Tide Softball Drops Opener at UW

The No. 11 seeded University of Alabama softball team lost the first game of the best-of-three series in the NCAA Super Regionals against the sixth-seeded University of Washington Huskies 4-3 on Friday in Seattle, Washington

The Tide found themselves down 3-0 after two innings but stormed back in the top of the third inning. Ashley Holcombe jumpstarted the Bama offense by lacing a single to right field to lead off the frame. A throwing error by Huskies pitcher Danielle Lawrie allowed Michelle Menningmann to reach base and go to second. Mallory Benak, pinchrunning for Holcombe, went to third on the play. Kellie Eubanks filled the bases when she was hit-by-a-pitch.

Brittany Rogers brought the first Tide run in to score with a high chopper to second for a fielder's choice. Jordan Praytor, making her first trip back to her home state, brought in another run with an infield single to second. The tying run came in to score on a deep sacrifice fly by Dani Woods to the warning track in center field, making the score 3-3.

Alabama had a chance to take the lead in the fourth but a pair of mistakes took them out of the inning. With runners on second and third and one out, Eubanks popped up a bunt to third and on the play Mandy Burford was gunned out trying to score from third for a double play. Washington took advantage in the bottom half with a solo home run by Lauren Greer to left field to take a 4-3 lead.

The Tide would only manage two baserunners over the final three innings as Lawrie found her groove on the mound with six strikeouts over the final three innings to give her nine for the game. Lawrie improved to 28-11 allowing two earned runs on four hits in seven innings. Blair Potter fell to 20-3 on the year after giving up three earned runs on six hits with five strikeouts in six innings.

The Huskies took an early lead with a run in the first inning. Ashley Charters singled up the middle to lead off the bottom of the first. A groundout moved her to second and she came around to score on a one-out single up the middle by Dominique Lastrapes.

A reversed call by third base umpire Joe Squires would allow two more runs to score in the second inning. Greer was originally called out at second on a bunt attempt by Ashlyn Watson. The call was changed after discussion putting runners on first and second with no outs. A sacrifice bunt moved the runners up one base and a suicide squeeze by Nicole Moojen would bring Greer in to score. The third Washington run would score on an error by Tide catcher Ashley Holcombe as she tried to pick off Watson at third base and the throw escaped to left field.

Alabama was led by Jordan Praytor and Ashley Holcombe who had two hits apiece. Greer led the Huskies with two hits, one RBI and two runs scored, including the game-winning home run. Charters went 3-for-3 in the leadoff spot with one run scored in the contest.

The Crimson Tide and Huskies will continue the series to decide who goes to the Women's College World Series tomorrow at 12 p.m. at Husky Softball Stadium. The WCWS is held annually in Oklahoma City.

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