Richard Leads Tide To Pair Of Softball Wins

The third-ranked Alabama softball team ran its record to 5-0 Saturday with a pair of wins in the Sand Dollar Classic in Gulf Shores Led by Danielle Richard, he Crimson Tide put on an offensive display in the opening game, and then had excellent defense to win the second.

The Alabama team of Coach Patrick Murphy defeated Florida Gulf Coast, 13-1, in Bama’s first game of the day, and then came bck with an 11-2 win over Florida International for its third run-rule win of the tournament in the second game.

In the opening game, the Crimson Tide used a seven-run fourth inning, including a three-run home run by Danielle Richard, to give freshman pitcher Alexis Osorio (3-0) plenty of runs for the victory.

Richard’s home run was Alabama’s first of the year as she went 3-3 with four runs batted in and four runs scored.

The top four in the Alabama batting order each recorded a hit and scored at least one run.

Osorio allowed just one run off three hits with eight strikeouts.

Florida Gulf Coast (1-2) starter Taylor Wade (0-1) took the loss, throwing five innings with 10 earned runs allowed.

After a slow start in the second game against Florida International, the Tide offense came alive in the fourth and fifth innings, scoring 11 runs including a three-run homer by Leona Lafaele and a three-run double by Richard.

Senior Leslie Jury (1-0) earned the complete game victory in her second start of the season, holding the Panthers to just two runs on seven hits.

FIU starter Shelby Graves (0-2) took the loss, allowing eight of the Tide’s 11 runs.

Neither team could break into the run column until the top of the fourth inning as a walk, single and a wild pitch put two in scoring position for Alabama and Marisa Runyon allowed the pair to tag up and advance off a fly ball to right field, making it 1-0 with a runner at third. Danae Hays followed with a single up the middle to score the runner from third and make it 2-0. Later, a Haylie McCleney RBI double stretched it to 3-0 and Demi Turner cleared the bases with a two-run triple to make it a 5-0 game.

Lafaele widened the gap in the top of the fifth, blasting a three-run homer to right field to make it 8-0. Rachel Dwyer entered in relief for FIU but walked three straight batters to load the bases with two away. Richard made her pay with a deep double to center field to score three more and make it 11-0. Needing to score four runs just to stay alive in the bottom half, the Panthers managed to score two but it was too little, too late as the Tide held on to win, 11-2, for its third run-rule victory of the season.

Alabama concludes its weekend in Gulf Shores on Sunday against McNeese at 1 p.m. CST.

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