Strong pitching pushes UAB past North Texas
The UAB Softball team hosted the North Texas Mean Green in a three-game series. As part of the weekend, the final game was Cancer Awareness Day. The team honored those who have been in the battle with cancer. This hits close to home for many in the UAB community including UAB Head Softball Coach Marla Townsend.
“It’s really special,” Townsend said. “I lost my uncle to cancer 30 minutes before the game started [on April 14]. So it’s special for so many reasons. Coach [Kerry] Messersmith’s husband, Hal Messersmith, Norm Reilly, Gene Bartow, just the people we had and our UAB family that we’ve lost to cancer. [It’s good] just knowing that UAB is going to cure cancer one day and the sooner, the better. I’m just proud to work at a place that such notable knowledge that we would literally, not just saying, but we could change the world, and we’re going to.”
In the first game of the series, the Mean Green took the lead in the fourth inning. Pinch hitter Hanna Rebar homered to left-center field, giving North Texas a two-run lead.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, senior left fielder Joanna Fallen stood at second base as sophomore second baseman Analyse Petree walked to the batter’s box. She launched a home run to tie the game.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, the game was still tied. UAB’s senior designated player Mary Warren got on base with a single. UAB junior outfielder Katelyn Prater took Warren’s place at first. Junior catcher Molli Garcia knocked a double to right field. Prater raced around the bases and scored the winning run.
The second game kicked off in the Blazers’ favor with the help of defense and senior right-handed pitcher Cara Goodwin.
Senior centerfielder Amy Waters sent a double to right field to score junior first baseman Rachel Dunsford. Freshman right fielder Destini England continued the scoring as she knocked a triple and scored Waters.
For the rest of the game, the Blazers’ defense and pitching shined. The Mean Green scored only one run in the game. In the end, the Blazers won 2-1.
“I thought we made really good adjustments,” said UAB Softball Head Coach Marla Townsend. “We actually left a lot of runners on [base] yesterday, but I think we’ve made really good adjustments whereas today, I felt like we were chasing some pitches. The pitcher actually did a good job of mixing up her speeds and mixing up her pitches. She had to because we were competing yesterday. But I felt like, for where we were at the previous four games, I felt really strong about our match yesterday, and I even think we had some good ones today. They just made plays on them.”
In the second game of the doubleheader, Goodwin set a personal single-game record of 10 strikeouts.
“I’m just so proud of her,” Townsend said. “I mean, it’s hard when you’re pitching. You’re a senior. People know what you’re going to throw. She did extremely well with throwing that right out in the air, and the curveball was one of the keys to success yesterday, as well. She just wants the ball. She wants the ball every single outing.”
In the final game of the series, the Mean Green took the early lead after Kelli Schkade homered to left field.
During the game, the Blazers were held to two hits.
The Blazers could not manufacture a run and fell to the Mean Green 1-0. UAB’s record after the weekend was 15-27 overall and 7-8 in C-USA.
UAB Softball welcomes the Samford University Bulldogs on Tuesday, April 18 at 6 p.m.
Trinity Dix can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.