Laird pitches Bama past No. 4 Oklahoma

COLUMBUS, GA-When Alabama All-American Shelley Laird stepped on the field, she looked to be "in the zone." She went on to prove it in a 14-strikeout, 3-hit performance in a 6-1 Alabama upset of No. 4 ranked Oklahoma (12-1).

"I didn't even feel like I had been pitching until the last inning," said Laird.

Laird (4-3) struck out the side in the first two innings and recorded eight strikeouts through the first three innings. She did not allow a hit until a double in the bottom of the sixth inning and was backed up by errorless ball by the Alabama defense and plenty of offense.

No. 18 ranked (USA Today/NFCA) Alabama (8-7) drew first blood in the top of the fourth inning. Jennifer Reach led off with a single and came around to score on an error by second baseman Tiffany Weight. Jackie McClain hit a hard grounder with Reach running on the play and the ball scooted through Weight's legs into right-centerfield allowing Reach to score. Lacy Prejean came up with two outs and Tiffany Johnson, who was pinch running for McClain, on first. Prejean singled sending Johnson to third and Deasy Phillips came on to run for Prejean. Phillips stole second and came in to score with Johnson on a bloop single by Jackie Wilkins to put Alabama up 3-0.

McClain at the plate.

Oklahoma finally broke up Laird's no-hitter and shutout in the bottom of the sixth inning. Christy Ring led off with a double down the left field line and came in to score on a one-out single by Christina Enea cutting the lead to 3-1.

Alabama answered in the top of the seventh inning with three more runs. Jackie Wilkins led off with her first collegiate home run followed by a triple off the bat of Angela Johnson. Jennifer Wright pinch hit for Leah White and hit into a fielder's choice with Johnson being thrown out at home. Suzanne Olcott then hit her second home run of the season to put Bama on top for the final 6-1 score.

The win for Laird pushed her five wins away from 100 as she picked up 95th career victory.

Alabama will close out round robin play on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. (EST) against Utah.

Alabama vs #4 Oklahoma (Feb 22, 2002)



Box score (NCAA)

                             2002 Alabama Softball
                             Alabama vs #4 Oklahoma
            Feb 22, 2002 at Columbus, Georgia (South Commons Compl.)

Alabama 6 (8-7)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
------------------------------------------------------
Suzanne Olcott 2b........  4  1  1  2   0  0  2  0   0
Jennifer Reach ss........  3  1  1  0   0  0  1  2   0
Jackie McClain 1b........  4  0  0  0   0  0  2  0   0
 Tiffany Johnson pr......  0  1  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Ashley Courtney dh.......  3  0  0  0   0  1  0  0   1
Lacy Prejean c...........  3  0  1  0   0  0 15  0   0
 Deasy Phillips pr.......  0  1  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Emily Currie rf..........  3  0  1  0   0  1  0  0   0
Jackie Wilkins cf........  3  1  2  3   0  0  1  0   0
Angela Johnson lf........  3  0  2  0   0  1  0  0   0
Leah White 3b............  2  0  0  0   0  1  0  0   2
 Jennifer Wright ph......  1  1  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Shelley Laird p..........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Totals................... 29  6  8  5   0  4 21  2   3

#4 Oklahoma 1 (12-1)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
------------------------------------------------------
Ring, Christy lf.........  3  1  1  0   0  2  0  0   0
Evans, Erin cf...........  3  0  0  0   0  2  3  0   0
Enea, Christina c........  1  0  1  1   2  0  5  0   0
Stump, Jennifer rf.......  3  0  0  0   0  1  1  0   2
Braitsch, Kelli ss.......  3  0  0  0   0  3  0  1   1
Gulla, Leah 3b...........  3  0  1  0   0  1  1  3   0
 Clark, Kaycee pr........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Scaglione, Heather dh....  3  0  0  0   0  2  0  0   0
Overton, Katie 1b........  1  0  0  0   0  1  6  0   0
 Leslie, Jessica ph......  1  0  0  0   0  1  0  0   0
 Keiter, Kami ph.........  1  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   1
Weight, Tiffany 2b.......  2  0  0  0   0  1  4  4   0
Stewart, Jennifer p......  0  0  0  0   0  0  1  4   0
Totals................... 24  1  3  1   2 14 21 12   4

Score by Innings                  R  H  E
-----------------------------------------
Alabama............. 000 300 3 -  6  8  0
#4 Oklahoma......... 000 001 0 -  1  3  1
-----------------------------------------

E - Weight, T.. DP - OU 1. LOB - Alabama 3; OU 4. 2B - Ring, C.. 3B - A.
Johnson(2). HR - Olcott(3); Wilkins(2). HBP - Reach. SB - Phillips(3); Enea,
C..

Alabama                IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF
-----------------------------------------------
Shelley Laird.......  7.0  3  1  1  2 14 24 26

#4 Oklahoma            IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF
-----------------------------------------------
Stewart, Jennifer...  7.0  8  6  4  0  4 29 30

Win - Laird (4-3).  Loss - Stewart, J. (4-1).  Save - None.
HBP - by Stewart, J. (Reach).
Umpires - HP: Stoelting  1B: Thompson  3B: Walker
Start: 7:26   Time: 1:54   Attendance:
Game: NFCA2


Play-by-Play

                             2002 Alabama Softball
                     Alabama vs #4 Oklahoma - Play-by-Play
            Feb 22, 2002 at Columbus, Georgia (South Commons Compl.)


Score by Innings                  R  H  E
-----------------------------------------
Alabama............. 000 300 3 -  6  8  0
#4 Oklahoma......... 000 001 0 -  1  3  1
-----------------------------------------

Alabama starters: 44/2b Olcott; 3/ss Reach; 13/1b McClain; 20/dh Courtney;
   8/c Prejean; 5/rf Currie; 21/cf Wilkins; 4/lf A. Johnson; 9/3b White;
   24/p Laird;

#4 Oklahoma starters: 21/lf Ring, C.; 15/cf Evans, E.; 10/c Enea, C.; 14/rf
   Stump, J.; 8/ss Braitsch, K.; 7/3b Gulla, L.; 13/dh Scaglione, H; 26/1b
   Overton, K.; 16/2b Weight, T.; 5/p Stewart, J.;

Alabama - inning 1

   Olcott grounded out to 1b unassisted. Reach hit by pitch. McClain reached
   on a fielder's choice; Reach out at second p to ss to 2b. Courtney struck
   out swinging. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

#4 Oklahoma - inning 1

   Ring, C. struck out looking. Evans, E. struck out swinging. Enea, C.
   walked. Stump, J. struck out swinging. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

Alabama - inning 2

   Prejean grounded out to 3b. Currie singled up the middle. Wilkins
   grounded into double play 3b to 2b to 1b; Currie out on the play. 0 runs,
   1 hit, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

#4 Oklahoma - inning 2

   Braitsch, K. struck out swinging. Gulla, L. struck out swinging.
   Scaglione, H struck out swinging. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

Alabama - inning 3

   A. Johnson struck out swinging. White out at first p to 2b to 1b. Olcott
   out at first 3b to 2b. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

#4 Oklahoma - inning 3

   Overton, K. struck out swinging. Weight, T. grounded out to ss. Ring, C.
   struck out swinging. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

Alabama - inning 4

   Reach singled up the middle. McClain reached on an error by 2b, advanced
   to second; Reach scored. T. Johnson pinch ran for McClain. Courtney
   popped up to 3b. Prejean singled to left field; T. Johnson advanced to
   third. Phillips pinch ran for Prejean. Phillips stole second. Currie
   struck out swinging. Wilkins singled to left field, 2 RBI; Phillips
   scored, unearned; T. Johnson scored, unearned. A. Johnson singled to
   center field; Wilkins advanced to second. White struck out swinging. 3
   runs, 4 hits, 1 error, 2 LOB.

#4 Oklahoma - inning 4

   McClain to 1b for T. Johnson. Prejean to c for Phillips. Evans, E. popped
   up to 2b. Enea, C. walked. Stump, J. popped up to 2b. Enea, C. stole
   second. Braitsch, K. struck out swinging. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 1
   LOB.

Alabama - inning 5

   Olcott flied out to cf. Reach flied out to rf. McClain grounded out to
   2b. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

#4 Oklahoma - inning 5

   Gulla, L. grounded out to ss. Scaglione, H struck out swinging. Leslie,
   J. pinch hit for Overton, K.. Leslie, J. struck out swinging. 0 runs, 0
   hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

Alabama - inning 6

   Overton, K. to 1b for Leslie, J.. Courtney grounded out to p. Prejean
   flied out to cf. Currie out at first p to 2b. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0
   LOB.

#4 Oklahoma - inning 6

   Weight, T. struck out swinging. Ring, C. doubled down the lf line. Evans,
   E. struck out swinging. Enea, C. singled to left field, RBI; Ring, C.
   scored. Stump, J. flied out to cf. 1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

Alabama - inning 7

   Wilkins homered to left field, RBI. A. Johnson tripled to right field. J.
   Wright pinch hit for White. J. Wright reached on a fielder's choice; A.
   Johnson out at home 2b to c. Olcott homered to right center, 2 RBI; J.
   Wright scored. Reach lined out to p. McClain flied out to cf. 3 runs, 3
   hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

#4 Oklahoma - inning 7

   White to 3b for J. Wright. Braitsch, K. struck out looking. Gulla, L.
   singled down the lf line. Clark, K. pinch ran for Gulla, L.. Scaglione, H
   popped up to ss. Keiter, K. pinch hit for Overton, K.. Keiter, K. fouled
   out to c. 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

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