Softball unbeaten in weekend tourney

CHATTANOOGA, TN -- With the tournament championship already in hand, the ninth ranked Crimson Tide softball team (15-3) had one more opponent to dispatch of and that they did with a 9-0, five-inning victory over the host school Chattanooga Lady Mocs (11-10).

Alabama jumped on top in the first inning with Ashley Courtney leading off the game with a double down the right field line. Angela Johnson singled through the left side scoring Courtney from second for the early 1-0 lead.

Alabama cushioned its lead in the top of the third inning loading the bases for Stephanie VanBrakle who took the first pitch from Brittney Whittier and recorded her first career grand slam and first home run of the season. It was also the 10th grand slam in school history and gave the Crimson Tide a 5-0 lead.

Bama broke the game wide open in the top of the fourth inning, scoring four runs on three hits and a Chattanooga error. Dominique Accetturo's second home run of the weekend and on the season highlighted the inning and put the Crimson Tide on top 9-0.

Erin Wright (6-1) collected the win for Alabama throwing her fourth shutout of the season and second in the tournament striking out five batters in five innings of work.

Courtney paced the Alabama offense going 3-4 with three runs scored on the day while VanBrakle was 1-2 with five RBI. Johnson chipped in a 2-3 effort driving in two runs and scoring two for the Crimson Tide.

With Alabama's 1-0, extra inning victory earlier in the day over Wisconsin, the Tide captured the 2004 Frost Cutlery Classic Championship.

Bama will be at home on Tuesday, March 2 as they play host to the Samford Bulldogs in the Tide's final pre-SEC tune-up. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

Morning game vs. Wisconsin, 1-0, Bama

CHATTANOOGA, TN -- Tide sophomore Stephanie VanBrakle carried the ninth-ranked Crimson Tide to a 1-0, eight-inning victory over the Wisconsin Badgers (11-5), throwing a one-hit shutout while driving in the game-winning run in the eighth inning.

As has been the case several times this season, Bama (14-3) was able to put runners on base, but was unable to advance them, stranding seven runners through seven innings and eight total in the game.

The ninth ranked Tide was finally able to scratch a run across in the top of the eighth inning. Ashley Courtney was placed on second as per the international tie break rule and took third on an Angela Johnson sacrifice. Jackie McClain bounced out to first base, but VanBrakle delivered a one-out single up the middle scoring Courtney for a 1-0 Bama lead.

In Wisconsin's half of the eighth, VanBrakle was able to strand Anastasia Miller, Wisconsin's tiebreak runner, at second retiring the side in order for the win.

VanBrakle threw a one-hit shutout, her third shutout of the season, while striking out seven batters and walking only two. It was her second one-hitter of the season.

Dominique Accetturo paced the Bama offense going 2-4 on the day while extending her hitting streak to a career long 12 games, the third longest streak in Alabama history.


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