UNA eliminates UWA softball from postseason play
HUNTSVILLE – West Alabama’s third consecutive trip to the NCAA Division II Softball Tournament came crashing to a close when North Alabama defeated the Tigers, 7-1, in the South 2 Regional Saturday at Charger Park.
West Alabama ends its season with a 30-20 record, while UNA advanced to play Barry with a 40-19 mark.
“You never like for the end of the season to come, but unfortunately that’s part of it,” UWA head coach Will Atkinson said. “There were only 64 of 264 Division II teams still playing this weekend, so I’m proud of this ball club.
“There have been only four trips to the regionals in West Alabama history and we have done it the last three years,” Atkinson said. “We are headed in the right direction, but it’s time for us to take the next step.”
Callie Steadman and Nikki Hodges had three hits apiece for North Alabama, which got 10 hits and coaxed four walks off four West Alabama pitchers.
All-Gulf South Conference pitcher Sarah Ray (17-9) was the UWA starter and absorbed her second loss of the regional, allowing six hits and three earned runs. Breanna Riley (19-9) went the distance for the UNA win, striking out eight and allowing just five hits.
Michal Robertson’s first-inning single drove in Tamara Vickers to give UWA an early 1-0 lead. Shelby Goodman hit her sixth home run, a solo shot to tie the game in the second and it was all UNA from there. The Lions scored three runs in both the fourth and fifth innings.
Whitney Brown and Taylor Miller both doubled for the Tigers.