Dana Oppinger also won in straight sets (6-4, 6-4) for the Herd at No. 3.
ODU got singles wins from Diana Ivanova at No. 2 (6-2, 7-5), Juliana Pires at No. 4 (6-1, 4-6, 6-3) and Melissa Esnal Olguin at No. 5 (7-6 (7-4, 6-3).
Marshall's No. 1 doubles team, Dominika Zaprazna (left) and Maria Voscekova ready for winning the No. 1 doubles against UNC Greensboro and against Old Dominion this weekend. (Herd Insider photo by Marcus Constantino)
Marshall only needed to split the six singles matches to secure the victory after taking the doubles point via wins at No. 1 (8-5, Zaprazna and Maria Voscekova) and No. 3 (8-5, Timko and Oppinger).
ODU’s doubles win came at No. 2 from the tandem of Pires and Olguin.
“Today was a classic college tennis match,” said Marshall head coach John Mercer.
“After six hours, the final score came down the final game of the final set of the final match. That is great competition and that’s what it’s all about.
“I’m proud of how Karli finished the match, battling through adversity and bouncing back time and again. It’s certainly a shame that one team had to lose today.”
Marshall next plays Saturday at Virginia Tech at noon.
Dana Oppinger gets congratulations from teammate Karin Kucin, as Oppinger picked up a singles win against ODU on Sunday as the Herd won, 4-3. (Herd Insider photo by Marcus Constantino)
Walker breaks MU long jump record at Virginia Tech Qualifier
Marshall senior Crystal Walker set a new Marshall school record in the long jump at Virginia Tech on Saturday. (photo from HerdZone.com)
BLACKSBURG, Va. — Long jumper Crystal Walker led four Herd competitors Saturday with a school-record breaking effort at the Virginia Tech Qualifier in Blacksburg on Saturday.
Walker had the top finish of the day for the four Herd competitors, jumping to a fourth-place showing with a mark of 6.13-meters.
Amber Pierson notched a fifth-place effort in the 400-meters with a time of 56.38.
Jasia Richardson took seventh in the triple jump with a mark of 12.52-meters.
Page Govey finished 11th in the mile with a time of 5:18.84.
Richardson is still tied for 16th nationally, and the top 16 triple-jumps of the year will qualify for the NCAA Indoor championships.
Marshall has never sent an indoor track person to the NCAAs.
Now the Herd’s coaching staff will wait to hear if Richardson will move herself into new Marshall track territory with a trip to the national indoor championships, March 8-9, in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Marshall senior Aaron Blair pitched six innings, leaving with a 3-2 lead, but the bullpen failed the Herd for the second day in a row as USC Upstate rallies in the ninth to be Marshall, 6-5. (HI file photo)
Baseball loses four straight in Palmetto State as bullpen blows two in a row in ninth
SPARTANSBURG, S.C. — Sunday afternoon, the Herd appeared to be cruising to a win to come home on by taking a 5-3 lead to the bottom of the ninth, but for the second straight day the Herd’s bullpen allowed the winning run in the final inning as Marshall fell to USC Upstate, 6-5.
The Herd falls to 3-7 after losing a doubleheader at
Wofford on Saturday by scores of 6-0 and 9-8 at Russell C. King Field, and Marshall also lost to USC Upstate on Friday, 3-0.
Marshall is currently on a five-game losing streak, while USCU improves to 8-2 on the season.
Marshall ace Aaron Blair gave the Herd six strong innings, allowing two earned runs on three hits with six strikeouts and only two walks, exiting with a 3-2 lead.
The Herd got on the board with a double by Gray Stafford to lead off the fifth, and he was bunted to third with one out.
Freshman left fielder Chase Vogelbach’s RBI single drove in Stafford to give the Herd a 1-0 lead, and back-to-back singles by shortstop Sergio Leon and Issac Ballou sent Vogelbach home for a 2-0 lead, and a sac fly by second baseman Andrew Dundon also scored Leon for a 3-0 lead.
In the bottom of the sixth, Blair allowed two runs on a pari of walks, then a wild pitch and a sac fly but still left with a 3-2 lead by getting a fly out with the tying run on third.
In the seventh, catcher Matt Kirkwood led off with a single for the Herd, and Vogelbach moved him with a sac to second, but Leon struck out and Kirkwood was picked off to end the rally.
Junior Josh King came in for the Herd in the seventh, getting a 1-2-3.
Marshall got another run win the eighth on a Ballou double, a sac bunt by Leon moving the Herd center fielder to third and then scoring when senior first baseman Nathan Gomez hit a RBI double to put Marshall up 4-2.
King gave up a leadoff single to open the eighth, then wild pitched the runner to second.
He looked to be out of trouble with back-to-back outs but a two-out, RBI single tightened the game back to just a one-run lead for the Herd, 4-3.
Marshall added an insurance run in the ninth, with Stafford reaching on an error and Kirkwood moving him to third with a single, where he scored on a wild pitch and headed to the home ninth, the Herd led, 5-3.
On came Matt Margaritonda for the ninth, looking for the save, but he gave up a one-out double, followed by a single for a 5-4 game.
He walked the next batter, but got a ground out to put runners at second and third with two outs, then walked the bases full with a pass to Jordan Stampler.
USCU left fielder Tyler Lesch hit a single down the left field line, allowing Tyler Miller and Trey Richarson to score and the Herd fell late again, 6-5.
Margaritonda fell to 0-2 on the year with his second straight loss in the ninth, while Brody Greer (1-0) was the winner for Upstate.
On the day, Ballou was 2-for-5 with a run scored and a RBI, Dundon was 2-for-2 with a RBI, Gomez was 1-for-4 with the RBI double, Kirkwood was 2-for-3, Vogelbach was 1-for-3 with a runs and a RBI and Leon was 1-for-3 with a run, as Marshall outhit Upstate 10-to-8, and left five runners on base to four for USCU.
King pitched two innings, allowing one earned run on two hits and two strikeouts.
Margaritonda allowed three earned runs on three hits with two walks in the ninth, losing to the second straight day.
Saturday, Wofford (6-5) snapped a run of three consecutive losses in beating Marshall twice.
In game one, Marshall surrendered the lead early and fell victim to its second shutout of the season.
Senior first baseman Nathan Gomez recorded MU’s two lone hits in the loss while senior Wayland Moore (1-1) suffered his first loss of the season.
In game two, the Thundering Herd drew first blood as senior catcher Kirkwood, who transferred to MU in 2012 when Cleveland State dropped baseball and after playing at Shelton State Community College — but was injured all last year and was a redshirt for MU in ’12 — hit his first round-tripper as a member of the Herd.
Kirkwood launched a 2-2 pitch over the wall in left for his first home run (a two-run shot) of the season.
As would turn out to be the case throughout this loss, Wofford answered right back, tying the game in the bottom half on a sacrifice bunt and an RBI-double.
Wofford took over the lead in the third, stringing together back-to-back-to-back singles off Herd starter Alex Thackston.
Thackston lasted 4.0 innings with six hits, five runs, three ER, four walks, and one K, but the freshman did not factor into the decision.
Wofford went ahead by as many as three when an RBI-double by Josh Hyman and an RBI-single by Seth Neely put the Terriers up 5-2.
With its back to the wall, the Herd responded with a purpose, producing four runs in the top of the fifth to surge into the lead once again.
Stafford did the most damage with a single down the right field line with one out and the bases loaded to score two.
The senior’s base hit was one of five straight put together by Marshall in that inning.
Wofford stole the lead back in the bottom of the fifth, but Gomez brought the game back into a tie in the sixth with a sacrifice fly, scoring Ballou.
Marshall took the lead in the eighth when Eric Escobedo hit an RBI-single up the middle with two out.
Dundon got that inning started for the Herd with two away, singling on a high chop to short.
After Gomez battled back from an 0-2 count to draw his fifth walk of the season, Escobedo provided the single to break the deadlock.
The Herd’s Ryan Hopkins threw 3.1 innings of relief through the middle innings and struck out three while walking one.
The Terriers answered with a run in the eighth to set up their game-winning walk-off in the ninth.
Margaritonda took the loss in game two in the ninth, as he did on Sunday.
Marshall will be off until Friday when the Herd travels to Highland Heights, Ky. in the Cincinnati, Ohio area for a four-game set with Northern Kentucky University.
The Herd and NKU will match up on Friday at 3 p.m., a Saturday doubleheader that starts at Noon and then a single game on Sunday, also at Noon.
The Herd’s series and home opener with Central Michigan University has been announced as three games in Beckley, W.Va. at the Joan Epling Field, the home of the West Virginia Miners of the Prospect League and another “home” for the Herd, who does not have a home field in the Huntington area.
Those games are set with the Chippewas on March 15-16-17, at 3 p.m.-1 p.m.-and-Noon, respectively.
Marshall also will play West Virginia there on May 14 (as well as in Charleston March 9 and in Morgantown April 2) and its final home series of the Conference USA season there with East Carolina on May 10-11-12.
The Herd still has TBAs on locations for the “home” games with Ohio on April 24, with Morehead State on April 30 and with Eastern Kentucky on May 1.
The Herd opens Conference USA play on March 29-31 at Appalachian Power Park in Charleston with the UAB Blazers.
The App is the home of the West Virginia Power, a Class A South Atlantic League Affiliate of the Pittsburg Pirates, and besides Marshall, WVU and the University of Charleston will also be playing there, as well as Charleston Catholic H.S. and the W.Va. SSAC State Baseball Championships in early June.
Simsiriwong leads MU women’s golf at Kiawah Island Intercollegiate
KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. — Marshall’s Korakot Simsiriwong shot a 1-over 73 on the Oak Point course to lead the Herd Sunday on the first day competition at the Kiawah Island Intercollegiate in Kiawah Island, S.C.
The sophomore from Narathiwat, Thailand birdied two of the front nine’s three par-5 and rebounded from three bogeys on the back nine to close with five straight pars to close in strong fashion.
She is currently tied for seventh on the individual leader board.
Rachel Thompson (T-67th) and Caitlyn Morrone (T-130th) each birdied the par-4 third hole en route to a 79 and 85, respectively, while Maria Battaglia (T-162nd, 19-over 91) and Kristyn Morrone (172nd, 25-over 97) rounded out the squad.
In the team competition, the Herd is currently 26th after a 40-over round of 328.
Day 2 will begin Monday at 10 a.m.