Tide Softball Win Away From Crown

When a basketball game is down to the final few seconds, sometimes a team would rather be down a point and have possession of the ball than be up a point and playing defense. Consider then the position of Alabama softball going to the final day of regular season play.

Alabama went to Ole Miss this weekend knowing the Crimson Tide had to take care of its business and also have a little help. Tennessee was leading the Southeastern Conference and going to Florida. Bama, defending SEC regular season champion, had a mathematical chance at pulling out the title.

Alabama had to sweep the Rebels and the Tide had to hope the Gators could win at least two games against the Volunteers.

So far, so good.

Alabama won its second of three games against Ole Miss Saturday and goes for the sweep on Sunday. And what happens in Gainesville doesn't matter if Alabama wins. The Tide will be champion. That's because Florida has already won the first two games against Tennessee.

Going into the final day, Alabama is 18-6, Florida 19-7, and Tennessee 20-7 in SEC games.

Alabama, ranked third in the nation with a 44-7 overall record, defeated Ole Miss on Saturday by 18-1 in Oxford. A day earlier Bama's Kelsi Dunne had no-hit the Rebels. Thus, one would surmise, Alabama is a big favorite to complete the sweep Sunday.

First pitch is at 1 p.m. and the game will be regionally telecast by FoxSports.

The Tide plated 18 runs on 16 hits with four Alabama players recording multi-hit games. Junior Amanda Locke led the way with a career day, reaching base all five times, going 4-for-4 at the plate with four RBI and three runs scored.

Junior Jazlyn Lunceford batted 2-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored while sophomore Kayla Braud added three hits and three runs and junior Jennifer Fenton collected two hits, two RBI and three runs scored.

Freshman Jackie Traina (17-4) earned the win in the circle, allowing no runs on three hits while striking out three in three innings. Sophomore Lauren Sewell allowed two hits and an unearned run in two innings of relief.

Alabama scored six first inning runs – five before there was an out.

Fenton got things going with a triple to right-center that scored Braud and then with after the bases were loaded the Tide scored two off of walks and one on a hit-by-pitch before sophomore Courtney Conley hit a sac-fly to right that plated junior Cassie Reilly-Boccia.

Alabama doubled its score to 12-0 by plating six more runs in the third inning. After loading the bases once again without recording an out Fenton and Larsen drew walks and then Locke singled up the middle to score two. Lunceford followed suit with a double down the line in left to score two more to cap off the scoring in the inning.

Alabama stuck to its trend and added six more runs in the fourth inning to push the lead to 18-0. Locke collected her fourth hit of the ballgame and drove in two more runs with a single through the left side and then Lunceford singled up the middle to supply the big hits in the frame. Junior Olivia Gibson added a sac-fly to center to score sophomore Keima Davis.

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