By (Ben Boynton)

On February 28, Alabama beat the UAB Blazers in extra innings in Birmingham, Ala., as junior shortstop Sydney Booker drew a bases-loaded walk to win in eight innings. Sophomore pitcher Madi Moore started that game but took a no-decision, giving up three runs in two innings pitched.

On a Tuesday night rematch in Rhoads Stadium, Moore made her first start since that game and earned a win with a three-hit shutout, as Alabama won 8-0 in five innings.

“I just wanted to go and execute and get the job done,” Moore said. “Mentally, I feel like I’m in a way better place than I was at the beginning of the season, and I came out not only physically strong…but my mental game was just on point no matter what the pitch was. I just felt good in attacking batters.”

Moore missed time between starts with a concussion, but recovered and made a few relief appearances. Head coach Patrick Murphy said that her having a start like this one would be key to the team’s future.

“Really proud of Madi, she just stuck with it, and she got an opportunity…and she just fills up the strike zone,” Murphy said. “We’re going to need her the rest of the season too. There’s going to come a time when she’s going to have to be out there in a big situation…so this should help her.”

Alabama put up two runs in the second inning, one with an RBI triple from sophomore left fielder Merris Schroder and the other off a sacrifice fly from junior catcher Carrigan Fain. In the third inning, junior Peyton Grantham took advantage of a bases-loaded situation and hit a grand slam to extend the lead to 6-0.

“We just talked about getting runs on the board for Madi to try to give her some confidence,” Grantham said. “We just tried to get confidence for her and to be able to do that it felt good.”

The last two runs of the game came in the fifth inning. Sophomore catcher Reagan Dykes came in as a pinch-hitter for freshman second baseman Claire Jenkins with the bases loaded and was hit by a pitch, bringing a run home. With the bases still loaded, senior right fielder Chandler Dare appeared to fly out to left field, but the umpire called for catcher’s interference on the swing and Dare took first, scoring Schroder.

“The umpire came up to me and asked ‘Do you want the results of the play or the base’,” Murphy said. “Chandler when she was running down to first said to (assistant coach) Ally (Habetz) ‘I hit her glove, I hit her glove’ and he saw it, or he heard it. Yeah I’ve never seen that before.”

Next up for Alabama is a three-game road trip to Knoxville, Tenn., where the Crimson Tide takes on a red-hot Tennessee team that has won 17 straight games. The first game is on Saturday at 5 p.m.

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports