April 12, 2008
HUNTINGTON, W. Va. --- Jennifer Nelson carried the torch for the UAB softball team who came back to defeat Marshall, 3-0, in the second game of a doubleheader Saturday at Dot Hicks Field. UAB won the second game after dropping a 6-4 decision in 10 innings in game one.
The Blazers move to 23-26 on the season and 8-9 in the conference. The Thundering Herd are 18-25 and 7-8 in the league. The two clubs will play for the series victory at Noon Sunday.
"I really liked how we were able to come back after a tough loss and get a really great victory," head coach Marla Townsend said. "I thought we could have taken both today, but we had one slip away in the first game. We are fired up to come out tomorrow at win."
Nelson (13-17) pitched a complete-game three-hitter and struck out six. The lefty recorded her third straight victory and moved one strikeout away from reaching 200 for the season.
The Blazers' dominating victory in the second game helped erase the memory of a hard-fought series opener.
Leigh Walker went 2-for-4 and drove in runs in the third and seventh innings.
UAB started off slow against started Autumn Mitchell, who was credited with the victory in game one after retiring just one batter.
Mitchell struck out the first five hitters and worked quickly through the order. It was the second time through the lineup that the Blazer bats got to Mitchell, who gave up eight of her 10 hits to UAB past the third inning.
"We had 19 hits over two games today and that speaks volumes at how we are approaching our at bats," Townsend said. "We fell comfortable at the plate and have become custom to doing the little things that count the most."
Laura Callaway had a single and double, while Kayla Orr had two doubles to left. Both also scored runs in the contest.
The Blazers went ahead 1-0 in the third when Walker singled in Orr who led the inning off with her first double of the game. Walker would single in Holly Krzan
in the seventh for her 16th RBI of the year.
Amanda Allen provided the Blazers' second run with a loop single on the left side of the infield that fell. Callaway scored from third base on the play after reaching on a double down the left field line.
Nelson worked one of the most effective games of the year, throwing just 79 pitches to 26 batters. She finished the game with 199 Ks on the year and 774 during her career.
It was the southpaw's effort that helped UAB overcome an extra-inning loss in game one.
The Blazers battled back twice to tie the score and briefly took a 4-3 lead in the ninth inning. However, Marshall rallied and scored on a wild pitch to tie the game in the ninth before Melaine Stoehr won the game in the bottom of the 10th inning with a two-run walk-off home run to left field.
Harris pitched brilliantly throwing 9 1-3 innings giving up seven hits. She held Marshall hitless in four crucial innings near the end of the ballgame.
Harris (10-9) also came through in the sixth through ninth innings, stranding five runners on base.
Allen set two school records for hit by pitches. She set the single season record in the fourth inning, moving past Rogers who set the record with 15 in 2006. Allen also broke the record for most hit by pitches in the eighth inning when she was hit for the third time of the game.
The Blazers scored single runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings that forced the game into extra innings for the third time this season. Rogers, Orr and Harris provided the run scoring singles.
Rogers went 2-for-4 and scored a run in the ninth inning on an error, which put the Blazers ahead for the first time in the game. Orr went 2-for-5 and scored a run in the third inning.
The Herd came back to tie it the bottom half on the inning on a bases loaded wild pitch. Marcena Bertoldo scored the tying run. She reached base on a walk, after an illegal pitch kept her at bat alive, which could have ended with a groundball.
Caitlyn Jackson pitched 9 2-3 innings for the Herd giving up all four runs. She was relieved by Mitchell (7-4) who recorded one out and earned the victory when Stoehr hit her homer to left.
The Blazers capitalized twice on a Marshall's error, once that tied the game at 1-1 in the third inning and again in the ninth inning on a failed double play by the Herd.