Carrigan Fain waited four years for this.
Alabama softball’s senior from Mt. Olive has caught 1,000 bullpens. She has cheered on teammates from the dugout. But her opportunities to play have been infrequent.
Fain got to be a hero for the first time Sunday. She drove in the only run in a 1-0 victory over Samford at Rhoads Stadium.
It happened on her Senior Day. She reached first base as the run crossed, pumped her fists and screamed in joy. She hugged assistant coach Alyson Habetz.
Ask Fain and she’ll tell you the wait was worth it.
“I was just really happy that finally all my hard work came through,” she said. “Honestly it was up to the team: They set that up perfectly.”
Fain, a backup catcher, started at first base. Reagan Dykes, the starting catcher, set the plate for her when she beat out an infield single. Elissa Brown entered to pinch run and stole second. Maddie Morgan dropped a sacrifice bunt to move the runner to third with one out.
That brought up Fain, who hit a single up the middle for an RBI.
“My role is really more of a support role,” Fain said. “I am here all the time for my sisters. I will do whatever they need, whether that’s warming up the pitchers or work with the other catchers, whatever the coaches need me to do.”
Head coach Patrick Murphy appreciates Fain’s attitude.
“Just really, really happy for her,” he said. “Couldn’t happen to a better kid.
“I think she’s one of the best examples of a servant-leader. She asks what she can do for others instead of what are you going to do for me. She does things behind the scenes that I’ll probably never know concerning teammates and chemistry and things like that.”
Alabama pitcher Courtney Gettins (7-1), a junior college transfer from New Zealand, pitched herself into and out of a bases-loaded situation in the first inning. She allowed seven hits with three walks and worked through runners-in-scoring position situations in the fifth and sixth innings.
She allowed a two-out single in the seventh and UA turned to Alexis Osorio to finish it. Osorio, who had already thrown a no-hitter and struck out 21 batters in another game to tie an NCAA record on the weekend, needed all of three pitches to end the game on a strikeout for her third save of the season.
Samford left-hander Taylor DeCelles (3-7) pitched a gem, holding Alabama to one run on four hits in a hard-luck loss.
Alabama (17-5) will visit Georgia Tech on Wednesday.