UA Softball Gets Two Tourney Wins
Alabama (15-3) hit .333 as a team, defeating Purdue (5-9-1) and Houston (9-4) in two games that saw each Tide pitcher throw over 130 pitches. Haylie McCleney, Leona Lafaele and Molly Fichtner each had three hits on the day, while Kaila Hunt blasted her 50th career home run, becoming just the fourth player in Alabama history to hit the milestone.
GAME ONE: ALABAMA 7, PURDUE 3
Alabama opened its day with a 7-3 win over Purdue, as Leslie Jury (7-1) threw her longest outing of the season, throwing 137 pitches for her seventh complete-game victory of the season. Fichtner went 2-3 with a pair of RBI while Hunt's lone hit of the game was a fourth-inning solo homer, the 50th long ball of her career. Lexy Moore (1-4) took the loss for Purdue, lasting just 1.2 innings with six earned runs.
Alabama did most of its damage in the first two innings, scoring two in the first and four in the second. A Kallie Case RBI triple and a Fichtner RBI groundout made it 2-0 in the first, before Jadyn Spencer doubled the lead with a two-run double in the second and Fichtner added another with an RBI single to make it 5-0.
Alabama added one more in the fourth off a solo homer by Hunt, but could not move ahead by eight runs, pushing the game past the five-inning mark. Jury gave up her first hit of the day in the top of the sixth, as Purdue's Ashley Burkhardt blasted a two-run homer to right field to cut the deficit to 7-2. The Boilermakers added another in the seventh off an RBI groundout but could not complete the comeback as Alabama held on to win, 7-3.
GAME TWO: ALABAMA 11, HOUSTON 4
Alabama posted double-digit runs for the sixth time this season, as the offense came alive in a 11-4 victory over Houston in the Friday nightcap. Eight out of the nine in the Tide batting order earned at least one hit, with Peyton Grantham driving in a team-leading three runs. Jaclyn Traina (4-2) earned her fourth complete-game victory of the season, holding the Cougar offense to just three earned runs off eight hits. Houston starter Summer Groholski (3-1) lasted just 1.2 innings, allowing four earned runs in the loss.
The Tide plated six runs over the first three innings, plating runs in each of the first three innings to take the early 6-1 lead. Houston scored one in the top of the fourth before Alabama put more distance between the teams in the bottom of the fifth, thanks to a Grantham RBI groundout and a two-run double by Danielle Richard to make it 8-2.
Each team scored a pair of runs in the sixth, but a 1-2-3 top of the seventh ended it as Alabama claimed the 11-4 victory.
Alabama continues its weekend tomorrow with a pair of games, opening against No. 9 Florida State at 1:30 p.m. before playing Houston at 4 p.m.
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