Cold Bats Send Tide Softball To Loss

STANFORD, Calif. – Third-ranked Alabama suffered its first loss of the 2015 season in Saturday’s second game of the Stanford Nike Invitational, as the Cardinal defeated the Tide, 4-1. Bama defeated Cal Poly, 1-0, in extra innings in its first game Saturday.

Alabama will close its weekend at the Stanford Nike Invitational on Sunday facing Pacific at 11 a.m. CST.

Alabama (10-1) left nine runners on base in the low-scoring loss and out-hit Stanford (6-3), 7-5, but the Cardinal strung together timely hits in the middle innings.

Alabama starter Leslie Jury (3-1) went the distance in the loss, while Haley Snyder (4-3) earned the win in relief for the Cardinal, throwing 4.0 shutout innings.

Stanford got on the board first as Leah White roped an RBI double into left field in the first inning.

With the bases loaded in the top of the second, a hard bases-loaded infield single by Haylie McCleney could not be corralled by the Cardinal third baseman as that drove in Danae Hays to tie it at 1-1.

A single and a pair of walks to begin the fourth inning loaded the bases for Stanford, but Jury bounced back with a force-out at home and a strikeout to put two outs on the board. A bases-loaded walk brought home the go-ahead run for Stanford but a strikeout limited the damage.

In the fifth inning, Stanford’s Kayla Bonstrom hit a one-out double to the left field wall and, two batters later, Kylie Sorenson hit one to the same spot to drive in Bonstrom and extend the Cardinal lead to 3-1. Alabama squandered an opportunity to score in the top of the sixth, stranding two in scoring position.

Stanford tacked on an insurance run in the sixth inning to make it 4-1 and Alabama had the potential tying run at the plate in the top of the seventh, but a groundout ended the game.

The opening game for Alabama Saturday was a pitchering duel finally won by Bama when Danielle Richard delivered an eighth-inning sacrifice fly against Cal Poly.

Alabama was held scoreless through regulation and wouldn’t earn a hit until the fourth inning. Likewise, Cal Poly (4-4) was held hitless until the seventh inning, as Alabama starter Sydney Littlejohn (4-0) threw a gem in the complete-game victory, striking out a career-high 10 batters. Mustang starter Sierra Hyland (3-2) matched Littlejohn throughout the game, holding the potent Tide offense to its lowest scoring output this season but ultimately fell in the eighth inning.

Chauncey Bell broke the no-hit ice in the fourth with a single into shallow right field. Cal Poly didn’t get its first base runner until the sixth when Breana West was hit by a Littlejohn pitch. Cal Poly would break up Littlejohn’s no-hit bid in the seventh.

After sitting down Cal Poly in order in the top of the eighth, Alabama started the bottom half with Haylie McCleney placed on second base and Demi Turner due up. Turner laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to advance McCleney 60 feet closer and Richard launched a high fly ball into left field, allowing McCleney to tag up and slide into home for the winning run.

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