Alabama beats UAB in midweek clash

Blake Byler, Staff Reporter

The Crimson Tide defeated UAB 8-1 in the midweek SEC series.

After getting its first series win in SEC play against No. 13 Kentucky last weekend, fourth-ranked Alabama (25-4) made the short drive down I-65 to play its sister school in Birmingham.

This was the second time Alabama and UAB have played this season, with Alabama taking a 7-0 victory earlier in March at Rhoads Stadium.

Sophomore Alex Salter made the start in the circle for Alabama, but in her first inning the Blazers were able to strike first. An RBI into left field from UAB’s Faith Hegh put the Blazers up 1-0 early. 

Salter gave up five hits in the first three innings, and head coach Patrick Murphy turned to sophomore Jaala Torrence for relief.

It took no time for Alabama to answer the Blazers’ score. In the top of the second inning, a bunt from freshman Jenna Lord brought in junior Jenna Johnson to tie the game at one run apiece.

Lord, a Trussville, Alabama, native, has played in 20 of Alabama’s 29 games in her freshman season. Her first inning RBI was her fourth of the season.

The game was still knotted at one in the top of the fifth. A bunt from sophomore Kat Grill followed by a double from senior Ally Shipman loaded the bases with one out. UAB pitcher Olivia Valbak struck out senior Ashley Prange for the second out.

With the pressure on, Johnson hit the ball to third base for a fielding error, and Grill scored to give Alabama the 2-1 lead.

After having five runners left on base in the first five innings, Alabama loaded the bases again in the sixth, with only one out. This time, they scored five runs before the second out, and the Crimson Tide added another to make the score 8-1.

Freshman Aubrey Barnhart brought in a run in the sixth inning. The RBI from the Tennessee native was the first hit of her young career, coming in her eighth career game.

Torrence gave up no runs in four full innings pitched and struck out one batter in the process.

The Crimson Tide will return to SEC play this weekend against South Carolina. First pitch is Friday at 5 p.m. CT.