Scoring 30 runs on 29 hits in the two games combined, the No. 22 University of Alabama in Huntsville softball team throttled visiting West Florida on Saturday, winning 19-2 in a five-inning first game before taking the nightcap in six innings by an 11-3 score. The Chargers improve to 37-12 (19-7 Gulf South Conference) with the wins, and the Argos drop to 31-21 (15-11 GSC).
On a weekend that she will play her final regular season contests at the Charger Softball Complex, Kelli Long was stellar.
For the day the Sterling, Ill., native was 7-for-8 at the plate, and she scored four times while driving in eight runs on the strength of a double, a triple, and a home run. The three-bagger ties Long with Rachel Hamby for most triples in a career as she now owns 13 during her time in Huntsville.
Long was one of five Chargers who homered in the contests as she was joined by Cortney McNett, Stephanie Needham, Kathryn Whitlock and Ashley Bryant.
Needham's long fly was the 16th of the season for the GSC leader, and it helped her knock in five runs on the day, and she crossed the plate three times while also picking up three hits.
Whitney Gilbert (16-5) tossed the first game for the Chargers, allowing just two runs – one earned – and four hits. When the Argos scored in the first frame, it snapped what had been a 21-inning scoreless streak for Gilbert.
Whitney Toler (16-6) kept pace with Gilbert in the win column as she threw five innings in the nightcap, surrendering seven hits and three runs while striking out four. Christina Boczek tossed the final frame for UAH and gave up just one hit.
The Chargers trailed in both games, falling behind 1-0 in the first before answering with two runs in the first and five in the second to take a 7-1 lead. Busting the game wide open, the Blue and White scored nine times in the third and three more times in the fourth to produce the 19-2 final.
In the second contest, the Argos led 2-1 through four-and-a-half innings, but another big frame this time an eight-run trip to the plate – from UAH swung the game entirely in its direction. After West Florida picked up a run in the top of the sixth, the Chargers scored twice more in their half of the inning to produce the 11-3 victory.
The Chargers will be back in action on Sunday when they welcome West Alabama to town for a 2 p.m. doubleheader.