Herd softball wins again
HUNTINGTON, W.Va — Senior Grace Chelemen has proven to be as dangerous in the lineup as any hitter for the 29-3 Marshall Thundering Herd. The cleanup hitter batting .402 is certainly not going to let anyone off the hook for wanting to pitch to her.
So in the 5th inning, with Georgia State intentionally walking Autumn Owen to put runners on the corners with two outs in a narrow 2-1 Herd lead, Chelemen made the Panthers pay.
The Woodhaven, Michigan native hammered an opposite field three-run shot onto the train tracks past the left field wall at Dot Hicks Field to cap the Herd’s four-run inning.
“It was a moment where I had to sit and breathe and collect myself after the first time they pitched around Autumn to get to me,” Chelemen said. “I decided to stay calm and get a pitch that I liked. I just drove it and it went over. Some people take it personal. I’m definitely one of those people.”
Earlier in the frame, MU broke the deadlock with heads-up baserunning from Brooklyn Ulrich on a Sydney Bickel two-out single. Ulrich scored from second after the cut-off throw was bobbled by the GSU middle infield.
The support would be plenty for pitcher Sydney Nester. The redshirt-senior earned her 17th win of the season, allowing just one hit and no earned runs. Nester’s 149 strikeouts lead the Sun Belt Conference.
GSU decided to no longer pitch to Owen after the junior from Mill Spring, N.C. brought Bickel home in the 1st with an RBI single to open the scoring.
Owen not only leads the nation with 15 home runs, she also leads the country in runs batted in, with 55. Marshall’s single-season record in runs batted in is 60, set by Rachel Folden in 2004.
The 6-1 win for Marshall extends the program’s longest winning streak to 19. It is the 18th time this season where Coach Megan Smith Lyon’s team has held an opponent to one run or fewer.
Marshall and the GSU Panthers will play a doubleheader on Sunday from Dot Hicks Field. The opener is set for 10:00 a.m. with the second game to follow.
Copyright 2023 WSAZ. All rights reserved.