Softball sweeps Arkansas

The No. 20 ranked (ESPN/USA Softball) University of Alabama softball team (18-9, 3-0 SEC) defeated Arkansas (11-12, 0-3 SEC) 5-0 Sunday at the UA Softball Complex. The Tide victory completes a three game sweep of the Lady Backs in the opening weekend of Southeastern Conference play.

After playing scoreless ball for four and a half innings, Alabama was able to break through when with two outs in the bottom of the fifth.

Lacy Prejean drew a bases loaded walk after a thirteen pitch battle with Arkansas hurler Heather Schlichtman. The base on balls brought home Ashley Courtney to give Alabama a 1-0 lead. Staci Ramsey then continued her hot hitting with a bases clearing double to centerfield scoring Jackie Wilkins, Stephanie VanBrakle and Prejean to push the Tide out to a 4-0 lead.

Alabama rounded out its scoring in the sixth inning when Angela Johnson belted her first homer of the season, a solo shot, over the leftfield wall to round out the scoring at 5-0.

VanBrakle picked up the victory in her first career SEC start with her first career complete game shutout. The Chambersburg, Pa. native also tied her career high with 10 strikeouts. Her record improves to 4-3 on the season. Valanna Lyons took the loss for Arkansas dropping her record to 4-6.

Courtney was the offensive sparkplug for the Tide, collecting two hits and scoring the game winning run while also stealing a base and being hit by a pitch.

Offensively, Arkansas was led by Candice Swan who picked up two of Arkansas' five hits.

Alabama will take the middle of the week off before returning to action next Saturday afternoon in Knoxville, Tenn. as the Lady Vols play host to the Tide.

Game Notes

  • Jackie Wilkins three walks ties the UA Softball Complex record.
  • The shutout was the first career shutout for Stephanie VanBrakle.
  • The Tide is 9-1 all-time against Arkansas at the UA Softball Complex, including five shutouts.
  • Staci Ramsey finished the series going 5-9 at the plate with two doubles and seven RBI. Ramsey currently has a team leading six game hitting streak.
  • Sunday marked the first appearance of the season for Capper Reed who pinch ran for Jackie McClain in the sixth inning. Reed also plays basketball.

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