Tide heads to championship game

TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA -- The No. 6 ranked University of Alabama softball team (7-1) reached its fourth straight Bama Bash! Championship as they defeated the Albany Great Danes (0-4) 12-0 in five innings in the semifinals.

The Tide used two five-run innings in the third and fourth innings to fuel their victory and Angela Johnson had a career day, going 3-3 with five RBI and a run scored.

The Alabama pitching staff turned in another masterful performance as junior Jennifer Wright (3-0) recorded her second shutout of the season, a career high, and the third of her career.

The Tide got things rolling in the second inning when Jackie Wilkins and Ashley Courtney were successful on a double steal putting runners on second and third for Bama with one out. Johnson then reached on an infield single scoring Wilkins for her first RBI and a 1-0 Bama lead. Bama put on another double steal this time with Courtney stealing home for a 2-0 lead.

The Tide then posted 10 runs over the next two innings.

In earlier action, Alabama and Albany matched up in round robin play with Bama coming out on the positive side of a 5-1 game.

Capper Reed and Jackie McClain each hit their second home runs of the season in the effort with Reed's blast hitting off the top of the scoreboard in left field. Dominique Accetturo finished the game going 2-2 with a run scored.

Reed's home run in the bottom of the first inning put the Tide on top for good but Alabama added insurance runs in the second, third and fourth inning with McClain's two-run shot in the third inning being the highlight.

Erin Wright (3-0) picked up the win going the distance while recording six strikeouts while allowing one run on only three hits.

The Crimson Tide will face Lipscomb in the championship game which is scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m.

Albany will play Eastern Kentucky in the consolation game with the first pitch scheduled for 11:00 a.m.

Friday's game action

It was a tale of two games for the sixth ranked University of Alabama softball team (5-1) as the Crimson Tide opened the 2004 Bama Bash! with an 8-0 five-inning no-hit victory over Lipscomb (3-1) and a 2-1 eight-inning win over Eastern Kentucky (1-1).

In its first game of the day, the Crimson Tide wasted no time jumping on the Lady Bison scoring three runs in the first inning, including a two-run home run off the bat of Capper Reed, her first of the season.

Bama struck for four more runs in the top of the second inning keyed by Leah White's first career home run, an inside the park job, helping the Tide to a 7-0 lead after two innings.

Alabama put the game away in the top of the fifth inning when Jackie McClain led off the inning with a double and came in to score on a Staci Ramsey double giving Bama an 8-0 lead and the eventual 8-0, five-inning victory.

Not to be outdone by the Alabama offense, senior pitcher Erin Wright (2-0) was at the top of her game throwing her first career no-hitter and the third ever in Alabama softball history. Wright struck out seven batters in her five innings of work while twirling her 31st career complete game and 15th career shutout and second this season.

In the second game it was the pitching of junior Jennifer Wright (2-0) that kept Bama in the game until the bottom of the seventh when Jackie Wilkins turned on an 0-1 pitch and sent it deep into the chilly, Alabama night to tie the game at 1-1.

Wilkins struck again in the bottom of the eighth inning when with McClain on second and Ramsey on first with two outs, Wilkins singled to centerfield to scoring McClain for the game-winning run and a 2-1 Alabama victory.

Jennifer Wright went the distance for Alabama allowing only one run on eight hits while striking out one batter.

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