Alabama Softball Defeats Gamecocks

The second ranked Alabama softball team bounced back from a first inning deficit to score nine unanswered runs to knock off South Carolina, 9-1, in five innings in front of 3,265 fans at Rhoads Stadium Friday night. With the win, Alabama improves to 38-2 overall and 15-2 in Southeastern Conference play. South Carolina drops to 23-21 overall and 3-14 in SEC action.

After giving up a leadoff home run to open the game, Alabama sophomore Jackie Traina shut down South Carolina the rest of the way, giving up just three hits and striking out seven batters to win her 26th straight decision dating back to last season, and improved to 24-0 on the year.

After falling behind 1-0, the Crimson Tide answered back quickly in the bottom half of the first inning. Senior Jennifer Fenton laid down a perfect bunt and advanced to second on an error. Fellow senior Cassie Reilly-Boccia then doubled to left-center to score Fenton and even the score. Reilly-Boccia later scored after two errors to give the Tide a 2-1 lead.

Fenton, who had three hits on the night, led the charge in the second inning as Alabama increased its lead. After Courtney Conley singled, Fenton doubled down the right field line to knock her in. Jazlyn Lunceford was able to increase the lead to 4-1 when she singled to knock in Fenton two batters later.

Conley came up again in the third inning with two runners on and crushed a ball to left center to increase Alabama's lead to 7-1. The home run was her fifth on the season as the junior finished 2-for-2 with two runs and three RBI.

The Tide scored twice more in the fifth inning to end the game. Traina was hit by a pitch and moved to second after a Danae Hays walk. Conley was able to reach on an error, and Traina made it 8-1 when Keima Davis hit a sacrifice fly. The next batter, Fenton, ended the game when she doubled to right-center to score Hays and end the game.

Alabama will face South Carolina Saturday at Rhoads Stadium, with first pitch coming at 4:30 p.m.

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