FLORENCE, Ala. — Down 1-0 in the fourth inning, 13th ranked Alabama scored five runs in the fourth inning and went on to a 5-2 win over North Alabama in front of more than 4,000 fans at the Florence SportsPlex.
The attendance was the largest ever for a North Alabama home softball game.
Alabama improved to 21-6 with the win, while UNA suffered just its third loss of the season and drops to 17-3.
North Alabama scored the game’s first run in the second inning when Georgia Land got a leadoff single and Holley Files came on to pinch run. Haven Kirby then drove on Files to give the Lions a 1-0 lead. UNA left two runners on base.
UNA starter Maci Birdyshaw had allowed just one hit over the first three innings but the Crimson tied got three straight hits to start the fourth. Ally Shipman doubled and scored on a Bailey Dowling RBI-single. Emma Broadfoot drove in two more runs with a double to make it 3-1. Ashley Prange then scored on a sacrifice fly for the fourth run and Broadfoot scored on a Kristen White single to make it 5-1.
North Alabama left two more runners on in the fifth inning before adding a run in the sixth. Land drew a leadoff walk and eventually scored on a Gracie Benton RBI-single. Just prior to that at bat, Kirby hit what would have been a three-run home run but Alabama’s Jenna Johnson went through a temporary fence to make a dramatic catch for the out. UNA left two more runners on base in that inning.
In the seventh, UNA’s Felicity Frame singled and Sidney Bevis was hit-by-pitch, forcing Alabama to bring in star pitcher Montana Fouts to save the game. Fouts retired the only three batters that she faced to earn her third save of the season. The first out was a strikeout of Hailey Jones, marking her 1,000th career strikeout.
Birdyshaw (7-2) took the loss for UNA. She pitched 3.1 innings, allowing five runs on five hits.