Monday, April 12, 2010

UNA earns split after Watts' gem

By From staff reports, The Decatur Daily

After dropping a 6-3 decision to No. 24 Arkansas-Monticello in the early game, the North Alabama softball team was able to salvage a split for the day by defeating Christian Brothers 4-0 on Sunday to wrap up play at the Gulf South Conference Crossover at Decatur’s Wilson Morgan Park.

The split on the final day gives the Lions a 22-25 overall record, including a 4-3 mark at the four-day event. UNA is also 9-12 in league play and leaves the Crossover in the same position it entered tied with West Alabama for the fourth and final spot for the upcoming GSC tournament.

North Alabama was able to pull even with the Tigers by downing CBU in the final game. Laurin Watts (8-13) picked up her third career shutout after striking out nine in the complete-game victory.

The freshman’s performance in the circle was much needed because of the lack of offensive output in recent games. Against CBU, the Lions scored four runs off seven hits but left 13 runners on base.

Andrea Palmer was 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored as UNA plated single runs in the top of the second, third, fifth and sixth innings to get the win.

In the early game, the Lions committed a season-high five errors in the 6-3 loss. Only three of UAM’s runs were earned as the Cotton Blossoms took a 6-0 lead into the seventh inning. UNA was able to plate three runs before watching the rally fall short.

A two-out triple by Emily Barnes scored Allie Peterson and Ally Pridmore to break up the shutout. Palmer singled home Barnes to make the score 6-3 before UAM’s Faith Lund entered to pick up the save by recording the final out of the game.

Palmer and Peterson had two hits each in the game while Jennifer Sexton took the loss in the circle.

With the loss, Sexton falls to 14-12 after allowing six runs off 10 hits in six innings of work.

North Alabama will step outside of GSC play to close out the home portion of its 2010 schedule next week.

The Lions will host Miles on Tuesday at 4 p.m.

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