West Alabama softball plays long ball to sweep Delta State

Published 9:15 am Monday, March 18, 2013

CLEVELAND, Miss. – Stephanie Shoup blasted two of four West Alabama home runs as the Tigers swept Delta State in a Gulf South Conference softball doubleheader Sunday at University Field. UWA won the first game, 4-2, and took the second game, 8-3.

“We got hits when we needed to get them,” UWA head coach Will Atkinson said. “Shoup was locked in today and the balls she hit were lasers. We got several big hits in key spots and that is always good to see.”

The sweep improved 17th-ranked West Alabama’s record to 17-6 overall and 8-4 in GSC play. Delta State fell to 11-15 and 5-7.

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The Tigers play games five and six of 10-game road swing at Shorter on Wednesday starting at noon central time. Atkinson comes into the doubleheader at Shorter needing just one win for his 200th victory at West Alabama.

After Brooklyn Phillips hit her third home run of the season and Whitney Brown doubled twice in a 4-2 UWA victory in game one, the Tigers trailed the Lady Statesmen by a run in the nightcap before exploding for four runs in the top of the sixth inning on the strength of home runs by Shoup and Michal Robertson. Shoup added a three-run blast in the seventh to put the game on ice for the Tigers.

Shoup, who now has three homers this season, drove in five runs in game two. Robertson’s home run was her second of the season. Tamara Vickers and Scarlett Wright contributed a pair of hits in the opener for UWA, Kelsey Cooper had two hits in the second game for the Tigers.

“We had a nice day bouncing back from not playing well at Christian Brothers on Saturday,” Atkinson said. “Anytime you can go on the road and win three out of four it’s a good weekend, but truthfully we should have won four.”

Sarah Ray (10-1) worked five innings, scattering five hits while not allowing an earned run for the pitching win in the first game. Ashley Osier worked the last two innings for her first save. Osier (3-0) picked up the win the in the nightcap in relief of starter Jessica Brock. Taylor Tucker earned her fifth save. Brittany Gonzales (6-6) and Lauren Kendall (3-7) absorbed the losses for Delta State.

“We pitched well as a team today. We made the pitches we had to make in tough spots,” Atkinson said. “Osier got the outs she needed to get in the first game and Tucker came into a bases-loaded jam up 5-2 in the second game and did just what she needed to do.”