The methodology was a mystery – most of the crowd left Rhoads Stadium on Tuesday night not sure how, exactly, the ninth-ranked University of Alabama softball team scored its final run–but the result was satisfying.
The Crimson Tide made an early night’s work of UAB in an 8-0, five-inning victory via the mercy rule. The final run was scored in the bottom of the fifth inning when UAB catcher Molli Garcia’s mitt got in the way of Chandler Dare’s swing with the bases loaded, resulting in a catcher’s interference call that brought in the run to invoke the mercy rule.
“I’ve never seen that before,” Alabama coach Patrick Murphy said.
UA’s coach did see some familiar, and comforting, developments. Sophomore left-hander Madi Moore (4-1) made her first start since sustaining a concussion in March. She held UAB to three hits with no walks and no strikeouts in the shutout victory.
“She just stuck with it, stuck with it, stuck with it,” Murphy said. “She gets an opportunity and gives up three singles, no walks, no strikeouts. We help her out with two double plays, and she just fills up the strike zone.”
Moore learned on Monday that she’d be starting.
“I was excited,” she said. “I just wanted to go and execute and get the job done. It was a good game. It was fun to pitch.”
Alabama (36-7) flashed some power offensively to put the Blazers away. First baseman Peyton Grantham singled in the bottom of the second inning and scored on Merris Schroder’s triple to left field. Schroder came home on Carrigan Fain’s sacrifice fly to make it 2-0.
Grantham came up with the bases loaded in the third and blasted a grand slam to up UA’s lead to 6-0.
After that, it was just a question of whether UA could invoke the mercy rule. It happened in the bottom of the fifth: Gabby Callaway reached on an error and scored when Reagan Dykes was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, and the catcher’s interference call with Dare at bat ended it.
Alabama will visit Tennessee for a three-game series Saturday through Monday.
Reach Tommy Deas at email@example.com or at 205-722-0224.