Alabama Softball Sweeps Arkansas
After the day Alabama improves to 38-9 on the season and 17-4 in Southeastern Conference play while extending its winning streak to 14 games.
Alabama senior Charlotte Morgan allowed one run and scattered six hits to lead the Crimson Tide to a 6-1 complete game effort to open the series against Arkansas Saturday at Bogle Park. Alabama scored in all but two innings to extend its winning streak to 13 games.
Sophomores Amanda Locke and Cassie Reilly-Boccia each collected two hits with a home run each and freshman Kayla Braud also tallied a pair of knocks to lead the offensive attack for the Crimson Tide.
Alabama opened the scoring in the first frame just two batters into the ball game. Reilly-Boccia took a 0-2 pitch and deposited just above the wall in left field to give the Tide an early 1-0 lead.
The Tide struck again with the long ball in the very next inning, again connecting on a two-strike pitch. Locke was sitting changeup with two strikes and she did not miss, blasting it over the camera deck in centerfield to give Alabama a 2-0 advantage.
In the fifth Alabama tacked on two more with back-to-back sacrifice flies. Morgan helped her own cause by driving Keima Davis on a lined shot to deep right and then Whitney Larsen followed suit with a fly out to left that plated Braud.
The Tide added another run via the sacrifice in the top of the sixth to extend its lead to 5-0. Davis this time was on the hitting end as she hit a deep fly to center that scored Locke from third.
Arkansas got a run back in the bottom half of the sixth when Jessica Bachkora hit a triple that just snuck under the glove of the diving Davis in centerfield. Pinch-hitter Becca Carden then drove in Bachkora on a softly hit ball to first.
Alabama added an insurance run in the seventh when the Tide executed the double steal. Jazlyn Lunceford took second which enabled pinch-runner Catherine Dozer to swipe home to extend the Alabama lead to 6-1.
Alabama junior Whitney Larsen hit a pair of home runs and collected four hits while Kayla Braud tallied three hits to lead the Crimson Tide to a 16-8 victory in game two of the twin-bill Saturday afternoon at Bogle Park.
Jazlyn Lunceford, Courtney Conley and Keima Davis also tallied multi-hit games, with Conley driving in three runs and scoring twice to add to the Alabama offensive onslaught.
Alabama again raced out to an early lead when Morgan connected on her 15th home run of the season. The senior hit a two-run shot deep over the wall in left-center to bring home Braud, who started things off with a bunt single.
The long ball continued in the inning when Amanda Locke hit a two-run homer of her own – her 12th of the season to give the Tide the early 4-0 lead before the second out of the game. The round-tripper plated Larsen, who singled up the middle.
After a 27 minute rain delay Alabama returned to the diamond and promptly extended its lead to 5-0. After a single by Braud before the delay and a stolen base on the first pitch after, Morgan hit a fly ball to centerfield that was mishandled that enabled Braud to score.
Alabama added three more in the third with two coming off the bat of Braud. The newcomer knocked in two runs with a triple to right-center for her fifth hit of the day to score Conley and Davis. Cassie Reilly-Boccia then drove in Braud with a sac-fly to deep centerfield to make the score 8-0.
Arkansas tallied its first run of the contest when Layne McGuirt hit a lined shot right at Lunceford in left field for a sac-fly that scored pinch-runner Amanda Summerford from the third.
The Tide continued to pour it on in the fourth when it added four more runs. Conley provided the big hit in the inning by knocking in three runs off the fence in right field for a triple. Conley then later scored on an error by the shortstop to give Alabama a commanding 12-1 cushion.
After the Razorbacks crept back with four runs in the fourth to pull within seven on the strength of a three-run shot off the bat of Miranda Dixon, Larsen got a run back in the top of the fifth with a solo shot to left-centerfield. The home run was the eighth of the season for Larsen and it gave the Tide a 13-5 lead.
Arkansas again would not go down easy as Amanda Caldwell hit her first career home run in the bottom of the fifth to make the score 13-6.
Staying true to the pattern of the contest the Tide scored three runs in the sixth. After a sacrifice fly by Reilly-Boccia that scored Davis, Larsen hit her second homer of the game, this time a two-run shot to extend the lead to 16-6.
Alabama will wrap up the series against Arkansas on Sunday. The two teams will meet will start the final game of the series at 12:30 p.m.
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