Long And Short Of It Is Tide Wins

After giving up an unearned run in the top of the fifth inning, the No. 5 Alabama softball team struck back in the bottom frame of the inning with a combination of the long ball and small ball, scoring two runs to defeat FIU 2-1 Thursday night.

The win improves Alabama to 19-7 on the season, while dropping FIU to 18-8 on the year.

"We were happy with the weather and the crowd and to finally be back at home," Alabama Coach Patrick Murphy said. "We need to get on a roll because we have some very key SEC games ahead of us. FIU is a very good team with a good pitcher and I would not be surprised to see them in a regional down the road."

Amanda Locke ended Alabama's struggles at the plate with a solo home run ripped over the center field wall tying the game at 1-1. Then with two outs Jennifer Fenton hit a sharp grounder skipping off the second baseman's glove and hopping into right-center field. Fenton proceeded to steal second and then third and came around to score on a throwing error by the FIU catcher. Fenton's run put Alabama on top for the first time in the game and ended up being enough to lift the Tide to a 2-1 victory.

Kelsi Dunne picked up the win for Alabama in relief of Lauren Sewell. Dune struck out five of the seven batters she faced in 2 2/3 innings, all while not allowing a hit or a walk.

Sewell gave up one unearned run on one hit and two walks in 4 1/3 innings. The freshman from Pembroke Pines, Fla., struck out eight in her fourth start of the season.

Kasey Barrett was tagged with the loss for the Golden Panthers. Barrett allowed two runs, both earned, on five hits, while striking out two and walking one.

Alabama will host its first SEC home series when it welcomes South Carolina to the Softball Complex. The two teams will square off in three games, with a doubleheader slated to begin on Saturday, March 20 at 1:00 p.m. The Sunday contest will be televised on Fox Sports South.

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