HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The top-ranked University of Alabama in Huntsville softball team maintained its perfect start as it rocked visiting Charleston (W.Va.) in a doubleheader sweep, winning 9-1 in the first game and 10-1 in the nightcap. The victories push the Chargers to 11-0 on the year, and the Golden Eagles fall to 6-6.
The Chargers pounded out 20 hits in the two games combined, while UAH was strong in the circle as Whitney Toler (6-0) and Whitney Gilbert (2-0) surrendered just nine hits and the two runs.
UAH was strong from the start of the day's first contest as Mary Kelley got things going with a two-run homer in the home half of the first to build a 2-0 lead that the Chargers would build upon with a seven-run inning in the second.
In the big inning, Kelli Long and Abby MacKay both picked up a pair of RBI on base hits, while Sam Deep had a run-producing double as the Blue and White sent 12 batters to the plate in the frame.
The nine runs would be more than enough for Toler who earned her sixth straight win to open the season as she surrendered just five hits and allowed the one run while working around three walks. The Fayetteville, Ga., native struck out three in the affair.
The scoring in the second game was more spread out as the Chargers scored at least once in five of their six trips to the plate in the contest.
Stephanie Needham drove in the first of three runs she would knock in for the game in the home half of the first as she singled to score Kelley who had walked and then moved into scoring position on a stolen base.
On the afternoon, the Chargers swiped six bags including three by Long.
Long also displayed her speed in the third inning of the second game when she tripled to the gap in right center to score Kellie Johnson and put UAH up 2-0, and a Kelley sacrifice fly plated Long to make it 3-0 after three.
Not intimidated by a quick pair of outs in the fourth, the hosts proceeded to tack on three more runs in that inning, and Kathryn Whitlock's fifth homer of the season in the fifth made it 8-1 in favor of the Blue and White.
Closing out the contest with a bang, Needham blasted her seventh shot of the season to end the game in the sixth with the score 10-1.
Gilbert picked up her second win of the season as she struck out three while giving up just four hits and one run while issuing just one free pass.
For the day both Kelley and Long picked up three hits, scored four times and drove in four runs, while Needham also had three hits in the two contests.
The Chargers will now hit the road to Winter Park, Fla., where they will take on Rollins and Barry on Friday, March 2, and Saturday, March 3, respectively.