AP NEWS

MU softball shuts down Rider in double dip

March 3, 2019

HUNTINGTON — Marshall’s softball team used a pair of strong pitching performances to earn a doubleheader sweep over Rider at Dot Hicks _ Field on Saturday afternoon.

In the first game, Abbie Tolbert went the distance for the Herd to earn a 2-0 victory. Teammate Kailee Williamson followed in the second game, keeping the Broncs off the board in a 4-0 shutout win.

Tolbert was dominant throughout the first game, allowing just three hits and walking two while striking out eight to earn her eighth win of the year.

Offensively, the Herd only had three hits in the first game of the day, but Mya Stevenson and Briana Daiss each had doubles and RBIs to produce the runs for the Herd.

In game two, Williamson scattered eight hits and walked three, but escaped danger at each turn to move to 4-0 on the year and complete the day of shutouts for Marshall (12-5).

Again, Marshall’s offense didn’t have much production, but the feast-or-famine attack produced three home runs in the second game.

Stevenson and Daiss each continued their strong play with Stevenson’s two-run bomb in the third inning providing plenty of cushion before Daiss added a solo shot in the fourth. Aly Harrell started the day’s scoring with a bomb in the first inning.

For Rider (0-7), Lani Moreno, Kelsey Marigliano and Brianna Parisio all had two hits in the second game.

Weather permitting, the teams are scheduled to complete a three-game series at 11 a.m. Sunday.

Marshall tennis

MIAMI — Liz Stefancic earned her first career win over a ranked opponent and was joined in the win column by Madi Ballow and Daniela Dankanych, but North Texas (8-4,3-0 C-USA) defeated Marshall (2-9,0-3 C-USA) Saturday in a neutral-site match, 4-3.

“It’s a tough loss for us but we’re making progress as a team,” head coach John Mercer said.

Marshall nearly captured the doubles point, taking the Mean Green to the brink. Victoria Walter and Matilde Mulatero were victorious 6-1 on court 3. North Texas took the other two matches, as the pairing of Maria Kononova and Tamuna Kutubidze, ranked 26th in the nation, defeated the Herd’s Anna Smith and Dankanych 6-4, while Ballow and Stefancic fell in a tiebreaker to Alexandra Heczey and Ivana Babic, 7-6, to give North Texas the opening point.

The Thundering Herd split the six singles matches, showing continued improvement in the process. Stefancic defeated the No. 114 player in the nation, Minying Liang, in straight sets, 6-4,6-4. Ballow defeated Nidhi Surapaneni 7-5, 6-3, while Dankanych defeated Heczey in straights, 7-5,6-3.

Smith was defeated by Kutubidze, ranked 57th in the nation, 6-3, 6-1, while Walter fell to Kononova by the same 6-3, 6-1 score. Mulatero was defeated by Babic in the last singles match, 6-3,6-0.