April 9, 2014
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The UAB softball team (23-17) fought back in a late-inning rally, but fell, 4-3, to No. 3 Alabama (36-5) on Wednesday night at Rhoads Stadium.
The Blazers and Crimson Tide each scored runs in the first inning and UAB scored single runs in the sixth and seventh, but fell just short to the No. 1 RPI team in the NCAA in UAB’s 10th game against a top-25 team this season.
UAB totaled seven hits on the day, led by Caitlin Attfield and Danii Fernandez who each had two. Kristen McGrath, Mary Warren and Hayley Davis had UAB’s three RBI on the night, including Davis’ second home run of the season in the seventh inning.
The seventh wasn’t an easy one for Alabama as Davis’ home run gave UAB life, and Attfield and Fernandez both got on base to keep the inning alive. Attfield began the inning with a single to left and Fernandez drew a full count walk in a great at-bat off Jaclyn Traina, who entered in relief of Sydney Littlejohn. With two on and two away, UAB’s all-time leader in home runs and RBI, Kristen McGrath, stood in with a chance to plate a Blazer run, but was called out on strikes to end the game.
Lannah Campbell tossed the full six innings for UAB and allowed 12 hits and struck out four, while Littlejohn got the win for Alabama, allowing three earned runs on seven hits.
No. 3 Alabama 4, UAB 3
UAB and Alabama each put runs up in the first inning as UAB scored a single run to open the contest. Danii Fernandez doubled to left field with one away and Mary Warren put UAB on the board with a soft single up the middle that deflected off the glove of the Alabama second baseman.
The Crimson Tide responded in its half with a single run after a leadoff bunt from Haylie McCleney. She moved to second on a stolen base and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt. Kaila Hunt followed with a triple to center field that tied the game up at 1-1. Campbell retired the final two hitters of the game on a groundout to short and a strikeout swinging with a full count to escape the inning and allow just the one run to score.
Alabama threatened in the fourth, but a solid defensive play from Hayley Davis in left prevented a Crimson Tide run from scoring. After Molly Fichtner singled to Attfield at short with one away, she moved to third on an error by Attfield on a double play attempt where she dropped the exchange from Pearson at second. Danae Hays followed with a single to left field, but Chandler Dare, who was in pinch running for Fichtner, was cut down at the plate on a strong throw from Davis in left to prevent the Alabama run from scoring and keep the game at 1-1 in the fourth.
Alabama opened up the scoring and plated three runs in the fifth to send eight hitters to the plate. The Crimson Tide totaled five hits, but UAB did turn a double play in the frame, 6-2-5, on a force out at home and a throw down to third to limit the damage and make the score 4-1 through five.
UAB responded back in the sixth with another single run after two leadoff hits to begin the frame. Attfield doubled deep to center to begin the inning and Fernandez singled up the middle to put runners on the corners with nobody out. Kristen McGrath fouled out to the left fielder at the wall, but it scored Attfield from third for UAB’s only run of the frame to make the score 4-2.
UAB didn’t go away quietly in the seventh as Hayley Davis lifted her second home run of the season just inside the left field fence to cut the score to 4-3. Attfield singled into left to keep the inning alive and Fernandez drew a two-out walk off Jaclyn Traina to put two runners on. Kristen McGrath stood in with two away and was called out going around to end the game, 4-3.
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