Softball Loses, Leads In Suspension

Alabama is the nation's fourth-ranked softball team, a squad that has reasonable national championship aspirations. But the Crimson Tide was upset by one of the poorest teams in the Southeastern Conference Friday.

Alabama fell to South Carolina, 3-2, in eight innings in the first game in Columbia. Alabama was breezing, 4-0, in the fifth inning of the second game when lightning forced suspension.

The second game of the three-game series will resume at 1 p.m. EDT (noon central time) Saturday, followed by the final game of the series.

Bama opened the three game series against South Carolina by suffering a 3-2 loss at Beckham Field. The Gamecocks secured the win with a walk-off single off the bat of Laura Mendes that scored Evan Childs from second base with two outs in the eighth inning.

After the loss the Crimson Tide fall to 32-7 overall and 10-5 in SEC play while the Gamecocks improve to 16-16 on the season and 3-13 in league action.

South Carolina opened the scoring in the bottom of the first on two unearned runs. Adele Voigt reached on a catcher's interference and later scored. Then with an out Alabama catcher Ashley Holcombe attempted to pick off Jill Semento but she ran into second baseman Lauren Parker who was trying to gather the throw. With the ball loose Kristen Stubblefield was able to score from third.

Alabama answered in the second when Holcombe drilled a single to centerfield that brought home Cassandra Reilly-Boccia and pinch-runner Lisa Elizondo. Reilly-Boccia reached on a single and Elizondo pinch ran for Morgan who led off the frame with a walk.

Charlotte Morgan (9-6) was tagged with the loss after pitching 4 2/3 innings of relief. The junior fanned seven and allowed one run on five hits. Dunne started the game and allowed two unearned runs and then came back into the seventh in relief.

Reilly-Boccia and Holcombe collected two hits apiece while the senior backstop drove in the pair of Crimson Tide runs. Eight different Gamecocks collected hits in the series opener.

Audrey Broyles (9-7) earned the win for South Carolina behind a 153 pitch effort. Broyles allowed two runs on eight hits and fanned five in the winning effort.

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