May 3, 2009
HOUSTON, Texas -
The Marshall University softball team fell behind and battled back to within one run but fell to Houston Sunday in the regular season finale.
The Thundering Herd (30-19, 11-10) were down three going into the fifth before putting up two runs and had runners on base in the sixth and seventh but came up short to the Cougars (24-23, 12-10).
"We made some mistakes early that proved costly, I'm pleased with how our players continued to fight," head coach Shonda Stanton said. "We hit the ball hard but couldn't come up with the timely hit. Having 11 stranded the ample opportunity to win the game."
In the top of the first, Marshall's first four hitters singled but freshman Alianna Telles (Sylmar, Calif.) and senior Joscelyn Bitner (Virginia Beach, Va.) both were called out for leaving early.
Houston struck first in the bottom half of the opening inning as Jessica Valis reached on an error and advanced on a sacrifice by Katie Bush. Laurie Wagner then hit a hard shot to third scoring Valis for the game's first run.
The lead was expanded to three in the second as Angela Spittler singled and Casey Willow and Mary Beth Sherman both reached on errors loading the bases with no outs. Bush then singled scoring Spittler and Wagner grounded out to plate Willow.
Down three, the Herd batted in two runs to cut into the lead as senior Rachael Sofie (Everett, Wash.) and Marcena Bertoldo (Beaumont, Calif.) each singled before advancing over on a sacrifice by freshman Melissa Loesing (Grapevine, Texas).
Telles then singled to the outfield picking up two RBIs and putting the game at 3-2. Marshall loaded the bases with sacrifice and back-to-back walks but could not push anymore runs across in the fifth.
The Herd had the bases loaded in the sixth and two on in the seventh but could not manage to tie or take control of the game and falling by one run.
In the contest, Telles finished 2-for -3 with two RBIs and five other players each picked up a hit in Sunday's contest.
With the loss, Marshall will be the four seed in next week's Conference USA tournament and will play UCF Thursday at 2 p.m. EST. The entire tournament will be played at Helen of Troy Stadium in El Paso, Texas hosted by UTEP.
"Now it is all about playing well in one weekend. I feel confident in this group," Stanton added.