Alabama Softball’s Easton Crimson Classic
Alabama Softball’s Easton Crimson Classic mirrored the success of last weekend’s Bama Bash, two wins each for Friday and Saturday, but falling short on Sunday. The Crimson Tide opened the weekend Friday with a win over a (5-9-1) Purdue and a (9-4) Houston, and the Tide’s success rolled into Saturday with a win against #9 Florida State (17-2) and finishing off the day with another win against Houston. However Florida State struck back with a win on Sunday, bringing Alabama’s perfect weekend to an end. Alabama started the tournament with Purdue, winning 7-3. Most of the offense came early in the first two innings, scoring two in the first and four in the second. Kaila Hunt hit her 50th career home run in the fourth and was her only hit of the game. Leslie Jury (7-1) threw her longest game with 137 pitches for her seventh complete game victory and held the Boilermakers to only three runs, two of them off a homer in the top of the sixth. Senior Infielder Kaila Hunt said in a statement on hitting her 50th career home run, “Honestly, I didn’t know I hit 50. That is good to know. It is a cool thing to be mentioned with names like Amanda Locke, Charlotte Morgan and Kelly Kretschman. I don’t really keep up with it though I just go and play. “Later in the day, Alabama’s offense exploded against Houston and the Tide had its sixth double-digit game, winning 11-4. Eight out of nine of the batting order had at least one hit, and six runs were scored over the first three innings creating a 6-1 lead early. Peyton Grantham led the team with three runs, one shy of the Cougar total. Jaclyn Traina (4-2) earned her fourth victory of the season holding the Cougars to only three runs off eight hits. Saturday came the big contest against #9 Florida State (17-2) in what everyone expected to be a thrilling matchup, and people were not disappointed with a pitching duel that finished 1-0. Jaclyn Traina took her fifth victory of the season and her first shut-out of the year with nine strikeouts and four hits. For four innings the score was deadlocked at 0 with 11 runners stranded on base when Kaila Hunt hit her 51stSeminoles had a chance late in the seventh with two outs and a runner in scoring position, but Traina struck out the batter and captured the 1-0 victory and Alabama’s first victory over a ranked opponent all year. Head Coach Patrick Murphy: home run of the year to move the Tide up by one. The “The Florida State game was a great win by Jackie. It was awesome defense all the way around. Usually in a pitchers’ duel like that, it’s one key hit and one mistake that will win a game. They gave up one key hit and that’s what did it for us. This was Jackie’s best game of the year by far. She was driven all night. Next on the plate for Bama was a rematch against Houston and the Tide’s offense stunned the Cougars with a 12-1 win in 5 innings. Leslie Jury (8-1) won her eighth of the year allowing only one run off three hits. Alabama scored only one in the first with the score remaining the same until the Tide tacked on three in the fourth to make it 4-0. The Cougars scored their lone run in the bottom of the fourth and the Tide came alive in the fifth. Eight runs were scored off five hits with Lafaele and Spencer hitting homers to claim the huge win. However Alabama’s electric success could not continue into Sunday as the Seminoles denied the Tide a perfect weekend and winning 5-1. Alabama played horrible defense with three errors in the fourth that created a 4-0 deficit that proved impossible to overcome. Leslie Jury lasted 3.2 innings and gave up four runs, but only one was earned. Richard was the only Bama hitter to score with a homer in the fifth preventing a shutout. With the Alabama vs Samford game postponed, the Tide continues their season this weekend opening SEC play against South Carolina on Friday.
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