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Alabama Softball – Bama Bash Recap

DSC_9111Alabama hosted the Easton Bama Bash this weekend opening on Friday with two wins with a dominant performance over Virginia Tech and rallying in the sixth to defeat UCF. The Tide’s success continued into Saturday slugging it out against Tech to win 14-5 and an intense pitching battle to win 1-0 over Central Florida. However the Tide was upset on Sunday, falling to McNeese State 5-3 as the Cowgirls took advantage of every opportunity to win.

(10-2) Alabama’s day started on Friday with a (6-3) Virginia Tech. The Tide exploded with offense, scoring six in the first two innings, and Leslie Jury (4-1) almost pitched a no hitter but still pitched a shutout, her third of the season. Jadyn Spencer jumpstarted the Crimson Tide in the bottom of the first with a RBI double, Kaila Hunt had a RBI single, and then Mollie Fichtner had a RBI double to make it a 3-0 game early. Spencer came back out in the second and brought home two runs with a triple and then stealing home off a wild pitch to double the lead. The score stayed 6-0 until the bottom of the fifth when Danielle Richard hit a double to bring in two runs and complete the run-rule victory.000_4494

Alabama’s night wasn’t done as they played the UCF Knights to end the first day. The Tide scored first as McCleney and Richard both hit doubles to make the game 1-0 in the top of the first. UCF would tie it in the bottom of the second and then take a 3-1 lead off of RBI doubles in the third. Alabama trailed the majority of the game but started to click in the top of the sixth when Richard brought two home with a double. Spencer later came home to make it 4-3, with McCleney padded the lead, hitting her first ever grand slam in the top of the seventh to make it the final 8-3.

The Crimson Tide’s (now 12-2) success rolled into Saturday as Alabama came alive winning 14-5 against VT to start the day earning a season high fourteen hits. The bigger story was the game was head coach Patrick Murphy’s 800th career win at Alabama.

DSC_9106Murphy said after the game, “I have been blessed to be with such great coaches and players over the years. That has been what it is all about: great coaches and great players who have won all those games.”

The game was tied 1-1 but the Tide outscored Tech 10-3 in the last four innings. Kallie Case went 4-5 and tied the single game record for bases stolen at four and Littlejohn remained undefeated in pitching.

Alabama’s next game Saturday against UCF was a pitching battle as the game’s only run came in the final inning. Leslie Jury (5-1) earned the win in the circle, striking out six with just two hits allowed. The game came down to a nail-biting finish in the final inning as Richard came to the plate with bases loaded. She grounded out to the SS, who threw it home for the force out and the second out. Then Fichtner came to the plate with bases loaded and two outs and hit a high fly ball to center field. The inning looked to be over, but UCF’s outfielder made an unlikely error, allowing Iamurri to cross the plate and win the game.000_4525

Sunday, ninth ranked Alabama’s undefeated Bama Bash came to an end as McNeese State upset the Tide 5-3. Jacklyn Traina (3-2) suffered her second loss of the season surrendering five runs with four off of seven hits. McNeese went ahead early in the top of the second 2-0 and stayed in the lead for the remainder of the game. Two home runs (Lafaele’s in the second and Hunt’s in the fifth) chipped the score to 4-2, but McNeese would score again and the Tide would fail to tie it up as McNeese’s pitcher Allred struck out Richard for the Tide’s final chance. Alabama scored three off nine hits and left 11 on base in the game.

DSC_9139Senior Infielder Kaila Hunt said: “We couldn’t get the hit when we needed it. We left 11 people on base and they only left three. They took advantage of their opportunities. We had about the same number of hits and we just didn’t get the hit when we had runners in scoring position and we needed them. [Allred] was throwing it on the outside corner and just weren’t hitting them. We were just not making solid contact, hitting the bottom half of the ball. We made adjustments, but it was just too late.”

The Tide travels to Birmingham to play UAB (3-7) on Tuesday and finishes off the Easton Bama Bash (4-1).

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