MONTGOMERY — The University of Alabama in Huntsville softball team saw its magical run come to a close on Saturday, as the Chargers fought off elimination with a 4-2 win against top-seed Auburn Montgomery in the day's first game before falling 3-0 in the deciding contest to AUM. UAH ends the year with a 41-17 record, while the Warhawks move on to the Super Regional at 46-10.
UAH 4, Auburn Montgomery 2
In the day's first game, it was a masterful pitching performance from Layton Murphy combined with one big offensive inning that helped the Chargers force the deciding final game of the regional.
Shelby Booker – who finished the contest with a 3-for-4 showing – got the big third inning going with a single into the gap in left center, and she then scored when Kiara Akles singled into right and the ball got away from the AUM right fielder allowing Booker to scamper home.
Later in the frame, Mackenzie Nutt drove in Akles and Alaina Hampton to make it 3-0, and an RBI single off the bat of Lila Young produced a 4-0 advantage.
Murphy – who finished the contest allowing just five hits while striking out two on her way to picking up her 20th win – then dialed up a pair of 1-2-3 innings before AUM scored a single run in both the sixth and seventh innings to create the 4-2 final.
UAH totaled nine hits in the game with Nutt going 2-for-2 while also having a sacrifice.
AUM 3, UAH 0
Murphy would pitch the final game of her career, displaying an incredible resilience in turning around and pitching seven more innings after picking up the victory in the day's first contest.
She was terrific once more, not allowing a run until the Warhawks struck with a run in the first before adding on a pair in the sixth.
Alanna Goble – who UAH knocked out in the third inning of the first game – bounced back and pitched the shutout for the Warhawks, limiting the Chargers to just three hits, but she also received plenty of help from the defense behind her who made several spectacular plays to keep UAH off the board.
The contest marked the final one for six UAH players including Murphy, Akles, Booker, Hampton, Nutt, and Eve Mallard.
Murphy finishes her tenure in the Blue and White with 73 victories, and so she will leave Huntsville with the fourth-most career wins in program history. Akles ends with 53 homers and 219 RBI which rank third and fifth, respectively, while Hampton leaves with 52 doubles to rank eighth in UAH history.
Booker set the program record for career triples with 14 earlier in the regional.