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No. 2 Alabama Softball Sweeps South Carolina, Prepares For Georgia

It took a walk-off home run for the second ranked Alabama Crimson Tide softball team to beat the South Carolina Gamecocks on Saturday evening. Sunday’s game wasn’t near as close.

The Tide took the momentum generated by senior Cassie Reilly-Boccia’s walk-off home run and used it to dismantle the Gamecocks in the series’ final game on Sunday. The Tide won 19-4. Sophomore pitcher Jackie Traina struck out eight batters on her way to securing her 26th win of the season.

Alabama got things going in the first inning when Reilly-Boccia walked to bring senior Jennifer Fenton home. That was just the beginning. The next batter, Amanda Locke hit a grand slam to left center field and gave the Tide a 5-0 lead at that point. The next batter was Jackie Traina, and she did everything possible to help her cause. Traina homered to center field to improve Alabama’s lead to 6-0. Freshman Danae Hays stepped into the batter’s box and homered to left field giving Alabama a 7-0 lead heading to just the second inning.

Speaking of the second inning, Alabama continued to add to its lead the next time it returned to the plate. Senior Jazlyn Lunceford hit an RBI double. Just a few batters later, Cassie Reilly-Boccia hit a double driving in two more runs. Danae Hays patiently battled the Gamecock pitcher until she finally drew a walk. Her patience not only awarded her with a free base, but it also drove in another run toincrease the Tide lead to 10-0.

Later in the inning, Jennifer Fenton hit a three-run double to give the Tide a 15-1 lead. Sophomore Kaila Hunt finished the inning off with a single into right field to move Alabama’s lead to 16-1.  The Gamecocks scored three runs in the fourth inning, but 16-4 was as close as they got to Alabama.  The Tide added three runs in the bottom of the fourth to give it a 19-4 lead, and that would prove to be more than enough. The Tide won in five innings to give Alabama its fifth sweep of a conference opponent this season.

Alabama improved to 40-2 on the season and 17-2 in Southeastern Conference play.

Now, Alabama turns its focus to the state of Georgia. Georgia State will travel to play the Crimson
Tide on Tuesday, April 17th at Rhoads Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.

After the midweek game against Georgia State, Alabama will travel to Athens, Ga., to take on the
University of Georgia softball team. Georgia is currently the 17th ranked team in America, and will be
another tough test for the Crimson Tide. This will be Alabama’s second-to-last conference series on the
road this season.

The Tide is undefeated (11-0) on the road this season, and a tough series away from Rhoads Stadium
could be very good preparation for the sometimes hostile postseason environment. The battle-tested
Crimson Tide will have their hands full, but at 40-2 on the season, no order is too tall.

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