Kaitlyn Bannister's slam leads No. 2 Alabama-Huntsville past West Florida
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- Kaitlyn Bannister hit a go-ahead grand slam in the fifth inning, sending the second-ranked University of Alabama in Huntsville to a 6-4 win against West Florida on Saturday afternoon. The Chargers improve to 19-4 (8-4 Gulf South Conference) with the victory while UWF slips to 19-14 (8-6 GSC).
The win gives UAH its third consecutive GSC series win.
With the Chargers trailing 4-2, the UAH offense strung together three consecutive singles to start the fifth inning with Emily Glover, Mary Kelley, and Tyler Harrison recording the hits that brought Bannister up to the plate with the bases loaded.
The Albertville, Ala., native then took one Taylor Bailey pitch outside of the strike zone before depositing the next offering over the fence in center to produce the 6-4 advantage for the hosts, and the big blast marked the first collegiate homer for Bannister.
The homer is just the second of the year for a Charger offense that usually relies on its speed more than its power.
Whitney Toler (1) then entered the game and pitched two perfect innings, retiring the Argos in order to save the win for Taylor Doriety (5-1) who tossed 4.2 innings, surrendering just one run while scattering five hits.
Eight different Chargers had hits in the contest as UAH registered 11 hits to West Florida's nine, and both Macie Couey and Kelley picked up a pair. UAH was also strong on the base paths once again, going 6-for-6 in stolen base attempts with Victoria Frith and Couey both swiping two bags.
Kelley notched her fourth sacrifice fly in the last three games to open the scoring for UAH, cutting an early 3-0 lead for the Argos to 3-1 in the first inning, and she pulled the Chargers to within two in the bottom of the third with her 10th double of the year as Couey scored on the play to make it 3-2.
West Florida added its final run of the contest to provide the visitors with a 4-2 lead at that point.