Tide Softball Wins All-Alabama Classic

VESTAVIA HILLS – The No.3 ranked Alabama softball team claimed the inaugural Hibbett Sports/Easton All-Alabama Classic title by earning two wins on Sunday. The Crimson Tide downed South Alabama, 6-0, and then defeated Troy, 9-1 to improve to a perfect 5-0 on the season.

In its first game Sunday, Alabama downed South Alabama, 6-0 to open the final day of the tournament. Freshman Jackie Traina earned the win in the circle, going six innings, allowing only two hits while striking out nine. She also got the job done at the plate. The rookie batted 2-for-4 with two RBI.

Juniors Jazlyn Lunceford and Jennifer Fenton both went deep for the Tide while fellow junior Cassie Reilly-Boccia collected two hits and scored two runs.

After a quiet first couple of innings the Crimson Tide awoke with two outs in the third. Fenton continued her torrid start to the season when she hit a two-run shot, her second of the season, over the centerfield wall to score sophomore Kayla Braud from second.

The Tide instantly tagged on another run when Lunceford led off the fourth inning with a laser shot over the right-centerfield wall to extend the lead to 3-0. Alabama added another run in the frame, this time with two outs, when Traina dropped a hit into shallow center to score Reilly-Boccia from third.

Alabama extended its lead to 5-0 when junior Kendall Dawson was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, scoring Lunceford from third.

Traina helped her own cause once again as she flared a base hit into right field to give Alabama a 6-0 lead. The hit scored Reilly-Boccia, who led off the seventh with a single through the right side.

In the second game, Alabama secured the title when it downed Troy by the score of 9-1, earning the run-rule victory in six innings. Senior Kelsi Dunne went the distance, allowing an unearned run on three hits while striking out nine.

Junior Olivia Gibson ended the tournament in impressive fashion as she blasted two home runs in the winning effort. Freshman Kaila Hunt also went deep for the Tide, blasting her first career collegiate home run.

In the final contest of the day, Alabama got off to an early start. Kayla Braud led off with a walk and after stealing second and ending up on third on a throwing error Jennifer Fenton collected her 13th RBI of the weekend with a hit up the middle.

In the second inning, junior Olivia Gibson added another run for the Tide when she belted a lined shot over the wall in left. The homer was her first on the young season. Braud then tacked on another for Alabama when she singled up the middle to score freshman Kaila Hunt.

The Tide continued to chip away as Cassie Reilly-Boccia singled up the middle to bring home Jazlyn Lunceford, who led off the frame with a leadoff walk and a stolen base. Jackie Traina then followed suit with a single up the middle to score Lunceford.

After a wild pitch scored Braud in the fourth to make the score 6-0, Gibson would be heard from again. Troy plated an unearned run in the sixth but Gibson would get it back as she drilled her second home run of the game to make the score 7-1.

Alabama wasn't done in the frame though as Hunt followed suit with her first career home run. The rookie belted a line drive over the centerfield wall to give the Tide an 8-1 lead. The game came to a close when an error at third off the bat of Keima Davis scored Braud for the final 9-1 score.

Alabama out-scored the opposition 47-1, with the one run being unearned. Fenton, Dunne and Braud earned all-tournament honors. Fenton batted .556 (10-for18) and drove in 11 runs while Braud batted .667 (8-for-12) with 10 runs and 12 stolen bases. Dunne allowed only three hits all weekend, fanning 20 in 13 innings pitched.

The Tide will open its home portion of the schedule when it hosts the Bama Bash. The tournament will start on Friday, Feb. 18, when Alabama takes on Louisville at 4 p.m.

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