The University of North Alabama softball team split its final regular season Gulf South Conference double-header Sunday against West Florida with each team picking up a mercy-rule victory. In the opener, the Lions posted an 8-0 win in five innings, before falling in the second game 10-1 in six innings.
The split gives UNA a 19-24 overall record and 8-20 mark in GSC play, dropping the Lions to the seventh seed for the upcoming conference tournament. North Alabama will take on in-state rival Alabama-Huntsville in the opening round of the double-elimination tournament, beginning Friday at the Greenbrook Softball Complex in Southaven, Miss.
On Sunday, the Lions found their offensive swing, with nine runs off 20 hits. The opening game featured a 13-hit performance for the home team on Senior Day. Julie Mercer went 3-for-3 at the plate with a double to lead UNA. The senior from Rosenberg, Texas also scored three times as the Lions plated runs in the bottom of the first, third and fourth innings.
After a four-run fifth inning gave UNA an 8-0 lead, the game ended when the Argonauts failed to score in the top of the fifth.
Fellow senior Kathryn Young was also 2-for-2 at the plate with a pair of RBI and two runs scored. Dani Colwill and senior Ali Barnette also each posted 2-for-3 performances.
Haley Barnette (7-13) picked up the complete-game shutout in the circle. The sophomore limited UWF to three hits while striking out two in five innings of work.
In the second game, the Lions managed seven hits but left eight runners on base in the 10-1 loss. West Florida held a 2-1 lead into the fourth inning before scoring three runs in the top of the frame and five more in the sixth.