Alabama Softball Wins Mizzou Series

Molly Fichtner slammed her first home run of the season to lead Alabama to a key 14-6 win over Missouri in the rubber game of an important Southeastern Conference softball series at Rhoads Stadium Sunday.

Alabama bounced back from its Saturday loss as the fourth-ranked Crimson Tide defeated number six Missouri, 14-6. Bama improved to 35-6 overall and 10-5 in SEC play. The Tigers fell to 23-4, including an 8-3 conference record.

Junior Molly Fichtner led the Bama offensive attack as she went 3 for 3 with two runs scored and four runs batted in. Senior Kayla Braud and freshman Haylie McCleney had two hits apiece as Alabama roughed up Missouri All-America pitcher Chelsea Thomas for 11 hits and 11 earned runs. The Tide benefited from eight bases on balls. Thomas went 1-2 against Bama and is now 14-3 on the year.

Alabama junior All-America Jackie Traina got her second win of the series and improved to 17-3, although she allowed six runs – five earned. She struck out five.

After Missouri took the early lead in the top of the first, Alabama answered in the bottom half with four runs. Traina got the Tide on the board as her grounder to deep short plated Braud from first. Fichtner then opened the lead to 4-1 with her first home run on the season – a three-run shot to left that scored junior Kaila Hunt and Traina.

A one-out triple by senior Keima Davis sparked another four-run frame for the Tide as UA expanded its lead to 8-2 in the second inning. After the triple the Tide loaded the bases and got a two-run single from Hunt and then scored another on an error before Fichtner came through with another RBI, a single through the left side.

Alabama made it 10-2 in the third when McCleney drove in a pair on a single up the middle. Missouri followed with a four-run fourth inning, cutting the lead to 10-6. Alabama had a single run in the fifth before opening up the lead in the sixth.

The Tide closed out the Tigers in the sixth with three runs to earn the run-rule victory. The Tide scored one run on an error and then after a Davis sac-fly to center, McCleney walked with the bases loaded to end the contest.

Alabama will remain at home as it will host two midweek games this week. The Tide will welcome Mississippi Valley State on Tuesday and then play UAB on Wednesday. Both games will begin at 6 p.m. CDT.

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