BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Alabama softball posted its sixth shutout of the season on the road Tuesday night, defeating UAB 4-0 at Mary Bowers Field.
Six of the nine players in the starting lineup for Alabama (10-2) earned a hit, including a 2-for-3 performance from freshman KB Sides with an RBI single. Freshman Kaylee Tow's lone hit was a solo home run, her third long ball of the season, with additional RBIs coming off the bats of sophomore Bailey Hemphill and junior Merris Schroder. UAB (6-10) was limited to just four hits, with junior Courtney Gettins (4-0) tossing 5.0 shutout innings in the start and senior Alexis Osorio earning her first save of the season, striking out six batters over 2.0 innings in relief.
With one out in the top of the first inning, Tow blasted a solo home run to right-center, giving Alabama the early 1-0 lead. UAB led off the bottom-half of the inning with back-to-back singles and a sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position but a popup and groundout left them stranded and kept the Tide in front by one.
In the top of the fourth, sophomore Gabby Callaway led off the inning with a hard-hit shot to center field for a single and advanced to second on a fielding error in the outfield. A single from Hemphill put runners at the corners but a good throw from the UAB shortstop in the next at-bat caught Callaway trying to score on a fielder's choice for out number one. A walk to sophomore Claire Jenkins loaded the bases and Sides dropped an RBI single into left field to move everyone up 60 feet. An RBI groundout from Schroder made it a 3-0 game before a fly ball to left ended the half-inning.
Alabama stranded a runner on second in the top of the fifth and two on in the top of the sixth, unable to add to its 3-0 lead. In the bottom half of the inning, Osorio entered to pitch in the save situation, putting a runner on with a hit-by-pitch but striking out three to keep it a three-run game.
In the top of the seventh, senior Peyton Grantham led off the inning with a standup double and moved to third on a bunt single from senior Rachel Bobo, who entered as a defensive replacement in the previous inning. On the first pitch of her at-bat, Hemphill lifted a long fly ball to center field as Grantham tagged up and scored on the sacrifice fly. Alabama took its 4-0 lead into the bottom of the seventh and Osorio shut the door, striking out the side to cap the shutout victory.
This weekend, Alabama travels to Seattle, Wash., for the Husky Classic, hosted by Washington. There, the Tide will play two games against the Huskies as well as single games against BYU, Portland State and Northwestern starting Friday, March 2.