Softball downs Centenary

TUSCALOOSA, AL-Going into Wednesday's game with Centenary, the Crimson Tide softball team (27-11) got seven one-hitters from two of its pitchers, this time it was freshman Jennifer Wright's turn as she one-hit the Centenary Ladies en route to a 9-0 five-inning victory.

Wright, who's previous best was a two-hitter against Samford on February 8, rode her first career one-hitter and a career high seven strikeouts to her fourth win of the season.

"Jen was one good catch away from a no-hitter," said Alabama head coach Patrick Murphy. "At one point I looked up and there were six freshmen out there and they looked great. It really gives us something to look forward to."

The Crimson Tide newcomers totaled five hits, five runs and four RBI.

Bama sophomore Angela Johnson was 2- 2 on the day with two RBI and two runs scored while freshman Jackie Wilkins reached base in all three plate appearance by virtue of a walk, a hit by pitch and a single and came around to score all three times.

The Tide got things going immediately in the first inning. Wilkins led off with a walk and went to third when Deasy Phillips beat out an infield, bunt single and the throw from Centenary third baseman Rachel Alcorn to first was wild. Phillips stole second and with one out, Jackie McClain doubled down the leftfield line scoring Wilkins for a 1-0 lead. Ashley Courtney then grounded out to the right side scoring Phillips and sending McClain to third. Angela Johnson reached on an infield single scoring McClain. Johnson took second on a balk and scored on a single by Suzanne Olcott for a 4-0 Bama lead.

The Tide added to its lead in the second inning when Wilkins was hit by a pitch, stole second and scored when Phillips hit a grounder to the shortstop who threw wildly to first staking Alabama to a 5-0 lead.

In the top of the third, Centenary came up with its lone hit of the game when with two outs, Amanda LeBlanc looped a 2-2 pitch into right field that a diving Courtney was not able to come up with. Wright got the next batter to ground out to third base to end the inning.

Bama scored twice in the bottom half of the inning when Courtney led off with a double and scored on a single by Johnson. Johnson stole second and scored when Capper Reed recorded her first collegiate hit doubling into the right-centerfield gap pushing Bama's lead to 7-0.

Alabama closed out the game, by virtue of the run-rule in the bottom of the fourth inning. Currie came on to pinch hit for Johnson and delivered a two-out, two-RBI single through the right side for the final 9-0 score.

"It was a great day for left field," said Murphy speaking of Johnson and Currie, as the two left-fielders combined to go 3-3 with four RBI and two runs scored.

The win added to Alabama's season high nine-game winning streak and it raised the Tide's all-time record against Centenary to 4-0. The Tide has outscored the Ladies 26-0 in the four games.

Bama will get back to Southeastern Conference competition this weekend as the Tide travels to Lexington, Kentucky to take on the Kentucky Wildcats in a three-game series.

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