VALDOSTA, Ga. – The University of Alabama in Huntsville softball team saw its season come to a tough end on Saturday night as the Chargers fell 3-2 to Rollins College in an elimination game at the NCAA South 1 Regional hosted by Valodsta State. The setback came after UAH fell 9-4 to VSU earlier in the day.
The season ends for the Chargers with a 42-16 record.
Rollins 4, UAH 2
After falling behind 2-0 when the Tars scratched a couple runs across in the top half of the second, the Chargers pulled into a tie in fourth Mallory McNeal hit a two-out double into left field to plate Sam Deep and Mary Kelley.
McNeal finished the contest 3-for-3 – accounting for half of UAH’s six hits – and the two RBI.
Though those would be the lone runs UAH would score, there was not a lack of opportunity on this night for the Chargers.
In the fifth after Rollins had regained the lead at 3-2, the team looked to be threatening with runners at first and third with no one out, but with the runner going from first, Rollins turned a triple play on a liner to second base as they were able to catch both runners off their respective bags.
UAH also appeared to have a rally going in the sixth, but the potential tying run was unfortunately thrown out at the plate on a strong throw from right fielder Lawna Hunter.
Trailing 4-2 after Monica Meadows homered in the top of the seventh, what appeared to be a strong start to the bottom half of the frame ended up not being so as Kellie Johnson’s home run bid was brought back into the park by Meadows in centerfield, and the Tars retired the next two UAH batters to end the game.
Whitney Gilbert (18-7) went the distance in being saddled with the loss for UAH, while Amye McIntyre (15-4) earned the win.
Valdosta State 9, UAH 4
In action earlier Saturday, the Chargers fell 9-4 to Valdosta State in a winner’s bracket contest that was closer than the final score would indicate for much of the contest.
It was the Chargers who enjoyed the contest’s first lead as the squad manufactured a run in the top of the first thanks to an RBI single by Kathryn Whitlock that plated Mary Kelley. Strong baserunning from Kelley had her in prime position to score on the hit as she went from first to third on a single up the middle from Stephanie Needham earlier in the frame.
The lead was brief, however, as Valdosta’s Sarah Vaughn hit a two-run shot in the home half of the second to tilt the contest in her team’s favor at 2-1.
After a scoreless third, UAH pulled into a tie in its half of the fourth.
Abby MacKay drew a leadoff walk, and with Sam Deep pinchrunning for the shortstop, Kelli Pullin executed a successful sacrifice bunt to move Deep to second. That allowed Deep to score when Meagan Billingsley doubled into the gap in left-center, tying the contest at 2-2.
Breaking the tie and busting the game open, the Blazers crossed the plate six times in the sixth with the inning keyed by Marti Littlefield’s grand slam to center.
UAH would score twice more in the contest with both runs coming on solo shots. MacKay led the sixth off with a long fly to left to homer in her second consecutive game, and Needham picked up her 19th of the season in the seventh after VSU had score again in their half of the sixth, producing the 9-4 final.