CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Marshall softball team completed the series sweep over the Charlotte 49ers with an 8-0, six inning win. The Herd improves to 20-4 and 6-0 in Conference USA while improving its win streak to 11 games. Charlotte drops to 16-13 and 1-5 in conference.
The Thundering Herd got on the board first in the second inning. Sophomore Briana Daiss recorded the Herd’s first hit of the game with a one-out single to left. Daiss came around to score on an error by the second baseman after dropping a pop fly by the right field line.
Marshall took a 2-0 lead in the third. Freshman Elizabeth DeShields led off the inning with a walk and was replaced at first by junior Madi Marshall. Marshall moved to second on a successful sacrifice bunt by junior Eloise Tribolet and then scored on a single to center by junior Elicia D’Orazio.
Senior Jordan Dixon held the Charlotte batters in check allowing just one hit and one walk in the complete game shutout. The 49ers picked up its first hit in the fourth as Haley Pace hit a double to left center.
In the top of the sixth, the Marshall bats exploded with six runs off five hits. Sophomore Ali Burdette came in to pinch hit and led off with a single to left. Tribolet re-entered to run at first and did not spend much time there as D’Orazio followed up with a single to right. Senior Morgan Zerkle dropped down a sacrifice bunt to move Tribolet and D’Orazio into scoring position.
Junior Taylor McCord delivered with a hit into right-center that scored both Tribolet and D’Orazio and built the lead to four. Next, senior Shaelynn Braxton smashed her 36th career double and the Herd had two runners in scoring position. Daiss walked following Braxton’s double to load the bases with just one out. Sophomore Abigail Estrada blew the game wide open with a first-pitch grand slam to right field. It was Estrada’s first career grand slam and third home run of the season. Marshall led 8-0.
Dixon and the Herd defense finished off the 49ers in the bottom of the sixth in just 10 pitches.
Jordan Dixon was named the Dot Hicks Significant Sticker Award winner after throwing a complete game, one-hitter with four strikeouts. The win was Dixon’s 90th of her career and now has 956 career strikeouts.
Head Coach Shonda Stanton:
“It feels great to get out to a fast start. We play close to 60 games and we play about 40 of those on the road so it’s good to come down to Charlotte and get the sweep. I felt that Wiseman again gave them a great start. We were able to capitalize on a mistake that they made in the outfield and plate the first run. Then Elicia did a good job to battle and drive in the second run. It felt like it was going to be one of those tight pitching duels. Dixon gave us a much better start today. We did a great job late in the game being patient and being selective because I felt early we were free swinging a bit but we settled in.”
“Burdette did a great job to get the sixth inning started and Zerkle put down a nice bunt. McCord put the ball in play, Shae hit the ball hard down the right field line and then obviously Estrada came up big with the grand slam. So many people chipped into the action for it to escalate quickly and for us to get the 8-0 win.”
“I felt like Dixon really came out strong but our defense played so well behind her. The infield was making plays all over and Estrada made a nice catch in left. So, just really pleased with the group and proud of what I am seeing.”
Marshall will take the field again at UNC Greensboro, Tuesday March 21. First pitch against the Spartans is scheduled for 4 p.m.