Lions softball sweeps rival West Alabama

Junior third baseman Shelby Woodard returns to the dugout in North Alabama’s Feb. 25 game versus Shorter at the UNA Softball Complex. The Lions swept rival West Alabama March 18-19 to improve to 9-6 in Gulf South Conference games on the season. 

With a series sweep over the visiting rival West Alabama Tigers March 18-19, North Alabama softball has climbed back into the thick of the Gulf South Conference standings.

After a 6-6 start in conference play, the Lions improved to 9-6 in GSC play and now sit four games outside of first place in the conference at the midway point of the season.

Head coach Ashley Cozart said instead of focusing on the standings, she emphasizes the team to take a series-by-series approach.

“It feels really good to get the win this weekend,” she said. “I’m proud of how the girls came out fighting and showed emotion throughout the series. We had to win these three games, and we did that.”

In game one, the Lions were seemingly in a tight game through three innings with a 2-1 lead, but in the bottom of the fourth, freshman catcher Sydney Sanderson hit a RBI double to put UNA up 4-1. The Lions and Tigers exchanged a few more runs but UNA held on for the 5-2 win.

Later that evening in game two, the Lions picked back up where they left off. Freshman utility player Sabrina Gilliam and junior shortstop Reagan Tittle each had RBI singles in the opening frame. Tittle later scored on a error to put the Lions up 3-0 in the first. UNA would go on to win the game 5-3.

In the series finale, UNA did not let up, as the Lions thumped UWA for a 9-2 win. Sophomore Shelby Woodard led a barrage of Lions sluggers during the game with two hits, three RBIs and a home run on the day.

“It feels good to have the girls behind my back when I’m at the plate,” Woodard said. “Going in the box and seeing the ball is all you have to do. It’s a real simple game, and we’re getting where we need to be.”

The Lions will travel to Cleveland, Mississippi, to take on the Delta State Lady Statesmen March 25-26 before hosting rival Alabama-Huntsville April 1-2.