Tide Falls To Michigan, Rebounds For Win

Alabama softball rebounded from its second consecutive loss to fifth-ranked Michigan defeat James Madison, 6-4, in the Crimson Tide’s second game Saturday at the Easton Bama Bash. The third-ranked Tide fell to Michigan, 4-1, in the first game Saturday.

Alabama will conclude action at the Easton Bama Bash Sunday against Lipscomb (5-7) at 1:30 p.m. CST.

Alabama (12-3) pitcher Sydney Littlejohn (5-0) threw for 6 2/3 innings until Leslie Jury (4-1) entered in to pitch bottom of the seventh to get the final out and the save. Heather Kiefer (1-2) took the loss for James Madison (4-3) in relief.

The game was highlighted by sophomore Chandler Dare’s first career home run in the bottom of the sixth. Dare also led the Tide with three hits and Danae Hays led the offense with two RBI. Niki Prince led James Madison in hits with two while starting pitcher Jailyn Ford led the Dukes in RBI with two.

Ford got the Dukes on the board before she even threw a pitch, launching a two-run homer over the scoreboard in the first inning to make it 2-0 early. A groundout limited the damage as the Tide got out of the inning with just two runs allowed.

Alabama immediately tied it in the bottom of the first off a Jadyn Spencer RBI single and a good bunt by Danae Hays that allowed Demi Turner to get home from third and slide under the tag attempt. James Madison retook the lead in the top of the second, as a base hit was bobbled in the outfield, allowing the runner from second to advance and then score on the error. McCleney tied it back up in the bottom half with a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Leona Lafaele to make it 3-3.

A bloop single into center field with two out in the top of the fourth gave James Madison back the lead, 4-3, but it was short-lived as an RBI double by Hays in the bottom of the fifth knotted it up at 4-4 and, after a passed ball, a sacrifice fly by Bell scored Hays from third to give the Tide the 5-4 lead.

Chandler Dare added another run to the lead in the bottom of the sixth, hitting her first career homer over the right field fence to make it 6-4. Alabama took the lead to the top of the seventh and the Dukes got two on with one out, as Jury entered the game in the save situation to try and secure the final out.

A pair of home runs by the Michigan offense again made the difference in Saturday’s loss as Alabama fell to the Wolverines, 4-1, to open day two at the Easton Bama Bash.

Alabama (11-3) starter Alexis Osorio (4-1) threw seven solid innings, but was tagged for four runs in the loss. The Crimson Tide was led at the plate by Danielle Richard who was 2-2, while senior Chaunsey Bell drove in the Tide’s only run of the game.

Tera Blanco led the charge for Michigan (11-2), with her first home run of the year, a two-run shot that highlighted the three-run third inning for the Wolverines. Blanco tallied three RBI, while teammate Kelly Christner added a solo homerun in the third. Haylie Wagner (4-1) picked up the win, going the distance and giving up one earned run.

The Wolverines got on the board first with a sacrifice fly in the first inning, but a runner was left on second base as the Tide limited the damage to just one run. Michigan doubled the lead in the next inning, as a strong wind carried a Kelly Christner solo home run just past the outstretched glove of Haylie McCleney at the center field wall to make it 2-0. Sierra Romero was hit by a pitch in the next at-bat and Tera Blanco cleared the bases with another home run to right center to make it 4-0.

Michigan maintained the 4-0 lead until the bottom of the sixth, as a bases-loaded groundout allowed one to score for Alabama and avoid the shutout, making it 4-1. The Tide couldn’t cut into the deficit any further as a popup left two stranded in scoring position to end the sixth.

The Wolverines couldn’t add any insurance in the top of the seventh, giving Alabama a chance to come back in the bottom half.

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