Tide Jumps on Stanford in Super Regional

More than 1,000 fans were on hand at the Alabama Softball Stadium to see the No. 5 seeded Alabama softball team beat No. 12 Stanford 4-1 in game one of the NCAA Super Region Championships. "I thought that it was just a great battle. It was a great setting with a good crowd," Alabama head coach Patrick Murphy said.

"It's what you expect when you are at a Super Regional trying to get to the World Series."

The match-up drew 1,037 fans, a new stadium postseason record. Alabama goes to 53-9 on the season, while the Cardinal falls to 42-17.

"We battled though, against an All-American pitcher, but we need to do a better job of not giving up outs," Stanford head coach John Rittman said. "We need to try to keep the top of their lineup off base, that's how they score a lot of runs."

For the Tide, the offense went through junior Mandy Burford who drove in three runs in the first three innings and scored the final run in the bottom of the sixth all from the nine-spot in the lineup. Burford pushed senior Dominique Accetturo across in the second inning and scored Accetturo again as well as freshman Kelley Montalvo in the third. Burford scored off a Dani Woods sacrifice.

"I have just tried to be more consistent," Burford said. "Each time we play and the more reps I get the easier it seems to come."

Murphy had nothing but praise for his left fielder.

"I said before the game to her in the batting cage that we have our little package of dynamite in the nine spot," Murphy said. "We hope that the other teams might overlook her there after seeing Steph (VanBrakle) and some of our other hitters in the lineup. She did a good job on a two-strike count on her first hit. We've done it before with kids in the nine spot; we can see what they do in practice every day."

Alabama senior Stephanie VanBrakle had a six-hit outing, giving up just one run to go to 28-5 on the season. Alabama tagged Cardinal senior Laura Severson with her first loss of the season, putting her at 10-1 after touching her for nine hits.

Play resumes in the best of three series tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. If Stanford wins the second game the deciding contest is slated for 4 p.m. The winner of the series advances to the World Series in Oklahoma City, Okla.


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