Alabama (7-0) knocked out a season-high 12 hits, led by Haylie McCleney with a 3-4 performance at the top of the order including two RBI. Leona Lafaele had a 2-4 day with an RBI double while Marisa Runyon’s lone hit was a long solo home run in the fifth inning. Tide starter Leslie Jury (2-0) earned the win, throwing five shutout innings with just three hits allowed, while SEC Pitcher of the Week Sydney Littlejohn closed out the game with two strong innings in relief.
Samford (4-2) was held scoreless until the final inning when freshman Karsin Spinks launched a late solo homer to avoid the shutout. Bulldog starter Mollie Hanson (2-1) was a workhorse, throwing 138 pitches over seven innings in the tough loss.
Chandler Dare led off the top of the third with a single, immediately stole second and was driven in on a hard double by Haylie McCleney as the Tide got on the board first. Back-to-back errors by the Bulldog defense allowed another runner to cross and a wild pitch added a third. Leona Lafaele muscled a long double to the warning track to make it 4-0.
Alabama led off the top of the fourth with back-to-back singles and a third by Haylie McCleney short-hopped the second baseman, allowing one to score and make it 5-0 with runners at the corners. In the next at-bat, McCleney stole second and Dare broke for home on the throw as the successful double steal made it 6-0.
The seventh run of the day for Alabama was a commanding one, as Marisa Runyon launched a fifth-inning solo homer off the scoreboard in right field. Jury continued to pitch effectively through the fifth inning before Sydney Littlejohn entered to pitch in the bottom of the sixth. The Bulldogs wouldn’t go down quietly however, as Spinks hit a solo home run in the seventh and Callie Brister nearly launched another one that hit the top of the fence in left field for a long single. Littlejohn rebounded, as a pair of popups secured the win.
Next up, Alabama will head west for the Stanford Nike Invitational in Stanford, Calif. The Tide will play five games over three days starting on Friday. Opponents include Stanford, Cal Poly and Pacific.