Softball Wins With Home Runs
"The pregame batting practice was pretty good and we had a really good batting practice yesterday and you just hope it continues to a game," Alabama Coach Patrick Murphy said. "It is nice to see it in a game and to do it against a good team like Northwestern makes it that much more special."
Sophomores Jazlyn Lunceford and Kendall Dawson each collected three hits, including a home run each while fellow sophomore Amanda Locke hit a pair of home runs and drove in a career-high five runs in the rout.
Tide All-America hurler Kelsi Dunne scattered three hits and allowed one run while striking out 10 to improve to 17-4 on the season. Dunne has struck out 10 or more on eight different occasions this season.
Saturday marked softball's annual "Power of Pink" game in participation with the university's athletic department program to raise awareness and financial contributions to the DCH Breast Cancer fund. The softball program raised $12,000 on the day for the local breast cancer fund. $7,086 was brought in by Tuscaloosa Toyota's generous donation at three dollars per fan in attendance. The team's pink jersey charity auction raised $3,165 and coach Murphy cut a check for $1,749 to give the softball team an even contribution of $12,000 for the day.
"To have Sue Kretschman and Grisel Montalvo along with Kate Nichols here was really special," Murphy said. "They all spoke with the team beforehand. We all think that this can be difficult at times but it is nothing compared to what these three have been through. I think our girls were inspired by all three of them today."
Alabama opened the contest in a hurry by knocking a pair of two-run home runs out of the park. Senior Charlotte Morgan opened the power surge with a high shot over the left field wall to give the Tide an early 2-0 lead.
Locke then hit a moon shot over the centerfield wall, marking her second home run in as many at-bats to extend the Alabama lead to 4-0.
In the second the Tide continued to score by the way of the long ball when the leadoff hitter in the inning, Kendall Dawson, went deep with a lined shot over the centerfield fence. With the home run Alabama quickly raced out to a 5-0 lead.
The home run trend continued this time for Northwestern. Kelly Dyer was the first Wildcat to get to Alabama hurler Kelsi Dunne with a home run to left field to make the score 5-1. Dunne had retired the first six batters she faced – five by the way of strikeout.
Locke struck again, hitting a 1-2 pitch over the scoreboard to make the Alabama lead to 8-1 in the third. The prodigious blast was her third home run in as many at-bats. Alabama then broke the home run trend by scoring a single run on a bases loaded walk. Sophomore Cassie Reilly-Boccia took ball four on a full count to bring home senior Alex Blewitt, who reached on an error.
The offensive onslaught continued in the fourth inning when sophomore Jazlyn Lunceford joined the home run derby. Lunceford took an outside pitch and hit a lined shot over the left-centerfield wall to move Alabama to an 11-1 lead. The Tide capped off its scoring when Dawson blooped a single down the right field line to score pinch-runner Keima Davis from second.
Alabama will close out its two-game weekend series against Northwestern with a Sunday matinee at Noon.
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