Softball downs USM, 2-0

TUSCALOOSA, AL-The No. 15 ranked (USA Today/NFCA) University of Alabama softball team scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and All-American Shelley Laird threw her seventh shutout of the season as the Tide downed Southern Miss (22-22) 2-0.

After leaving five runners on base through the first five innings, the Crimson Tide (34-13) watched as sophomore Angela Johnson took a 3-2 pitch and sent it down the leftfield line for a two-run double and the game winning run.

Jackie McClain and Lacy Prejean led off the sixth with back-to-back walks and both advanced a base on a wild pitch before Johnson came up with her heroics.

Meanwhile, Laird was her All-American self allowing only three hits while striking out 12 batters in picking up her 19th win of the season. In the top of the third inning, she struck out Kristie Martin for 975th career strikeout. She is now 18 away from her 1,000th career strikeout.

"I felt good with Shelley out there," said Alabama head coach Patrick Murphy. "The more she pitches the better she gets."

Johnson's RBI were her 18th and 19th of the season which is a career high for her, while McClain's walk in the sixth was the 25th time in the last 27 games she has reached base safely.

Alabama evened the all-time series with Southern Miss at 1-1. The two schools will get together again on Wednesday, April 17 when the Tide travels to Hattiesburg for a single game.

Bama will be back in action this weekend as the Tide travels to Oxford, Mississippi for a three-game series with the Ole Miss Rebels. The series marks the first in an eight-game road swing in the Magnolia State for the Tide. Bama will follow Ole Miss with a game at Southern Miss and a three-game series in Starkville, Mississippi against the Mississippi State Bulldogs.

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