BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – UAB (19-7) plated two runs in the bottom of the fifth and held off a scrappy late-inning effort from the Mississippi State softball team (20-10) as the Bulldogs fell by a narrow 2-1 margin Tuesday night at the UAB Softball Field. The loss snapped MSU’s 13-game non-conference winning streak, which tied for the third longest such streak in school history.
“Timely hitting is what it is all about, and UAB had some great timely hitting with two runs in the bottom of the fifth,” Head Coach Vann Stuedeman said. “We just fell a little bit short tonight.”
The junior trio of Sam Lenahan (1-for-3, RBI), Logan Foulks (1-for-2, walk) and Heidi Shape (1-for-3) collected the hits for the Maroon and White, while sophomore Swayze Hollenhead was responsible for the Bulldogs’ only run.
Earning the starting assignment, junior Alison Owen went 4.2 innings, falling to 10-4 on the year after giving up two runs on five hits and a walk. Senior southpaw Stephanie Becker closed out the game for MSU with 1.1 hitless innings. The Blazers’ Lannah Campbell (5-1) picked up the win with 10 strikeouts in a complete-game effort.
Deadlocked in a scoreless tie heading to the bottom of the fifth, the home team started a two-out rally when nine-hole hitter Amy Dennis singled to the gap in right field. Moving to the top of the Blazers’ lineup, Caitlin Attfield followed up with a single to put two on the bags. The Green and Gold broke the scoreless drought with an RBI single to center, and then added another run with an infield RBI single to the five-six hole by Whitney Fletcher.
The Bulldogs barked back in the top of the sixth, starting a two-out rally of their own. With two gone, Hollenhead pinch hit for senior Shelby Fisher and drew a four-pitch base on balls. Hollenhead scored all the way from first thanks to an RBI double down the right-field line courtesy of Lenahan. Lenahan was stranded in scoring position to end the inning when Foulks struck out looking.
“Swayze had an incredible pinch hit and Sam responded with a great barrel down the right-field line,” Stuedeman explained. “I loved the way we responded after UAB scored its first two runs.”
State had one last chance in the seventh when senior Jessica Cooley led off the final frame with a walk. The Birmingham, Ala., native sprinted to second on a groundout to the right side by Shape. With the tying run in scoring position, Campbell retired pinch hitter Briana Bell and sophomore third baseman Julia Echols to end the game.
Starkville's Team returns to SEC play this weekend for a three-game series against SEC West rival Auburn. The Tigers take on the Bulldogs Friday at 6 p.m., before wrapping up the series with a 1 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday. Admission is free for those that can attend, but for those that cannot, live video and audio streaming of the series will be available online to HailStateTV subscribers (www.HailState.com/hstvlive).
For live in-game updates of MSU's weekend series, follow the program on Twitter at @MStateSB. For pictures, like the team on Facebook at Facebook.com/MStateSB and visit the team's Instagram account at MStateSB. For pregame and postgame video, check out MSU's official YouTube channel at YouTube.com/HailState.