).
With 3,534 points, Jules holds the lead ahead of Xenia Rahn of Memphis (3,240) and Jaliycia Pearson of UTEP (3,118).
Remaining heptathlon events Friday are the long jump, javelin and 800-meter run.
BECKLEY -- East Carolina and Marshall lock up in a C-USA weekend baseball series at Linda K. Epling Stadium.
Games are Friday at 3 p.m., Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.
East Carolina (26-22, 10-8 C-USA) comes in with first baseman Chase McDonald as the conference hitter of the week after going 8-for-16 with two home runs, one double and six runs batted in for four games.
Drew Reynolds leads the Pirates in hitting with a .324 average while Zach Houchins (.303) leads C-USA in doubles (15) and is second in slugging percentage (.523). Houchins also has five homers and 34 RBIs.
McDonald (.287) is tied for the league lead with eight homers and is second with 37 RBIs.
Ryan Williams leads the ECU pitching staff with six wins (6-2) and has a 4.02 earned run average. David Lucroy (4-1, 2.01) and Jeff Hoffman (5-5, 3.06) are other starters.
The Pirates use Reynolds as a designated hitter and a relief pitcher who is first in the conference with 12 saves.
Marshall (18-29, 5-13 C-USA) has Andrew Dundon hitting .310 and Isaac Ballou with a .309 average. Ballou is ranked third in conference on-base percentage (.422).
Eric Escobedo (.257) tops the Thundering Herd with 25 RBIs while Gray Stafford (.263) and Nathan Gomez (.289) have driven in 25 and 23 respectively.
Herd ace pitcher Aaron Blair (5-4, 2.36) is listed second in the conference for opponent batting average at .176. Blair has pitched 72.1 innings, allowing 45 hits and 26 walks with 78 strikeouts.
Reliever Josh King has five saves.
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