SOUTHAVEN, Miss. – The University of Alabama in Huntsville softball team was knocked out of the 2012 Gulf South Conference Tournament on Saturday, falling in a pair of heartbreaking contests as it lost 1-0 to top-seeded Valdosta State before falling 6-5 to Delta State in an elimination game.
In the first contest, the top-seeded Blazers made a first-inning run stand up as they were able to thwart several opportunities for UAH including throwing out what would be the tying run at the plate in the top of the sixth inning and surviving a long flyout off the bat of Kelli Pullin for the first out in the seventh.
Whitney Gilbert (17-6) suffered the tough-luck loss as she surrendered just the one run – an unearned run – and five hits to the nation’s No. 1 team.
The Chargers were limited to just two hits in the affair.
Against Delta State, the Chargers took a quick lead but were unfortunately unable to hang onto it.
Kelli Long scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Stephanie Needham in the first inning to make it 1-0, and Mary Kelley and Stephanie Needham scored in the third to produce a 3-0 advantage.
In the bottom of the third, however, the Lady Statesmen struck for five runs to swing the contest in their favor, and after Kelli Pullin doubled in Kathryn Whitlock in the fifth to make it 5-4, the Lady Statesmen tacked on a run in the sixth that they would end up needing.
Needham singled to lead off the top of the seventh, and the Chargers had runners at second and third with no outs after a Whitlock double. Cortney McNett then pulled the Chargers back within one with a sacrifice fly that plated Needham, but that would be all Delta State would allow in wrapping up the 6-5 decision.
Whitney Toler (19-7) threw all six innings in picking up the loss.
The Chargers will now await word of their NCAA Tournament destination.