VALDOSTA, Ga. | The ninth-ranked University of Alabama in Huntsville softball team earned a thrilling sweep of No. 17 Valdosta State on Saturday, erasing a six-run deficit to win 9-8 in the day's first game before cruising to a 12-3 triumph in the nightcap. UAH improves to 29-6 (14-6 Gulf South Conference), while the Blazers slip to 31-11 (13-8 GSC).
The Chargers take over the top position in the GSC standings among teams eligible for the postseason with the Saturday sweep.
The home run was the story of the day, and it was what propelled UAH to the exciting come-from-behind win in the first game as the Chargers entered the seventh trailing 8-7 to the hosts. Tyler Harrison led off the inning with a solo shot to left center, and Kaitlyn Bannister provided UAH with back-to-back jacks and put UAH on top with a blast of her own to center to give UAH the 9-8 lead.
Kimberly Jack then worked around a two-out double to seal the victory for the Chargers.
UAH then carried that momentum over to the second game as Emily Glover gave herself a significant lead to work with as she belted a grand slam in the first inning before tossing a complete game in the circle to earn her team-best ninth win of the season.
The visitors will attempt to sweep the series on Sunday when the teams meet again at 12 p.m. CDT.
In the first game, UAH jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead when Macie Couey doubled, setting up Mary Kelley to belt a two-run homer to right to provide UAH with the advantage, but Valdosta State would immediately cut the lead in half thanks to a Courtney Albritton home run in the bottom half of the inning.
The 2-1 UAH lead would hold through the second, but the home-standing Blazers would go in front 3-2 after Shelby Altman hit a two-run long fly in the third before her three-run jack aided a five-run inning for VSU in the fourth, providing the Blazers with a commanding 8-2 advantage.
UAH proved to not be intimidated by the large hole, however, and two more homers in the top frame of the fifth suddenly pulled the Chargers right back into the contest as Kelley's second blast – this time a three-run homer – and a two-run shot from Emily Glover pulled the Blue and White to within one at 8-7, setting up the seventh-inning heroics from Harrison and Bannister.
Jack (7-1) tossed the final 2.2 innings for UAH and earned the win as she only allowed one hit while also striking out a batter.
UAH pounded out 11 hits in the contest – though Valdosta State did outhit the Chargers by registering 13 on the day – with Victoria Frith, Couey, Kelley, Harrison and Bannister all recording a pair in the game.
After Glover opened the scoring in the nightcap with the grand slam, UAH would pick up another three runs in the top of the second with a pair of runs scoring when Harrison reached on an error and Bannister driving in an additional run to make it 7-0, and the hosts would get two of the runs back with a two-run second to create a 7-2 score.
Neither team was able to do anything in the next two innings, but Couey pushed UAH's advantage to 9-2 in the fifth when she belted her third homer of the season, and Bannister picked up another RBI single to push UAH on top 10-2.
Valdosta State would extend the game with a run in the fifth, but after Kelley was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Harrison drew a bases-loaded walk to put the run rule back in effect thanks to the 12-3 advantage, Glover retired VSU in order in the bottom of the sixth to end the game.
Glover (9-2) tossed the complete game and scattered six hits while surrendering just the three runs.
The Chargers outhit VSU by an 11-6 margin in the contest, and Frith, Couey, Bannister and Glover all recorded a pair in the nightcap.
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