Andi Williamson is picking up right where she left off last season.
Williamson, a 2009 Chapmanville Regional High School graduate, Harts native and senior pitcher for the Marshall University women’s softball team, fired a no-hitter last Sunday as the Herd won 3-0 over West Virginia State at Marshall’s Dot Hicks Field in Huntington in an exhibition game.
Marshall ended up sweeping Division II West Virginia State, also taking Game Two by a 5-3 count.
Williamson stuck out 10 batters in notching the complete game, seven-inning win. Williamson struck out four in the final two innings, including collecting three in the seventh to win the game and secure the no-hitter.
In an ironic twist, Williamson faced former Chapmanville and Harts teammate Poppy Ramey, who is the West Virginia State catcher. Williamson struck out Ramey in her only official at bat.
Williamson and Ramey formed the battery at Harts High School in 2006 as the Lady Lions went on to play in the Class A state championship game. After the closure of Harts, the two went to Chapmanville Regional and helped lead the Lady Tigers to Class AA state championships in 2007 and 2009.
The day before on Saturday, Sept. 29, Williamson took a no-hitter into the seventh inning against Ohio Valley, another WVIAC school.
Against State, Williamson allowed just two base runners and issued no walks.
Marshall’s softball team is 4-2 so far in Fall Ball exhibition season and are scheduled to close the autumn campaign on Sunday at 1 p.m. with a home doubleheader against Ohio.
The Herd has 10 returning players back from last year’s Conference USA tournament runner-up team, which finished 36-21 overall and 15-9 in the league.
Williamson was a C-USA all-conference selection last year as she broke Marshall’s single-season wins total record with 25 victories.
The 2013 spring season begins in February.
Marshall is led by 14-year head coach Shonda Stanton. It’s the 20th year of the Herd’s softball program.
Marshall began the Fall Ball season on Sept. 16 with an 11-6 loss at home to Kentucky of the Southeastern Conference.
Then on Sept. 25, the Herd lost 8-1 to the National Pro Fastpitch All-Stars at Charleston’s Appalachian Power Park.
The exhibition game was a part of the National Pro Fastpitch’s Back-to-School tour in which the team will play 22 games in 21 cities.
The Thundering Herd was stifled by the pro team’s pitching. MU collected just three hits in the game while striking out 17 times.
Williamson started in the circle for MU but was ineffective against the pros. She went 5.2 innings, striking out eight but walking nine batters. Freshman Halie Vance relieved the senior pitcher and went the remainder of the game.
The 12-woman NPF roster included three former Olympians — Kelly Kretschman, Jenn Salling and Andrea Duran. Kretschman played for the United States in the Olympics twice, including the 2004 squad which won gold. Salling played for the Canadian National Team and participated for her home country in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Duran was a silver medalist in the 2008 Olympics. Softball was discontinued as an Olympic sport at this year’s London Summer Games.
After taking on the pro team, Marshall swept Ohio Valley 5-3, 5-0 on Sept. 29.
Williamson tossed a one-hitter in the first game. She struck out nine and did not walk a UC batter. The first batter to reach base against her did not come until the sixth inning.