Tide Softball Gets Past Devilettes

The No. 2 ranked Alabama softball team swept its midweek doubleheader against Mississippi Valley State by posting scores of 8-5 and 11-2 Thursday afternoon at the UA Softball Complex. Freshman Amanda Locke earned the win in both contests to help the Crimson Tide improve to 20-2. Jennifer Fenton, Brittany Rogers and Jazlyn Lunceford all collected three hits in a contest.

"You have to give Mississippi Valley State credit, they were able to get hits with two strikes and I think this is one of the better teams they have had," Alabama Coach Patrick Murphy said. "This is the first time all year we have had the top of our lineup go 8-for-8 in a game and that was impressive. Amanda [Locke] has to work through it but I think in the second game she was a lot more confident and aggressive."

The Devilettes kept it close in game one by putting up a five spot in the second inning but the Crimson Tide answered by banging out nine hits and scoring eight runs to earn the win. Fenton and Catherine Dozier collected multi hit games and Locke went the distance, striking out five. In game two Rogers and Lunceford collected three hits apiece and Locke struck out seven to earn her second win on the day. The freshman improves to 6-0 on the season.

Game 1

The No. 2 ranked Alabama softball team defeated Mississippi Valley State 8-5 in the first game of a doubleheader Thursday afternoon at the UA Softball Complex. The Crimson Tide scored eight runs on nine hits to improve to 19-2 on the season. Mississippi Valley State drops to 8-2 on the year.

Alabama was led at the plate by the red hot bat of freshman Jennifer Fenton who went 3-for-4 with three RBI that came off her third home run of the year. Catherine Dozier added a 2-for-3 effort with one RBI and two runs scored.

Alabama struck first by posting two runs in the first inning. Fenton singled up the middle, stole second, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Jazlyn Lunceford and made it home off an error that put Cassandra Reilly-Boccia on second base. Reilly-Boccia then scored after Charlotte Morgan singled to center field.

Followed by a five-run second inning by the Devilettes, Alabama responded by adding three runs to tie the game. After Kellie Eubanks walked and Dozier singled, Fenton homered off the left field foul pole to clear the bases.

With one out in the bottom of the fourth, Dozier belted her first home run in just her sixth at bat of the year to put the Tide back on top, 6-5. That run proved to be all Alabama would need as Mississippi Valley State was held scoreless for the remainder of the game.

The Crimson Tide added two more in the sixth inning to further cushion their lead. Brittany Rogers led the inning off with a walk, stole second then advanced to third on a Lauren Parker single to right field. Fenton reached first base on a fielder's choice which allowed Rogers and Parker to score on the errant throw home, giving UA an 8-5 lead.

Amanda Locke picked up the win in the circle, scattering nine hits and striking out five in seven innings pitched. With the win Locked improved to 5-0 on the season.

Game 2

After scoring five runs in the first inning the No. 2 ranked Alabama softball team cruised to an 11-2, five inning victory in Thursday evening's night cap against Mississippi Valley State at the UA Softball Complex. The Crimson Tide improves to 20-2 while the Devilettes drop to 8-3 on the season.

Brittany Rogers and Jazlyn Lunceford turned in 3-for-3 performances at the plate with Lunceford knocking in two runs and Rogers adding one RBI. Jennifer Fenton was 2-for-2 with one RBI and three runs scored.

Amanda Locke earned her second victory of the night in the circle, pitching five innings, striking out seven batters and giving up only five hits. The win takes Locke to 6-0 on the year.

Alabama got off to a fast start by scoring five runs in the first inning. After reaching base on a single, Rogers stole second, advanced to third on single by Lunceford and was knocked in by a single to right field by Locke. The Tide took advantage of Mississippi Valley State miscues and scored two runs on errors by the Devilettes. Kelley Montalvo provided the big hit of the inning, knocking in two more on a double to right center.

Alabama added two more in the second inning after Fenton walked, stole second and third base then scored when Lunceford doubled to left center. Lunceford advanced to third off a Montalvo fly out and later scored on a wild pitch to give Alabama the 7-0 lead.

After MVSU scored two in the third, the Tide responded by posting three of their own. After Whitney Larsen singled up the middle and proceeded to steal second, Rogers knocked her home and reached third on the throw to the plate. Jennifer Fenton singled to bring Rogers home and Lunceford singled to knock in Fenton.

The Tide added one more in the fourth when Jessica Smith, after pinch hitting for Reilly-Boccia, scored on dropped fly ball by the Devilettes' left fielder on what would have been the third out of the inning.

Alabama begins Southeastern Conference play this weekend when they welcome Mississippi State to Tuscaloosa for a twin bill on Saturday and another game on Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday.

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