Dare's Key Hit Gives Tide Softball Win

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Great pitching and defense from both Alabama and Kentucky would make for a tense series rubber match Sunday in Lexington, but a timely two-run single by Chandler Dare ultimately made the difference in the Tide’s 2-0 win to secure its fourth SEC series victory of the season.

Alabama (29-9, 10-5 SEC) got its second quality outing of the weekend from Alexis Osorio (12-5) on Sunday, as she earned the complete game victory with 10 strikeouts and just two hits allowed in the shutout. The game marks her fourth of the season with double-digit strikeouts and it is her fifth SEC start of the season in which she allowed no earned runs.

Offensively, Demi Turner and Chaunsey Bell each had multi-hit performances in the win while Chandler Dare’s clutch two-run single in the sixth inning made all the difference in the narrow victory.

Kentucky (25-11, 4-8 SEC) would get only one baserunner past first base in the loss, as the offense could not support a quality outing by Kelsey Nunley (11-7), who took the complete game loss in the circle.

Great pitching and defense dominated the majority of the game before Alabama provided the first real scoring threat in the top of the sixth. A one-out walk by Danae Hays and a two-out base hit by Bell put two on and Leona Lafaele would draw a walk to load the bases. Chandler Dare’s first hit of her at-bat fell just foul down the right field line but the second one would fall in fair territory, dropping into shallow right-center to score two and give Alabama the first lead of the game, 2-0. Dare would be caught stealing second base however to end the half-inning with Alabama leading by two.

Kentucky had just one baserunner over the first five innings but they quickly put two on the base paths in the bottom of the sixth on a leadoff single and a one-out walk. Osorio struck out Erin Rethlake for the second out before Nikki Sagermann battled through a 10-pitch at bat that ended with a popup in foul territory as Alabama held onto its 2-0 lead heading into the final inning of regulation.

Alabama could not add any insurance in the top of the seventh as it remained a slim two-run lead in the final half-inning of regulation. A hard liner to Marisa Runyon would go for the first out and Osorio would fan her eighth batter of the day for out number two. Osorio would make

Next up, Alabama will play a pair of midweek road games. First, Alabama will make the quick trip to Birmingham on Tuesday to play at UAB at 6 p.m. CDT. On Wednesday, Alabama will play Middle Tennessee State in Decatur at 6:30 p.m. CDT.

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