Alabama pitcher Alexis Osorio kept Samford off the scoreboard and Haylie McCleney and Kallie Case had home runs to account for three runs as the Crimson Tide opened NCAA Regional play at Rhoads Stadium with a 3-0 win over the Bulldogs Friday.
With the win, Alabama advances to play Cal on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. CDT. The Cal Golden Bears beat the Texas State Broncos, 1-0, to win game one of the Regional.
The win marks Alabama’s (47-12) ninth-straight to start the Regional round with victory, having won its first game at an NCAA Regional every year since 2008.
The Crimson Tide got a stellar performance from Alexis Osorio (16-6), who threw a complete-game shutout. She allowed just two hits and struck out 14.
Two key hits accounted for Alabama’s scoring output -- a two-run home run by Haylie McCleney and a solo shot by Kallie Case. Case’s home run was part of a 2-2 day batting ninth, also scoring on McCleney’s home run after hitting a double in the preceding at-bat.
Demi Turner also earned a hit in two at-bats, seeing her first action at the plate since her injury against LSU on March 12.
Samford (40-19) was hitless until the sixth inning and had just four baserunners. Mollie Hanson (23-9) went the distance and took the loss.
Alabama got its first score in the bottom of the third inning. Case had a one-out double and advanced to third on a passed ball. McCleney‘s two-run blast went over the right field fence.
Case extended the Tide’s lead in the bottom of the fifth, pulling a solo home run to right field to make it 3-0.
In the top of the sixth inning, Samford’s Hannah Trombley broke up Osorio’s no-hit bid with a one-out single through the left side, but a strikeout and groundout ended the half-inning and preserved the shutout.
In the seventh, Samford putting two on base with one out after an error and a single. A pair of strikeouts ended the threat.
In the opening game, Cal (34-22-1) scored the only run of the game in the bottom of the fourth inning when Annie Aldrete punched a sacrifice fly to centerfield to score Lindsay Rood who had doubled. Nisa Ontiveros took the win for Cal, going to 17-6 on the season. while Texas State’s Randi Rupp took the loss, dropping to 29-13 on the year, for Texas Sxtate (39-21).
Samford and Texas State meet in an elimination game at 4 p.m. Saturday.