Tide Softball Wins, Awaits No. 1 Gators

All nine hitters in the Alabama order reached base safely in Wednesday’s victory over Georgia State as the Crimson Tide run-ruled the Panthers, 9-1, in five innings. The next task, facing number one Florida in a rematch of last year's national championship series, is not expected to be so easy.

Alabama (21-5) scored at least one run in each inning, totaling nine runs off 11 hits. The top three in the order went a combined 7-9 with five RBI and five runs scored. Haylie McCleney and Demi Turner were a perfect 2-2 and 3-3, respectively, while Danae Hays went 2-4 with two RBI in her first game of the season batting out of the three-hole.

“That was the first time we tried that combination,” said Head Coach Patrick Murphy about the top three in the order. “What I liked most was Danae’s very first at-bat. She ripped a play to the shortstop, who had to make a great play just to keep it in the infield, and got an RBI out of it. I think that set the early momentum that we needed.”

Tide starter Alexis Osorio (9-2) threw four shutout innings with just three hits allowed for her fourth straight win.

Next up, Alabama hosts the Florida Gators for a three-game weekend series at Rhoads Stadium. Unlike the usual Friday-Sunday series, the first game will be Saturday at 1 p.m. CDT, the second Sunday at 4:30, and the third Monday at 6 p.m. The first two games will be televised on ESPNU and the Monday game will be on the SEC Network.

The important Southeastern Conference series will be Alabama's third of the season against a top ten opponent.

In Wednesday's game, Georgia State (19-4) avoided the shutout with a solo home run by Kensey Caldwell in the top of the fifth.

The Tide’s first runs came in the bottom of the first on an RBI single by Hays and an RBI groundout by Marisa Runyon. Turner's second inning single drove in a run to make it 3-0. An RBI single in the third inning by Jadyn Spencer was followed by back-to-back bases-loaded walks and a 6-0 lead through three innings.

A fourth inning RBI double by Chandler Dare made it 7-0.

After Georgia State's homer closed the gap to 7-1, Bama needed two runs to end the game in the fifth. Hays drove in McCleney from third with a single. Later, Turner was able to score from third on a ground ball to shortstop to end the game at 9-1.

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