Tide Softball Has Tough Time, But Wins

With two outs, two strikes and Alabama trailing by two in the bottom of the sixth inning, CrimsonTide freshman Amanda Locke stepped to the plate and ripped a two-base hit to the right-center field wall that scored two runs and propelled the number-two ranked Crimson Tide to its third victory of the weekend over Mississippi State by the score of 3-2.

"To start us out, Charlotte Morgan got the hit, then Lauren Parker got hit," Alabama Coach Patrick Murphy said. "With two on and two out Locke battled extremely well there and fouled off a couple of pitches until she finally got one she could hit in the gap. Lauren is quick enough to score on it. That was definitely the at-bat of her career so far."

With the win Alabama improves to 23-2 (3-0 SEC) and Mississippi State falls to 14-9 (0-3 SEC). Locke finished the day 2-for-3 at plate with two RBI while Charlotte Morgan added a 2-for-2 performance with one RBI.

Sophomore Kelsi Dunne pitched the complete game, scattered four hits on the afternoon and struck out eight batters. With the win Dunne improves to 10-0 on the season and has not allowed an earned run since Feb. 21.

"It was a tough choice between Dunne and Charlotte (Morgan) because both are throwing well," Murphy said. "Other than Dunne's one throwing error, she was lights out."

Mississippi State posted two runs in the first inning off Alabama miscues but the Tide gained ground when Morgan singled up the middle to bring home Jennifer Fenton.

After playing the next four innings scoreless Alabama came through in the bottom of the sixth inning to take the lead.

Morgan singled over the head of the shortstop then reached second after Parker was hit by a pitch to put two runners on, and the go ahead run aboard. Locke knocked a double to the right-center wall to score both runners and give the Tide a 3-2 advantage and the win.

Chelsea Bramlett paced the Bulldogs at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a run. Lindsey Dunlap gave up six hits and struck out four in six innings pitched. Dunlap falls to 6-5 with loss.

Alabama travels to Baton Rouge, La. to play LSU at 5 p.m. on Wednesday before heading to Oxford to take on Ole Miss in a three-game series over the weekend.

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