Alabama Softball Wins A Slugfest

AUBURN – The Alabama softball team slugged its way to a 12-9 victory over No. 20 ranked Georgia Tech to open the SEC/ACC/Big XII Challenge, Friday night at Jane B. Moore Field at Auburn University. After the win the Crimson Tide move to 5-0 on the young season.

The two teams went back-and-forth all game long as each team collected 13 hits in a game that lasted nearly three and half hours. Alabama finally put the game away with a three-run final at-bat.

Seniors Jennifer Fenton and Cassie Reilly-Boccia paced the nationally second-ranked Crimson Tide attack with four hits each. Fenton scored three runs and drove in three with a stolen base while Reilly-Boccia drove in three runs and drew a walk. The four hits tied a career high for Fenton and set one for Reilly-Boccia.

After the two teams traded a pair of runs in the first inning, Alabama erupted for five runs in the second to race out to a 6-2 lead. Nine Crimson Tide batters came up in the frame as UA scored the five runs on three hits.

After chipping away to move the score to 6-3 in the second, Georgia Tech (6-2) seized the lead by putting up four runs in the bottom of the third with three being unearned.

Bama evened the score with one swing of the bat in the top of the fifth when sophomore Kaila Hunt smashed her team-leading fourth home run of the season with a shot to dead-center field.

In the top of the sixth the Tide once again took the lead this time coming on a two-run home run by senior Amanda Locke. With one on, Locke hit a prodigious blast that cleared well over the scoreboard in left to hand UA the 9-7 lead. The homer was her third on the year.

Fenton collected her fourth hit in a big way as she tripled off the wall in right-center to give Alabama an 11-7 lead. Reilly-Boccia followed suit with her fourth hit, singling up the middle to plate Fenton and hand the Tide a 12-7 lead in the top of the seventh.

Sophomore Jackie Traina went the distance to improve to 4-0 on the season. Traina allowed nine runs – four earned -- on 13 hits and struck out six while walking four.

Alabama tagged Tech hurler Lindsey Anderson (4-1) for 12 runs – 11 earned -- on 13 hits. Anderson walked eight and struck out four.

Alabama will continue tournament play in Auburn when it returns to Jane B. Moore Field Saturday morning to face Virginia Tech. The two teams will open the day at 10 a.m. UA will then face No. 4 ranked Oklahoma at 12:30 p.m.

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