Nikki Sagermann singled up the middle in the eighth inning to give regional host Kentucky a 2-1 victory over Marshall in the opener of the NCAA softball tournament.
The Thundering Herd (35-21) falls to the losers bracket of the four-team regional, facing Notre Dame at 3:30 p.m. today. A win sends the Herd on to play the Kentucky-Virginia Tech loser at 6 p.m.; a loss brings elimination.
Marshall took the lead on a Shaelynn Braxton single in the fourth inning. Kentucky (39-18) answered in the fifth, when Sylver Samuel singled, stole second and scored on a Kara Dill single.
The Herd and pitcher Andi Williamson didn't get an out in the bottom of the eighth. Griffin Joyner doubled and after an intentional walk, pinch-runner Lauren Cumbess advanced to third on a wild pitch. Another intentional walk loaded the bases, setting up Sagermann's winning hit.
WVU BASEBALL: The West Virginia baseball team lost its fifth straight game Friday night, a 5-0 loss to Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Okla.
West Virginia (30-25) loaded the bases in the fourth inning with one out, but was unable to bring home any runs. Two Mountaineer errors in the fifth lead to a five-run frame for the Cowboys. Sophomore left-hander John Means (4-4) took the loss despite only giving up two earned runs on four hits and striking out six.
West Virginia plays its final game of the regular season against Oklahoma State (39-13, 13-9) at 4 p.m. today.
MU BASEBALL: Marshall's baseball team suffered a 13-0 loss to No. 20 Rice Friday night in Houston.
The Herd was held to just five hits, with Isaac Ballou collecting two. Rice's Keenan Cook drove in three runs.
Marshall (20-33) concludes the regular season at Rice (36-17) at 2 p.m. today.
WVU WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: West Virginia University women's basketball coach Mike Carey announced Thursday the hiring of Sharrona Reaves as an assistant coach.