HUNTINGTON — It didn’t take long for Marshall’s softball team to prove that Saturday’s offensive issues were just a bad day.
Marshall’s Kay Kay Kenney and Madison Whitaker notched the first home runs of their career with the Thundering Herd and Camryn Michallas added a two-run double to punctuate a 10-0 win in five innings over Bellarmine on Sunday at Dot Hicks Field.
“Yesterday, we knew that wasn’t a good representation of who we are,” Marshall softball coach Megan Smith Lyon said. “We didn’t panic about it. We knew that’s not us. We just got to work.”
One day after Marshall’s softball team struggled offensively in a split with the Knights, the bats got going early for the Herd.
Whitaker, who was in at shortstop for Sierra Huerta on Sunday, led off the bottom of the second with a solo shot that seemed to energize the team.
“I’ve been waiting on that, honestly...,” Whitaker said. “When I hit that ball, I knew I did my job.”
From there, Marshall (11-4) used its strengths — patience at the plate and power — to tack on four runs in behind Whitaker’s home run in the second.
After two-out, two-run hits by Aly Harrell and Katie Adams made it 5-0 after two, the Herd settled in and had fun, which showed at the plate in subsequent innings.
Freshman Kay Kay Kenney made her first collegiate hit a memorable one, tagging a two-run home run in the third that plated Whitaker.
“How special is it for your first hit to be a home run,” Lyon said. “You can’t write it any better for that. I’m just really happy for her.”
Kenney said the change in demeanor from yesterday’s split with Bellarmine helped spearhead the success for the team.
“We just really struggled with energy yesterday, so today we brought that energy back and started having fun in the dugout,” Kenney said.
The offensive-fueled win leads the Herd into Conference USA action with momentum, which will be critical, considering the Herd’s first opponent on the league slate is East Division rival Western Kentucky, who possesses a top-tier pitching staff.
“I think today was a great springboard into conference play,” Lyon said. “To be able to maybe yesterday not have our greatest day overall, but to come out and bounce back and make those adjustments, that was a great message to send to each other and to other people.”
That four-game series with the Hilltoppers starts at 1 p.m. on Thursday. The teams will also play a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. on Friday before the series finale at noon on Saturday.