Olympic Sports

Herd falls in semifinals to Louisiana Tech, 4-2


HUNTINGTON – A great season came to an end – or did it – as the No. 23-ranked Herd saw Louisiana Tech score two runs in the top of the seventh inning to beat Marshall, 4-2. LA Tech, the No. 3 seed, will battle No. 2 FIU on Saturday at 1 p.m. EDT in the championship game on CBS Sports Network.

Marshall is 41-10, ranked in both polls No. 23 and tied for No. 24) and had a RPI of 26 coming into today’s game. Many thought the Herd’s body of work was good enough to win a spot in the NCAA Tournament as an at large, but the Herd will not find that out until the tournament is released on Sunday evening.

LA Tech got the scoring underway in the top of the third inning with an unearned run and a bunt single leading to another run and a 2-0 lead. Marshall tied the game Eloise Tribolet and Morgan Zerkle scored two runs, both unearned, in the bottom of the third.

The game stayed tied until the seventh, although the Herd seemed to lose a run on a close call at the plate in the sixth. Zerkle led off with a hit, but Elicia D’Orazio forced her at second. Taylor McCord was hit by a pitch and Marshall had runners at first and third with one out. McCord drew a throw on a steal, but was safe at second. D’Orazio broke for the plate, but was called out by the home plate umpire although replay showed clearly the Herd runner was not tagged at the plate.

Shaelynn Braxton followed with a two-out walk. Ali Burdette, however, flew out to end the inning.

In the seventh, Jordan Dixon sat the first two batters down before a bunt single by Karlee Jensen and a walk on Jazlyn Crowder put runners on, and a passed ball by McCord moved the runners to second and third. Tori Charters singled, driving in another unearned run when Jensen scored. Crowder would score another unearned run just before Charters was thrown out stealing McCord to D’Orazio, who tagged the runner going back to first.

Dixon pitched all seven innings, and took the loss to drop to 31-8. She allowed six hits, four runs, one earned run, two walks and seven strikeouts. For LA Tech, Krystal De la Cruz got the win (12-3) allowing six hits, two runs, no earned runs, a walk and five strikeouts.

Zerkle was 2-for-3 for the Herd, scored one run and finished the game with a .484 batting average. Tribolet was 1-for-2 and scored a run.

For the Bulldogs, Jensen was 3-for-3 in the nine spot of the lineup with two runs scored. Charter and Jensen were both 1-for-3 with a run scored each.

About Woody Woodrum

Senior Editor and columnist/writer for Herd Insider since 2003, with Kindred Communications on radio for Marshall football/men's basketball pregame and postgame shows since 1996 and with First Sentry Bank Sportsline (Also Scott on Sports, Sideline Sports and Herd Insider Sportsline) since 1997. Married to Liz (12-22-1990) and one son, Tre' (11-7-1997). National Sportswriters & Sportscasters West Virginia Broadcaster of the Year winner for radio, 2000; won W.Va. Broadcasters Best Talk Show in 2013 with co-host Paul Swann and W.Va. Broadcasters Best Play-by-Play in 2015 with Jason Toy (Huntington at South Charleston, state AAA semifinals). Member of (College) Football Writers Association of America, (College) Basketball Writers Association of America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. Color commentator for Marshall football (1999-2000), for Marshall basketball (2004-2016) and Marshall baseball (2004-2016). Color for high school football at Spring Valley (1999-2008), Cabell Midland (2009-2012) and Huntington (W.Va.) High School (2013-2016).

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