The University of North Alabama softball team secured the No. 3 seed in the Gulf South Conference tournament by salvaging a 6-5 home victory over Shorter in second game of a double-header on Sunday. The win broke a three-game losing streak for the Lions, who avoided a sweep after losing the opener 6-3 in nine innings.
UNA (32-10 overall, 17-9 GSC) will play sixth-seeded Delta State Thursday in the opening round of the double-elimination tournament in Valdosta, Ga.
On Sunday, Shorter scored three runs in the top of the ninth inning to get the victory in game one. The two teams went to extra innings after the Lions rallied from an early 3-0 deficit to tie the game.
After the Hawks scored three runs in the top of the first inning, UNA got a two-run homerun by Courtney Shields in the third inning and an RBI-single by Amy Carden in the fifth to tie the game. The Lions, however, would not score again.
Hillary Carpenter (17-4) took the loss after scattering eight hits over nine innings. She allowed six runs with five strikeouts. At the plate, UNA was held to five hits, with Carden leading the way with a 3-for-3 showing.
In the second game, UNA took a 5-0 lead into the fifth inning before holding on for the 6-5 victory. Following second-inning singles by Brittany Gillison and Ashley Bonner, Madeline Lee got things going with a three-run homerun for the Lions. In the third inning, a leadoff homer by Brooklynn Clark and an RBI-double by Harlie Barkley made the score 5-0.
Shorter answered with four runs in the top of the fifth inning. A two-run double by Ericka Bynum was followed by an error in the outfield that led to two more runs for the Hawks.
The Lions added an insurance run in the bottom of the inning that turned out to be the difference in the game. Harlie Barkley drew a leadoff walk and later scored on a two-out RBI-single by Reagan Tittle.
Two straight doubles by Shorter to start the sixth inning closed the gap to 6-5 and chased UNA starter Bree Blevins from the circle. Carpenter came in and retired six of seven batters to get the save. Blevins recorded the win to improve to 13-5 on the season. She scattered 11 hits over five innings and allowed only three earned runs with five strikeouts.
At the plate, the Lions had 14 hits but stranded 12 baserunners. Lee finished the game a double and a homer to go 2-for-2 with three RBI. Shields and Gillison each went 2-for-3 while Tittle and Libby Olinger were 2-for-4 for the game.