DENTON, Texas — When Marshall needed a big win in its regular season finale, its biggest bat came through in the clutch.
Mya Stevenson hit a two-run home run early and added an RBI double during the Thundering Herd’s five-run seventh inning as Marshall rallied past North Texas in a 9-6 win on Sunday afternoon in Denton, Texas.
With the win, Marshall (34-16, 16-9 C-USA) clinched the No. 2 seed in the East for next week’s Conference USA Tournament, which will also be played in Denton.
Marshall will face the winner of Florida Atlantic and UTSA at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday night. The Herd finished in a tie with Florida Atlantic for the No. 4 seed overall, but was awarded the spot based on winning two of three from the Owls in the regular season.
That No. 4 seed came down to the wire as Florida Atlantic lost to Charlotte in extra innings on Sunday and the Herd was on the brink of being swept by North Texas, trailing and down to its final two outs.
However, Marshall’s bats came through in the clutch.
After Saige Pye singled to score Armani Brown and knot the game at 5, Stevenson ripped a down to right center that scored Amaya Lee with the go-ahead run.
Lauren Love then broke the game open with a two-run double before Katie Adams capped the scoring with an RBI single.
North Texas (32-14, 17-7 C-USA) was able to get one run back in the bottom of the seventh, but Marshall pitcher Sydney Nester got a flyout to left field to end the game.
Nester earned the complete-game win, but it was not an easy one for the Herd.
The Mean Green got a home run from Kailey Gamble and a two-run single from Mikayla Smith to take a 5-4 lead in the fifth inning, handing the Herd its first deficit of the contest.
Stevenson opened the scoring in the third inning when she hit a milestone two-run home run that gave Marshall a 2-0 lead.
The home run was the 58th of her career, tying her with Rachel Folden for the all-time career record in Marshall history.
Following the home run, North Texas knotted the game with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third, but Marshall answered right back in the fourth when Bub Feringa’s fielder’s choice brought in Madison Whitaker. Adams later scored on a wild pitch to make it 4-2.
With the win, Nester moved to 24-9 in the circle on the season. In addition to Stevenson, Pye had two hits for the Herd.