Bama Wins Clash Of Number Ones

Alabama won the first round of the clash of the number ones. The Crimson Tide softball team defeated the Washington Huskies 6-0 Friday night at the UA Softball Complex in front of a record crowd of 2661. Sophomore hurler Kelsi Dunne earned the complete game shutout with an eight strikeout, two-hit performance to improve to 7-0 on the season. The win is a program first against a top-ranked team.

The unusual Number One vs. Number One is the result of there being two national college softball polls. Alabama is first in one rating, Washington first in the other.

"To be able to play the number one team and be number one and do it in front of an awesome atmosphere was great," head coach Patrick Murphy said. "The girls played well. I have been to enough sporting events to know all the pressure is on the home team and I didn't get that from the team tonight. I thought they played loose and it all started with Kelsi and everyone followed."

After leading off the game with a run in the first the Crimson Tide exploded for four runs in the third on the strength of a two-run shot off the bat of Whitney Larsen. Alabama tacked on one more in the fourth to secure the victory.

Freshman Amanda Locke gave the Tide the early lead when she drilled a ball that caromed off the Huskies third baseman to bring home pinch runner Lisa Elizondo. Larsen then connected on her two-run shot on a 3-1 count to bring home Kelley Montalvo, who reached on a walk.

Freshman Cassandra Reilly-Boccia then squeaked a ball through the right side to drive home Lauren Parker. Locke was also able to score when Reilly-Boccia was caught in a pickle and eventually thrown out at second.

Alabama tacked on its final run of the contest in the fourth when Montalvo smacked a single up the middle that brought in Brittany Rogers.

The All-American Rogers batted 3-for-4 with three stolen bases. The loss for Washington is their first on the season while Alabama improves to 15-1 on the year.

Felicia Harris was tagged for the loss (5-1) after giving up six runs on eight hits. Ashlyn Watson and Alicia Blake were the only Husky hitters to get to Dunne on the day.

In game one of the Easton Challenge Washington defeated Baylor 1-0 in eight innings. Baylor hurler Whitney Canion struck out 15 in the losing effort. Georgia defeated Baylor in the second game in five innings by the score of 12-1.

Alabama will conclude its battle with Washington at 1:30 p.m. CST Saturday, and then play Baylor at 4 p.m. Play will begin on Saturday with Georgia facing off against Washington at 11 a.m. Baylor and Georgia will once again face off to close the day at 6:30 p.m.

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