No-Hitter Helps Tide Sweep

OXFORD, MS—It all came together for the 10th ranked Alabama softball team (30-9, 11-6) as they scored 17 runs on 26 hits while the Bama pitching staff allowed no runs and only two hits en route to a doubleheader sweep of the Ole Miss Rebels (11-21, 4-7) 9-0 and 8-0.

Stephanie VanBrakle threw her first career no-hitter, the fifth in Alabama history and the third for the Tide this season. VanBrakle (10-5) recorded her 15th complete game of the season and fifth shutout, striking out nine batters while allowing two walks.

Alabama came out strong on offense in Game 1 loading the bases in the top of the first inning with one out but Ole Miss pitcher Mary Jane Callahan struck out Dominique Accetturo and Staci Ramsey to get out of the jam.

The Tide put runners on base again in the top of the second inning, but this time they didn't waste the opportunity. Capper Reed led off and was hit by a pitch but was forced out at second on a sacrifice attempt by Michelle Menningmann. Menningmann stole second followed by a walk to Jackie Wilkins. Ashley Courtney, who had doubled in the left center field gap in the first inning deposited her fifth home run of the season over the left centerfield fence and Alabama had a 3-0 lead.

The Crimson Tide added to its lead in the top of the fifth inning. Accetturo reached on a bloop double and came around to score on a Ramsey single through the right side pushing Alabama's lead to 4-0.

Bama added another insurance run in the top of the sixth. Courtney reached on a dropped fly ball in right field and advanced to second on a walk to Angela Johnson. Jackie McClain then extended her career high hitting streak to 13 when she ripped a single up the middle scoring Courtney from second for 5-0 Alabama lead.

The Tide made it a 9-0 affair in the top of the seventh batting around in the inning highlighted by a two-run double by Jackie Wilkins and a run scoring triple by Johnson.

Courtney paced the Bama offense going 2-4 with a double, home run, three RBI and two runs scored. Johnson, McClain and Ramsey also recorded a multi-hit game for the Tide.

In the second game, it was Jennifer Wright's turn to show off her pitching prowess. Wright (9-1) allowed only two hits while striking out five batters. It was her eighth complete game and fifth shutout of the season.

Alabama put a two-spot on the board in the top of the third inning, highlighted by back-to-back doubles from McClain and Accetturo that scored Menningmann who was running for McClain. Following a Ramsey ground out, Capper Reed reached on a double scoring Accetturo and Alabama had a 2-0 lead.

Johnson extended Alabama's lead to 3-0 in the top of the fourth when she bounced a single through the left side scoring Leah White.

Johnson was at it again in the top of the sixth inning delivering a two-out, two-run home run for a 5-0 lead. McClain followed Johnson with her second double of the day and came in to score on an Accetturo single to right field. Accetturo advanced to second on the throw home to get McClain. Ramsey then singled through the left side scoring Accetturo for a 7-0 lead.

Reed led off the seventh inning with her fifth home run of the season, a solo shot to centerfield for the final 8-0 tally.

The two teams will close out the series on Sunday with a single game scheduled for 1:00 p.m. Fans can follow all the action at www.rolltide.com where national-award winner Jarrod Shadrick will call all the balls and strikes.


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