FORT MYERS, Fla. - In its first ASUN Softball Championship game, No. 4 North Alabama secured an 8-5 win over No. 5 Kennesaw State Wednesday afternoon at the FGCU Softball Complex behind the arm of Megan Garst and bats of Harley Stokes and Danielle de Ruiter.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Stokes put the game out of reach with a two-out grand slam over the left centerfield wall to give the Lions an 8-1 lead.
North Alabama jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning as Meleah Hargett and Madison Daniel led off the frame with singles. After advancing on a wild pitch, Hargett came home with the game's first run on a throwing error, while Daniel came home on a two-out single by Stokes.
The Lions doubled its lead to 4-0 in the second inning on a two-run home run by de Ruiter. Kennesaw State came back with a run in the bottom half of the inning as Jessie Mullen, who doubled to lead-off, scored on a single by Kira Czyrklis.
Kennesaw State cut the North Alabama lead to 8-5 with a four-run sixth inning. After a pair of walks and a single by Jade Lee to lead-off the inning, Brea Dickey doubled to clear the bases. Hannah Tomason then singled-in Dickey after Garst recorded two strikeouts.
Following a three-hour weather delay with no outs in the top of the seventh inning, Garst came back out and shut the door.
Stokes led the Lions with two hits, one being a grand slam, and five RBIs, while the Owls were led by Hannah Thomason's three hits. Garst (15-5) got the win for UNA pitching all seven innings and recording six strikeouts. Andrews (18-18) suffered the loss for KSU.
No. 4 North Alabama vs. No. 5 Kennesaw State Game Notes
- North Alabama recorded a win in its first-ever ASUN Softball Championship contest
- After sweeping through the tournament last season, Kennesaw State dropped its first game in two years
- With its win today, UNA improves to 3-1 against KSU this season.
- The Owls drop to 12-17 all-time in ASUN Conference Softball Championship history
- North Alabama has allowed only three runs in its last six games
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