Alabama Softball Wins Pair At Stanford

Stanford, Calif. – Alabama opened the Stanford Nike Invitational with big bats in posting a 13-0 win over Pacific in the opener and a 15-6 win over host Samford in the second game of the tournament. The Crimson Tide, ranked third in the nation, improved to 9-0 with the wins.

Alabama was never pressed in the opener, but had some anxious moments against the home-standing Cardinal in the second contest.

Alabama continues action at the Stanford Nike Invitational on Saturday, facing Cal Poly at Noon CST before facing Stanford a second time at 2:30 p.m. CST.

After seeing its 6-1 lead erased by Stanford in the fourth inning, the Crimson Tide answered with a two-out rally in the fifth and some insurance in the seventh en route to the convincing win.

The Alabama bats were led by freshman Demi Turner, who drove in five of Alabama’s 15 runs off a three-run double and a two-run homer. Turner was part of a dominant top of the order for Alabama, who along with Haylie McCleney and Danielle Richard went a combined 6-11 with six runs and 10 RBI.

Freshman Alexis Osorio made the start and threw nearly 100 pitches through 3 1/3 innings, but senior Lesile Jury (3-0) persevered for the win in relief, holding the Cardinal scoreless for the remainder of the game.

Stanford (5-3) starter Haley Snyder (3-2) was hit hard in the loss, allowing 10 earned runs off nine hits in 4 2/3 innings. Sophomore shortstop Kylie Sorenson had the big hit for the Cardinal, a three-run homer in the third inning, and eventually moved to pitch in relief in the fifth inning.

McCleney led off the game with an infield single and was later driven in on a Bell single to shallow left, putting the Tide up 1-0. Three walks in the bottom half loaded the bases for the Cardinal. Leah White had a game-tying sacrifice fly.

In the top of the second, a great sacrifice bunt by Case moved two runners into scoring position with one away for the Tide with the top of the order due up. McCleney was intentionally walked to load the bases for Turner and she made Stanford pay, clearing the bases with a deep double to make it 4-1. A double by Richard and a single by Jadyn Spencer drove in two more as the Tide opened up a 6-1 lead.

Stanford chipped away at the lead in the bottom of the third, as White hit an RBI single into shallow center to make it 6-2 and a towering three-run homer by Kylie Sorenson drew the Cardinal within one, down 6-5.

With two on and one away in the bottom of the fourth, a double by Stanford’s Jessica Plaza tied the game at 6-6, ending Osorio’s outing. Jury entered in relief with two in scoring position. A groundout and strikeout got the Tide out of the inning with the score knotted at 6-6.

Danae Hays slid into first base to beat out a two-out infield single in the top of the fifth and that allowed the Tide to string together a big rally. A wild pitch moved Hays to second and Case drove in a pair of runs on a double to left field and advance to third on a throwing error. McCleney followed that with an RBI single to the same spot, scoring Case to make it 9-6. Turner connected for her first career long ball, sending a two-run homer over the center field fence to make it 11-6.

A three-run triple by McCleney in the seventh made it 14-6 and Carrigan Fain, pinch hitting for Richard, drove in McCleney on a groundout to make it 15-6. Stanford got a pair of runners on in the bottom half but it was too little, too late as a groundout ended it to give the Tide a nine-run victory.

Alabama opened action at the Stanford Nike Invitational in dominating fashion, shutting out Pacific in five innings, 13-0, Friday afternoon.

Alabama tied a season high with 13 runs as four different Tide players had multi-RBI performances. Freshman Demi Turner went 3-4 with two runs scored and two RBI while Danielle Richard had a 2-2 performance with three runs scored and two RBI. Leona Lafaele and Chaunsey Bell each drove in runs off hard doubles while Marisa Runyon legged out her first career triple, scoring two.

Tide starter Sydney Littlejohn (3-0) limited the Tiger offense to just three hits to remain undefeated on the year. Pacific (2-6) starter Megan Walters (0-1) was chased after 3 1/3 innings, as she was charged with nine of the Tide’s 13 runs.

Alabama got the scoring started early as Haylie McCleney led off the game with a bunt single, stole second, and was then driven in on an RBI single up the middle by Richard. Bell launched a solid double to the left-field gap to score Richard and Lafaele followed that with another double to the left-field wall to score Bell, making it 3-0.

After a wild pitch moved two runners into scoring position in the top of the second, Turner drove in the pair with a rocket single that short-hopped the Pacific third basemen to make it 5-0.

With Turner on second base in the fourth inning courtesy of a bunt single and stolen base, Richard drove her home with an RBI single up the middle to make it 6-0. Later with the bases loaded, a fielding error in center field allowed three runs to cross, making it 9-0 as that ended Walters’ outing in the circle with Carly Mortensen entering to pitch. Mortensen got Pacific out of the inning but the Tide came out of the inning with a nine-run lead.

An error in right field made it a 10 run game, as a single by Turner got past the right fielder to allow Kallie Case to score all the way from first. Later with runners at the corners, Carrigan Fain grounded out to the pitcher but drove in the run from third to make it 11-0. Marisa Runyon tacked on two more with a long triple to the left-center wall as the Tide entered the bottom half with a commanding 13-0 lead. Littlejohn retired the Tiger batters in order in the fifth to secure the complete-game shutout and run-rule victory.

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