Herd softball shuts out Ohio

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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. The Marshall softball team had a dominant performance in its 2019 home-opener Wednesday afternoon at Dot Hicks Field. The Thundering Herd defeated the Ohio Bobcats 8-0 in five innings.

Marshall improves to 11-5 while Ohio falls to 7-6. The Herd now leads the all-time series 37-21 and with a record of 19-5 versus the Bobcats since leaving the Mid-American Conference after the 2005 season.

“We were really excited to be home and play in front of our crowd,” Herd head coach Megan Smith said. “Our crowd did not disappoint today as we had a lot of people out at the game. It was fun to be a part of that for the first time. Our team showed up and they were locked in, in all aspects. It was a dominant performance across the board for our team.

“I am really happy with the way our offense bounced back from the weekend. I’m really happy with the way Abby (Tolbert) threw. They have a really good offensive lineup and I thought she handled them really well.”

Marshall finished with nine hits as junior Blakely Burch, sophomore Katie Adams and freshman Mya Stevenson had two each. Senior Abigail Tolbert earned her seventh win of the season with the complete-game shutout, and struck out five. The Bobcats used three different pitchers.

The Herd got the scoring started right from the beginning with five runs in the first inning. Senior Hannah Giammarino and sophomore Aly Harrell got on base with a walk and a hit-by-pitch, respectively. For Harrell, it was the ninth time this season she has been hit. Stevenson loaded the bases with a single to left and then Adams drove a shot to left-center for a 2-run double scoring both Giammarino and Harrell.

The scoring continued as Huerta reached on a hit-by-pitch and then two batters later senior Briana Daiss drove in Stevenson with a single to left-center. Burch then plated both Adams and Huerta with another single to left-center. Marshall went through 10 batters in the first.

Harrell belted her fifth home run of the season with a solo shot in the second inning. Burch then crushed her second homer of the season with a solo shot in the third. The Herd used the long ball again for the final run of the game as Stevenson drilled a pitch down the left field line for her fifth of the year.

Sophomore Armani Brown started a double play in the top of the fifth that ended the game and secured the run-rule win for Marshall.

The Herd returns to the field on Saturday, March 2, against the Rider Broncs at Dot Hicks Field. Rider is coming to town for a three-game series as the doubleheader will begin Saturday at 1 p.m. ET. The third game of the series is set for Sunday at 11 a.m. ET.