The Marshall University Softball program is set to make its second NCAA Tournament appearance Friday in Lexington, Kentucky.
Lexington is a familiar location for the Herd, that’s where Marshall played the last time it was in the NCAA Tournament in 2013. And Marshall was scheduled to play UK this season before it was rained out. Marshall head Coach Shonda Stanton said the familiarity should help.
“The nice thing is this isn’t the first time we’re walking into the facility,” Stanton said. “We walked into the facility and were there for quite some time and had gotten rained out, but it won’t be where they’ll be oohing and awing and sometimes that can take your focus away when you’re looking at how beautiful the facility is, we’ve been there and seen it and I think that does help.”
The only player on the team that was part of that 2013 team is Shaelynn Braxton. She said her message to her teammates is to enjoy it, and know that you can compete.
“Take it in, because it’s obviously something you don’t get to experience every year and you understand that you worked hard to get to this moment, but there is so much more after this level because there is a Super Regional and there is a World Series so even though it’s an amazing stage to be on, you deserve to be on this stage and understand whatever you go out there and do is going to take you to the next level,” Braxton said.
Marshall has a record of 41 wins and 10 losses this season. They lead the country in stolen bases and have the selection for Conference USA Coach of the Year in Shonda Stanton, Player of the Year in Morgan Zerkle and Pitcher of the Year in Jordan Dixon. But despite the accolades weren’t able to win the Conference USA Tournament.
The Herd takes on the University of Illinois Friday at noon.