HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Earning perhaps its most impressive sweep of the season, the University of Alabama in Huntsville softball team dispatched of visiting Shorter on Saturday as the Chargers won 8-2 in the day’s first game before turning around and claiming a 6-2 triumph in the nightcap. UAH improves to 24-11 (15-4 Gulf South Conference) while taking over the top spot in the GSC.
Shorter slips to 29-7 (15-5 GSC).
UAH will return to action when it hosts West Georgia at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Game One – UAH 8, Shorter 2
The visitors staked claim to the first lead of the game as a one-out double in the top half of the first drove in the game’s initial run, but the Chargers would answer back immediately in the home half of the frame as Kathryn Whitlock singled in Mary Kelley who had drawn a walk earlier in the inning.
Whitlock would go on to have a big day as the senior would tally a total of six hits while driving in five runs in the two games combined.
After a scoreless second, the Hawks would retake the lead with a run in the third, and the score would remain 2-1 in favor of Shorter until the UAH fifth.
With Brianna Sullivan at second after reaching on a fielder’s choice and moving up on her team-high 20th steal of the season, Kelley would move the speedy freshman over to third with a perfect sacrifice bunt. Sullivan then scored when Cortney McNett reached on an infield single on a hard-hit ball to third, tying the game at 2-2 in the process.
Kimberly Jack (8-4) – who was in the game in relief of starter Whitney Toler – then sat down the 7-8-9 hitters in the Shorter lineup in order in top of the sixth before the Chargers would explode in the bottom of the inning.
UAH would score six times in the frame on the strength of a pair of walks and five hits.
Three of the hits were doubles including a two-bagger by Mallory McNeal that would plate Nicole Bobrowski and Abby MacKay while eventually standing as the game-winning play. McNett drove in a pair on a double, and the inning was punctuated by Whitlock’s third hit of the game – a double that scored pinch-runner Morgan Hopkins.
Jack threw 2.1 innings to pick up the win, giving up just one hit while striking out three and walking none.
Whitlock finished the contest going 3-for-4 at the plate while McNett was 2-for-4 as the pair accounted for five of the team’s eight hits.
Christina Ezell (11-2) earned just her second loss of the season in the circle for the Hawks.
Game Two – UAH 6, Shorter 2
The Chargers started the nightcap where they had left off in the first game as the team scored three runs in the first and another three in the second to grab a quick 6-0 lead.
Whitlock would notch the game’s first RBI as she reached on a base hit to the pitcher that scored Sullivan, and Bobrowski would extend the UAH advantage to 3-0 when she sent home Whitlock and McNett on a single into right.
Starter Whitney Gilbert then worked a perfect second inning, quickly bringing UAH back to the plate where a Kelley double would score Meagan Billingsley after Billingsley led the inning off by reaching on a fielding miscue by the Shorter left fielder. With runners at second and third, Whitlock singled up the middle for another pair of RBI while pushing the Chargers out to an early 6-0 lead.
Shorter would plate a run in the third, but Jack (9-4) would enter the game and give up just one hit in the final 4.2 innings of the contest to earn her second victory of the day and ninth of the season. Giving up just one run in seven total innings on the day, Jack – the nation’s leader in saves – lowered her ERA to 1.59 on the season.
The Chargers finished the contest with seven hits, but the team displayed an incredibly patient approach at the plate as it drew a total of eight walks in the game to tally 12 in the two games combined.
Courtesy: UAH Media Relations