Softball wins on West Coast

The No. 22 ranked (USA Today/NFCA) University of Alabama softball team wrapped up its season opening weekend by outlasting Loyola Marymount 7-4 at the Stacy Winsberg Memorial.

The Tide began its season by taking an extended road trip to the West Coast, taking on the very best teams college softball had to offer in the process.

With the victory, the Crimson Tide's record improves to 3-2 on the young season, while Loyola drops to 2-2.

All-American Jackie McClain and senior Lacy Prejean led Alabama offensively. McClain drove in two runs and scored a run while collecting three hits. Prejean drove in two runs on the strength of her second home run of the season. Prejean also added a double and scored two runs.

Erin Wright picked up the win for the Tide, striking out six Lions and allowing only one run in five innings of relief.

Loyola was led by Danielle Kaminaka and Casie Phillips. Kaminaka collected two hits, including a home run while Phillips picked up two hits and drove in a run as well.

Sami Strinz took the loss for the Lions, giving up 10 hits and six earned runs in three and two-thirds innings.

Alabama jumped out early on the Lions when McClain singled to right field to score Jaclyn Wilkins from third base and take a 1-0 first inning lead.

However, Loyola tied the game at one in the bottom of the first inning when Phillips singled to center field to plate Kaminaka.

In the top of the second inning, Jen Reach gave the Tide the lead once again when she doubled to right center field, driving in Leah White to make the score 2-1.

After Lisa Abbott scored for the Lions in the bottom of the second inning to tie the game 2-2, Alabama showed its resiliency by adding two more runs in the top of the third for a 4-2 lead.

The Lions were only able to score one in the bottom of the third while the Tide managed two more runs in the top of the fourth after Ashley Courtney tripled to right field with two outs. Prejean then doubled, knocking Courtney in, and scored on a McClain double to left center.

The Tide scored again in the top of the sixth on a Prejean homerun to center field. Alabama allowed another run in the bottom of the sixth, but forced two runners left on base in the bottom of the seventh to close out the Lions, 7-4.

Alabama will head to Miami February 7-9 for the Fun in the Sun Classic with Florida Atlantic, Florida International and Ohio State. Times will be announced later this week.

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