Liberty snuffs Marshall 7-0 in NISC regional, ending Herd’s season
LYNCHBURG, Va. - Liberty University ended Marshall University’s season Saturday and moved into the championship round of the National Invitational Softball Championship.
Marshall (42-22) stayed alive in the double-elimination Liberty Regional with a 4-2 victory Saturday morning against Kent State (28-26) and returned to the field for an afternoon matchup with Liberty. The Lady Flames (40-20) prevailed 7-0.
Liberty claimed a spot in the four-team NISC Championship Round beginning Friday in Fort Collins, Colorado.
The Lady Flames didn’t allow a single run in its three regional games, outscoring opponents 12-0.
“It’s a tough way to end the season, but it absolutely doesn’t take away how proud I am of our players and our team,” Thundering Herd head coach Megan Smith said in a HerdZone.com release. “I am proud of the way they played and performed all season. We definitely had a strong finish.”
Marshall senior Abigail Tolbert, junior Sierra Huerta and sophomore Aly Harrell were named to the regional all-tournament team.
Liberty came out swinging against Marshall pitchers Kailee Williamson (12-4) and reliever Ali Burdette and built a 4-0 lead in the fifth inning. The Flames manufactured four runs in the fifth inning on Sarah Robertson’s double and RBI singles by Denay Griffin, Madison Via and Autumn Bishop.
That was all the support needed for Flames pitcher Chase Cassady (15-3) in a complete-game three-hit performance.
Marshall’s hits came from Hayden Ellis, Armani Brown and Huerta. Harrell was walked once to bring her program season record to 68.
Against Kent State, freshman Mya Stevenson hit two home runs and accounted for all of Marshall’s scoring in a victory that tied the Herd season record for wins. Stevenson’s homers pushed her season total to 20, a school record.
Harrell led off the bottom of the first inning with a double to left-center. Huerta reached base on an infield error to put two on base for Stevenson who blasted a pitch over the fence in center field.
Stevenson added a solo homer in the third inning.
Tolbert (28-17) allowed seven hits in a complete game.
Marshall graduates seven seniors with Tolbert, Samantha Loose, Burdette, Hannah Giammarino, Ellis, Abigail Estrada and Briana Daiss all leaving. The 2019 class was a part of 139 wins in four years.