Tide Homers Lead To Softball Sweep

The second ranked Alabama softball team powered its way to a series sweep Sunday, blasting five home runs en route to a 19-4 win over South Carolina in front of 3,250 fans at Rhoads Stadium. The Crimson Tide improved to a school-record 40-2 on the year and 17-2 in Southeastern Conference play. South Carolina fell to 23-23 overall and 3-16 in the SEC.

The 19 runs tied an Alabama season high, set against Maryland on March 2 and marked the 13th time the Crimson Tide has run-ruled its opponent and the 10th time Bama has eclipsed 10 runs.

Alabama pounded out 11 hits on the day, enough to help Jackie Traina earn her third win of the series to improve to 26-0 on the year. It was Traina's school-record 28th consecutive winning decision.

An Amanda Locke grand slam was just the beginning of the big first inning for the Tide as back-to-back-to-back home runs raced Alabama to an early lead. After the Locke grand slam, Traina hit a solo home run over the wall in center and then freshman Danae Hays lined the first pitch she saw on the top of the wall and over in left.

The grand slam was a career first for Locke and the Tide went back-to-back-to-back for the first time since Feb. 26, 2011 in a game against Western Michigan at the USF Tournament. Locke and Traina were actually involved in the three straight home runs in the fourth inning against WMU last year.

Alabama wasn't done though, as they scored nine more runs in the second inning. Jazlyn Lunceford hit an RBI double, and scored when Cassie Reilly-Boccia hit a two-run double later in the inning. After loading the bases, Hays drew a walk to knock in another run. With the bases loaded, Jennifer Fenton hit a three-run double to left center, increasing the lead to 15-1 for the Crimson Tide.

Alabama scored three more runs in the bottom of the fourth. Kayla Braud led off with a single and advanced to third on an error. She scored two pitches later on a sacrifice fly by Keima Davis. Lunceford tacked on a solo home run one pitch later, and Hunt followed it up with her 16th of the year to increase the lead to 19-4.

Hunt paced the Tide with three hits and three runs scored while Lunceford added two hits and three runs. Fenton and Reilly-Boccia tallied three RBI while Locke added four on the grand slam.

Alabama will cap off its homestand when it hosts Georgia State. The two teams will meet on Tuesday with first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m. CDT at Rhoads Stadium.

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