Courtesy: Alabama Athletics Communications
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama softball was efficient in its 8-0 win Tuesday over UAB, needing just 90 minutes to score eight runs, including a catcher’s interference call to end it in the bottom of the fifth.
“I’ve never seen that before,” UA Head Coach Patrick Murphy said on the game-ending catcher’s interference call. “The catcher had her glove in the way of the swing. As Chandler Dare was running down to first, she said to Aly [Habetz] that the bat hit the glove. The umpire gave me the choice of the play result or the base, so we took the base.”
Aside from the game-ending call, timely hitting and patience at the plate gave Alabama (36-7) all the cushion it would need over UAB (13-26) with eight runs scored on six hits and five walks. Peyton Grantham went 2-4, including a third-inning grand slam, the first for Alabama this season and the second of Grantham’s career. On the other side of the ball, Madi Moore (4-1) tossed a gem in the circle, needing just 44 pitches over 5.0 innings. Stellar defense behind her helped the cause as well, turning a pair of inning-ending double plays.
“I’m really proud of Madi,” Murphy said. “She really stuck with it. She only gave up three singles and we helped her out with two double plays. She just filled up the strike zone which was great to see. We’re going to need her the rest of the season. There’s going to come a time when we’re going to be out there in a big situation. The whole team believes in her.”
Following a one-out single by Grantham in the bottom of the second, Merris Schroder dropped a ball into center field that got past the UAB defender to the wall for a triple, scoring Grantham to make it 1-0. Sydney Booker battled in the next at-bat, fouling off seven pitches to ultimately draw an 11-pitch walk before stealing second to put two in scoring position. Carrigan Fain lifted a fly ball into right to score Schroder on the sacrifice fly before a groundout ended the inning with Alabama up 2-0.
Back-to-back singles and a walk quickly loaded the bases for Alabama in the bottom of the third until Grantham brought everybody home with a towering grand slam to left field, swelling the Tide’s lead to 6-0. Gabby Callaway reached on an error to start the bottom of the fifth and a pair of walks eventually loaded the bases with two out. Pinch-hitter Reagan Dykes was hit by a pitch to earn the RBI and make it 7-0 with the bases still loaded.
On the first pitch of her at-bat, Dare flew out to center as UAB left the field on what looked to be the final out of the inning but the home plate ump declared that the Blazer catcher’s glove had interfered with Dare’s swing. On a catcher’s interference call, the batting team can take the result of the play or award the batter the base, so everyone instead moved up 60 feet as Schroder crossed the plate as the game-ending run to cap the Tide’s 8-0 run-rule victory.
Next up, Alabama hits the road for a three-game series at No. 16/14 Tennessee in Knoxville, starting Saturday, April 15 at 5 p.m. CT.