20th Ranked USA Softball Mercy-Rule 21th Ranked UAB 8-0 In 5 Innings

February 7, 2014 · By · Filed Under Softball 
Junior Farish Beard struck out 10 against 21st ranked UAB for the Jaguars first win of 2014. | Photo usajaguars.com

Junior Farish Beard struck out 10 against 21st ranked UAB for the Jaguars first win of 2014. | Photo usajaguars.com

Farish Beard led the #20 ranked South Alabama Jaguar Softball team to a mercy rule win over #21 UAB on Thursday night at the newly renovated Jaguar Field. Beard struck out 10 batters while only allowing one hit to lead the Jaguars to the 8-0 win in five innings.

Beard, a Fairhope, AL native, earned her 10th career double-digit strikeout performance of her career and extended her shutout streak to 38 1/3 innings dating back to the 2013 postseason.

The Jaguars first runs came in the first inning on a Blazer error when Kristen McGrath dropped Kaitlyn Griffith’s fly to the right field wall which allowed Julie Moss to score from second base.

Stephanie Pilkington smashed a two-RBI single through the right side of the UAB defense. Blair Johnson got an RBI on a sacrifice fly to center field to score Amanda Herron to give the Jaguars a 4-0 run after two innings.

In the top of the third, after a strikeout and a forced groundout, two Blazers got on base with a single up the middle and a hit batter. But Beard would strike out the next batter to end the inning.

Freshman Chloe Rathburn would extend the Jaguar led to seven on a three-run homer to center field in only her second collegiate at-bat to score Moss and Griffith.

Beard struck out all three batters she faced in the top of the fourth inning. In the bottom half, Pilkington got her third RBI on a triple that scored Gwen Jones to give the Jaguars their 8-0 score.

Beard then struck out her 10th batter before forcing a pop-up to third and fielding a grounder up the middle an throwing out the runner at first to earn the Jaguars first win of 2014.

Beard has not lost a decision in her last 36 appearances.

Jaguar head coach Becky Clark spoke about Beard’s performance by saying, “There’s been a lot of distractions going on – the construction, the hype and that kind of stuff – so I thought for her to give us that kind of outing on day one was huge, especially in the cold tonight.”

USA out hit the Blazers 7-1 on the night. UAB’s Lannah Campbell, the twin sister of Jaguar Hannah Campbell, took the loss for the Blazers by giving up seven runs, six earned, and allowing six hits and a walk.

“I think that was about the best way you could possibly start off a season,” Clark said. “I thought the hitters were phenomenal tonight. They were balanced at the plate and waited on pitches they could drive. I thought [the young players] did a great job. They looked like they’ve been playing for us for years.”

The 2014 Mardi Gras invitational will continue through Sunday at Jaguar Field. The Jaguars will face Syracuse at 5;45 this evening.

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