TAMPA, Fla. — On opening day for the Marshall softball team, the Herd fell 6-1 to No. 13 Michigan Wolverines and 8-0 to No. 10 USF Bulls on Friday at the USF-Demarini Tournament at the University of South Florida.
But Saturday morning, the Herd bounced back with a 3-1 no-hitter win over the Owls of Florida Atlantic, earning the first win of the year, and beating a new member of Conference USA for the upcoming 2013-14 season, then fell to Samford 2-1 in the afternoon game.
The Herd (1-3) will face FAU, a member of Conference USA beginning next season, at 11:15 a.m. in its final game of the tournament.
Saturday, Game 1: Marshall-3 FAU-1
Senior starter Andi Williamson (1-2) got the win Saturday morning in a 9 a.m. game, after taking the losses in both games Friday, allowing one run despite holding the Owls with no hits.
Williamson threw a seven inning no-no, with six strikeouts, two walks, one hit-batsman game and allowing one unearned run against the Owls.
After having just three hits in two games Friday, the Herd (1-2) responded with five hits and three runs (one earned) against the FAU (0-2), as the Owls committed four errors in the contest.
FAU’s Paige Pender took the loss in a complete game, with three strikeouts, two walks, hitting a batter and giving up a double.
The Herd’s top three hitters — Kaelynn Green (1-for-3), Ashley Gue (1-for-3) and Shaelynn Braxton (1-for-3) — all scored for the Herd, while Alexandra Bayne had a RBI.
Green (who was also hit by the first pitch of the game from Pender) stole one base and scored on an error in the first.
Gue stole two bases in the first for the Herd, including stealing home to put MU up, 2-0, to open the game.
Saturday Game 2: Marshall-1 Samford-2
In the second game, the Herd’s hits came from Greene, Gue, Valle, first baseman Alysia Hively and catcher Katalin Lucas.
The Herd’s aggressiveness on the basepaths paid off again in the first inning as Gue scored from third when Samford tried, unsuccessfully, to throw out Bri Anna Hope stealing second base.
Marshall ended the first inning with four stolen bases in total.
Marshall pitcher Halie Vance (0-1) took the loss, giving up two runs in an inning and a third with one hit and three walks to go with a strikeout.
Williamson came on in relief and gave the Herd four and two-thirds shutout innings, yielding four hits and two walks to go with four strikeouts.
Friday Game 1: Michigan-6 Marshall-1
Williamson allowed all six of the runs on eight hits and six walks. She did have 10 strikeouts and had help from a defense that committed no errors.
Marshall fell behind 2-0 after two innings, but got on the board in the top of the fifth.
Shaelynn Braxton led off with a double to left field and later advanced to third.
With Kristina Braxton (sister of Shaelynn on Herd team) on first base, pitch running for Alysia Hively who drew a walk.
Braxton then scored from third after a steal by Kristina caused an errant throw by Michigan catcher Lauren Sweet, and the Herd trailed 2-1 after 4.5 innings of play.
Michigan led off the bottom of the fifth with a triple, moving to a 4-1 lead by the end of the inning.
Michigan got two more runs in the sixth to set the final at 6-1, as Williamson recorded the first two outs of the inning before allowing a two-out single and a walk.
“Where we have to clean things up, besides the six walks, is that we allowed four infield singles,” Stanton said.
“We know we are going to have some growing pains since we have just two returners in the infield.
“We are playing some new kids up the middle, but I like their skill-set and the talent we have in them.”
Along with Braxton, Jazmine Valle and Katalin Lucas recorded hits for the Herd.
Herd senior Andi Williamson took two losses on Friday, but bounced back with a no-hitter in the Herd's 3-1 win over FAU at the USF Tournament in Tampa. (courtesy of HerdZone.com)
Friday Game 2: USF-8 Marshall-0
USF’s Lindsey Richardson (1-0) threw a no-hitter against the Herd, one walk away from a perfect game, and she struck out nine in a shortened, five innings contest.
Williamson got the start again for Marshall and allowed five runs, four earned, and struck out just one in 3.1 innings of work.
She was lifted in the third inning for freshman Halie Vance who allowed three runs, one earned, on two hits and two walks while striking out two.
“We ran Andi out there again because she is going to be that warrior out there for us,” Stanton said.
“I was really pleased when Halie came in.
“Haley works fast and it really gave us a glimpse that we can count on her. She will do some good things for us.”