Tide Stomps UAB For Murphy’s 900th Win

Alabama used a big fifth inning to earn a 10-0 run-rule shutout over UAB Tuesday night in Birmingham. The win gives the Crimson Tide’s Patrick Murphy his 900th career victory as a head coach.

The win gives Murphy a 900-255 all-time record, including a 28-20 record as interim head coach at Northwest Missouri State in 1995 and an 872-235 record in 16-plus seasons at Alabama.

Sixth-ranked Alabama (30-9) wouldn’t score until the third inning but a big seven-run fifth inning sealed the run-rule victory for the Crimson Tide. Eight of the starting nine in Alabama’s lineup would earn a hit, led by Danae Hays and Marisa Runyon with two-hit performances batting fourth and fifth, respectively. The Tide scored five of its 10 runs on a trio of home runs, as Hays, Chaunsey Bell and Jadyn Spencer each knocked out a homer. This is the fourth time this season Alabama has hit three home runs in a game.

Starter Leslie Jury (6-3) went the full five innings for her sixth victory of the season, allowing just two hits in the shutout win.

UAB (24-11) wouldn’t get its first hit until the third inning as the offense could not break through in the run column. Starter Megan Smith (11-6) lasted just 2 1/3 innings, taking the loss.

A leadoff single and a bad throw on the force out attempt at second on a grounder put two on base for Alabama in the top of the second. Following a popup, Spencer would draw a four-pitch walk to load the bases. A grounder back to the pitcher let UAB get the force out at home for out number two and a fly ball got the Blazers out of the jam, stranding the bases loaded to end the top of the second.

After a one-out base hit by Haylie McCleney in the top of the third, Danae Hays would send a line-drive homer over the center field fence to give Alabama a 2-0 lead. That ended Smith’s outing in the circle for UAB as Cara Goodwin entered in the early relief appearance. Goodwin would walk the first batter she faced but Alabama couldn’t tack on any more runs in the top of the third as it remained 2-0. Spencer made it a 3-0 game with the Tide’s second long ball of the day, slamming a towering solo shot to left field with one out in the top of the fourth.

In the top of the fifth, Alabama would draw back-to-back walks to lead off the inning and after a passed ball moved them up a base, Marisa Runyon would drive them both in with a single to right field, making it a 5-0 game. UAB turned to its third pitcher of the night as Madison Hir entered the game and Bell welcomed her to the game with a home run on the very first pitch, stretching the lead to 7-0. Later with two on and two away, Chandler Dare would score a pair with a two-run triple to the right field gap, making it 9-0. An RBI double by Hays would give Alabama a double-digit lead, 10-0, before UAB finally got out of the big half-inning. The Blazers needed to score a pair of runs just to stay alive.

UAB would grab a leadoff single to start the bottom of the fifth, but a great 6-4-3 double play erased the single and brought the Blazers down to its final out if it wanted to avoid the run-rule loss. A groundout to Hays at short would seal the 10-0 victory for Alabama.

On Wednesday Alabama will play Middle Tennessee State in Decatur at the Wilson Morgan Softball Complex. First pitch is at 6:30 p.m. CDT.

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