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Dailey, Bray lead Softball to sweep of North Alabama

Dailey, Bray lead Softball to sweep of North Alabama

By Matt Green

ROME – The Shorter softball team is absolutely on fire. They stayed hot thanks to a big day from Amanda Dailey and a no-hitter from Maddie Bray.

The Lady Hawks ran their winning streak to 16 games and improved to 17-1 overall and 6-0 in the Gulf South Conference with a sweep of league rival North Alabama on Saturday at Alto Park. Game scores were 5-2 and 6-0.

UNA falls to 16-8 overall and 3-5 in conference play.

In the opener, Dailey cranked a three-run, walk off homer in the bottom of the eighth inning to send the Lady Hawks to a 5-2 extra innings win.

Dailey's long ball was her third of the season and helped Shorter seize a victory after North Alabama had rallied from a 2-0 deficit to tie the game at 2 in the sixth.

After Shorter starter Christina Ezell orchestrated a 1-2-3 top half of the eighth, Jackie Castaneda doubled to lead off Shorter's half. Bre Johnson's sacrifice bunt advanced Castaneda to third and Sarah Corn drew a walk before Dailey stepped up and launched a shot over the right field wall for the win.

Castaneda had staked Shorter a 2-0 lead in the third with a two-out, two-run single that plated Felicia Morris and Ezell. UNA responded with Callie Steadman's two-run double in the sixth that tied the game – the Lions got two of their five hits in the frame.

Ezell improved to 6-0 on the season with another outstanding outing in the circle. She went all eight innings and stuck out nine while scattering the five hits.

Castaneda went 3-for-4 at the plate for Shorter while Corn went 2-for-3. Dailey finished 1-for-2, but delivered the biggest hit of the game with her walk off.

In the nightcap, Dailey homered twice more, Morris added a solo shot of her own and Bray tossed a no-hitter as the Lady Hawks finished off the sweep with a 6-0 win.

Dailey finished 3-for-3 with three RBI – she added an RBI single in the first to go along with solo bombs in the fourth and fifth innings – to cap a career day and provide Bray with all the offense she would need. Bray improved to 4-1 on the year and a single walk in the fourth inning prevented her from a perfect game. She only fanned one Lion, but kept that ball on the ground, inducing 13 groundouts to bolster her effort.

Morris' homer came in the third to make it 2-0 in favor of Shorter. After Dailey's first home run in the fourth put the Lady Hawks up 3-0, Shorter loaded the bases and pushed two more across in the frame as Morris was hit by a pitch and Kayla Cooper followed with an RBI single to push the lead to 5-0.

Dailey's second homer of Game 2 caromed off the new scoreboard in left, a towering shot that accounted for the final 6-0 margin.

Morris was the only other Lady Hawk to record multiple hits, going 2-for-2. Shorter tallied eight total hits in the win, as Bray was just too dominant in the circle for UNA.

Shorter continues its home stand tomorrow with another GSC series against Union University. The doubleheader at Alto Park begins at 1 pm.

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