Alabama wins Sole SEC Softball Champions
Alabama is taking home their fifth SEC title from Columbia, Missouri. The Tide only needed one more SEC win going into the weekend, and it came Friday night in the second of three against the Missouri Tigers. Alabama in addition to claiming sole possession of the SEC title also won the series on Saturday. Thursday night was the first game against Missouri (41-13, 15-7) in Columbia. Alabama (42-10, 17-5) failed to grab the SEC championship and the win in a game with three lead changes. The loss counted as Jaclyn Traina’s first SEC loss this season. Missouri managed to get the right amount of hits at the right time in the bottom of the sixth, and Alabama could not change the lead one more time. Hailey McCleney batted first in the game and opened in style as she hit a solo homer. The score would remain 1-0 into the second until the Tide doubled their lead to 2-0. The Tigers took it from there and the score was 4-0 heading into the fifth. Then there with bases loaded, something remarkable happened. Kallie Case stepped up to bat and swung hard, unloading the bases all at once for her first career grand slam and her second home run of the season to give the Tide the lead 6-4. Then the Tigers would score four more and win the game, but a very impressive game for Case. Friday night ended with a win for the Crimson Tide, but also something even more special such as sole possession of the conference championship. Great pitching from Sydney Littlejohn (10-1) in her first big road game came through when it mattered most. She made her first SEC start with 6 strikeouts. Alabama struck first in the top of the second and never looked back and insurance was added in the top of the seventh to make it 3-0. Missouri would score one but no more as the Tide won more than just a game. This championship is Alabama’s fifth overall and fourth out of the last five years. Saturday, Alabama (44-10, 19-5) finished its business in Columbia and took the series victory with a 2-0 win. Leslie Jury earned the win in the circle and Littlejohn pitched 2 relief innings. The Tide shutout the Tigers, but both of Alabama’s runs were unearned. All in all, Alabama finished its 2014 regular season strong with another great shutout over a great team. Next week the Tide travels to the other Columbia in South Carolina as USC hosts the SEC tournament. Alabama is the number one seed and will play the winner of 7 and 10 on May 8 at 3pm CT.
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