Chilton’s Giles shines for Alabama at Women’s College World Series

Published 12:21 pm Friday, June 7, 2024

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By Carey Reeder | Managing Editor

Chilton County High School alumnus and University of Alabama sophomore Marlie Giles made her presence felt on the biggest stage at the 2024 Women’s College World Series for the Crimson Tide.

For the second consecutive year, Giles slugged a home run in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and virtually kept Alabama in the running for a national championship all by herself against Duke University on May 31. After Alabama fell to UCLA 4-1 in the first round of the double elimination tournament, the Crimson Tide needed someone to step up to avoid elimination.

Enter, Giles.

The sophomore roped a double into right-center field in the top of the first inning to plate the game’s first run and get things started for the Crimson Tide against Duke. The Blue Devils tied it up in the second inning, and the score remained 1-1 until the top of the sixth inning when Giles stepped to the plate again. Giles took her second hit of the game to right center again, this time clearing the outfield wall for a solo home run to put Alabama up 2-1, and the eventual win. Giles was 2-for-3 in the clean-up spot in the Crimson Tide lineup, and accounted for both RBIs that advanced the Crimson Tide in the WCWS.

“(Marlie) saw the ball as big as a basketball tonight, and it was perfect timing with a runner on (in the first inning),” Alabama head softball coach Patrick Murphy said in the press conference following the win. “She hits the double, and then she hits the home run. Two RBIs, one person, and that is all we needed … Scoring first was huge, and I think for us it was like ‘We are here, and we are ready to play.’”

When asked after the game during the press conference about why she is able to come through for her team in the big moments, Giles did not have a straight answer, but credited the Lord greatly.

“To be honest with you, I do not really know,” Giles said. “My dad has always said for some reason the Lord is always with me in big moments, and most of the time I come through for some reason. I just thank the Lord for it because I really do not know. I did not do anything different today warming up compared to yesterday, just today I just saw their pitcher well.”

The Giles’ family was heavily represented in Oklahoma City with her parents and sister all making the trip to support her and the Crimson Tide. They also brought some of Giles’ friends from Chilton County, and they could be heard loud and clear during Alabama’s three games at the WCWS.

“It is definitely something special, and I know last year it was just my parents and my sister did not get to come, but this year she was able to come and brought a little bit of our crew back from where I am from in Chilton County,” Giles said. “I heard them yelling in the stands every single inning, and I love them being here. I am so blessed to have them in my corner.”

Giles’ shining moment at the WCWS did not come without some adversity, as she fought through a broken arm injury this season that sidelined her for some time. However, the sophomore was able to rejoin the team and establish herself as one of the most clutch hitters in the Southeastern Conference following her postseason performances.

“It has definitely been a long year and journey for sure, and I know for me personally, I have put my faith in God through the whole process and that has really helped me come back as fast as possible,” Giles said. “Even when I was out I was in (my teammates) ear every game still being with them and working through it with them. Then,when I was able to come back and be on the field with them again, it was really special.”

Giles and the Crimson Tide fell to Florida University 6-4 on June 2 to end their season with a record of 39-20. Giles was 2-for-4 in the final game with a pair of singles and a run scored.