Dunne's No-Hitter Keeps UA In Chase

OXFORD, Miss. -- Alabama's magic number went from five to three Friday night as Crimson Tide softball All-America Kelsi Dunne tossed her ninth career no-hitter and Bama defeated Ole Miss, 8-0, in the series opener.

Alabama went into the series with a mathematical chance of overtaking Southeastern Conference leader Tennessee. Bama will repeat as SEC regular season champion if the Crimson Tide can sweep Ole Miss and the Vols lose at least two games at Florida. In addition to Dunne pitching Bama past the Rebels Friday night, Florida won game one of the three game series against Tennessee in Gainesville.

Alabama is now 17-6 in SEC play, while Tennessee fell to 20-6 and the Gators improved to 19-7.

Game two of the Alabama-Ole Miss series begins at 1 p.m. Saturday. The series concludes Sunday afternoon. third-ranked Alabama, now 43-7 overall, will return to Oxford next week in hopes of repeating as winner of the SEC Championship Tournament.

Dunne (22-3) allowed only one base-runner on the day, hitting a batter while striking out nine and walking none. The game lasted 1:38 as Dunne threw only 67 pitches.

Alabama was paced at the plate by junior Jazlyn Lunceford as the outfielder batted 2-for-2 with three runs scored. Freshman Kaila Hunt and sophomore Courtney Conley each drove in a pair and as a team the Tide swiped seven bases and banged out nine hits.

Alabama scored four runs in the top of the first inning. Junior Amanda Locke did most of the damage as she blasted a changeup over the wall in left to give Alabama a 3-0 lead. The Tide added one more on a fielder's choice off the bat of Hunt that scored Lunceford from third.

Alabama increased its lead to 5-0 in the third inning as Hunt lined a single to left that scored Lunceford from second.

The Tide added three runs in the fifth inning to extend its lead to 8-0. Junior Kendall Dawson hit a sacrifice fly to center that scored Lunceford and then Conley cleared the bases with a two-run double to right-center that scored pinch-runner Keima Davis and Hunt.

Before the game the Rebels softball team presented a check to Alabama to put towards the UA Acts of Kindness Fund to assist the recovery efforts following the devastating April 27 tornado that struck Tuscaloosa. The UA Acts of Kindness Fund has been established to support an emergency-assistance program for UA employees and students.

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