After rallying to win 4-2 on its last at-bat in the opener, the University of North Alabama softball team could not do the same in the second game, falling to Union 2-1 to earn a Gulf South Conference split Saturday afternoon at home. The two teams will play the third and deciding game of the GSC series at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
In the first game, UNA (28-7 overall, 13-4 GSC) entered the bottom of the sixth inning trailing 1-0 with only two hits on the day. Chelsea Showers doubled and later scored on a two-out error by the Bulldogs to tie the game. Shelby Goodman then connected on a three-run home run to left field. She blast also scored Harlie Barkley and Chloe Wolf and gave the Lions their first lead of the day.
Union (16-14 overall, 3-9 GSC) responded with a lead-off home run in the bottom of the seventh, but would get no closer. Bree Blevins improved to 14-3 with the pitching victory for UNA. She struck out eight in the complete-game effort.
At the plate the Lions were held to just four hits by Union starter Kelly Robey, who notched 10 strikeouts in the opener.
Robey (11-10), picked up where she left off in the second game, allowing one run off six hits to get the win for Union. She finished the day with 15 strikeouts and only one earned run.
North Alabama took an early 1-0 lead on Showers' solo home run in the bottom of the first inning. The Lions, however, would not score again. Union got a two-out double by Shelby Lamb in the top of the fourth to regain the lead for good.
The Lions had their best chance to answer in the bottom of the sixth. After leading off the frame with back-to-back singles, UNA could not plate a run. Robey recorded a strikeout and a force out before a foul out with runners and second and third ended the scoring threat.
Barkley and Brittany Gillison each went 2-for-3 at the plate to account for four of the Lions' six hits. Hillary Carpenter (13-4) took the loss in the circle, allowing two runs off four this.