No. 2 Softball Secures Series with 4-2 Win
|Alabama 4, Mississippi State 2
|Auburn 7, Ole Miss 4
|Georgia 3, Florida 2
|Florida 4, Georgia 2
|South Carolina 7, Longwood 2
|South Carolina 12, Longwood 5
|Tennessee 8, Kentucky 0
|LSU 9, Arkansas 1
STARKVILLE, Miss. – The second-ranked Alabama softball team secured the series victory over its highway 82 rivals as it downed Mississippi State, 4-2, Saturday afternoon at the MSU Softball Stadium. With the win the Crimson Tide improve to 34-1 overall and 11-1 in Southeastern Conference play.
Junior Kayla Braud bounced back by reaching base three times, on the strength of two hits while sophomore Kaila Hunt also collected two hits, including a home run. Freshman Danielle Richard drove in a pair of runs, tallying a solo home run and a sac-fly in the winning effort.
Freshman Leslie Jury improved to 10-1 on the season as she allowed an unearned run on three hits in 4 1/3 innings pitched. Sophomore Jackie Traina came in and struck out two in the seventh to earn her first save of the season.
Alabama got things going in the second inning when the Tide scored two runs. Richard opened the scoring with a sac-fly to left to score senior Amanda Locke from third. Then with the bases loaded, senior Jennifer Fenton tallied an infield single to plate senior Jazlyn Lunceford.
After MSU scored an unearned run in the bottom of the second the Crimson Tide turned to the longball as it two solo home runs. Hunt hit her team-leading 13th home run of the season with a shot over the wall in left-center in the third inning and then Richard hit her second career homer with a liner over the wall in center in the fourth inning.
Leading 4-1 in the fourth, junior Kayla Braud preserved the score by scaling the wall in left to rob an Erin Nesbit would-be two-run homer. MSU scored a run in the sixth to pull within two, but Traina closed the door with an overpowering seventh inning in the circle.
Auburn Defeats Ole Miss
Oxford, Miss. – Auburn shortstop Lauren Guzman tied a career-best with four hits while junior Brooke Lathan drove in three runs as the 24th-ranked Tigers’ softball team beat Ole Miss 7-4 Saturday afternoon.
Auburn improved to 26-11 overall and 5-7 in the Southeastern Conference. Ole Miss fell to 14-18 overall and 2-8 in the SEC. Saturday’s win gave the Tigers a series victory after Auburn won game one Friday night. The teams conclude the series Sunday at 1 p.m. CT.
Bunner improved to 11-2 with the complete-game victory. Bunner allowed four runs (all earned) on seven hits with no walks and two strikeouts.
Erinn Jayjohn took the loss to fall to 2-7. Jayjohn started and went the distance, allowing seven runs (all earned) on nine hits with one walk and three strikeouts.
Auburn jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning. After the first two batters of the inning were retired, Caitlin Schultze drew a walk and was followed by Baylee Stephens who was hit by a pitch. With two on, Lauren Guzman laced a triple to the wall in right-center that scored both runners.
Bunner was in a groove from the start as she retired the Rebels in order in the first and second innings. Bunner retired the first two Ole Miss batters in the third inning before Cali Overbeck picked up the first Ole Miss hit of the game with a single to left. Bunner ended the inning on the next batter, when Corrine Doornberg grounded out.
Ole Miss got its second hit of the game with a one-out single from RT Cantillo in the fourth inning. Bunner would leave Cantillo stuck at first as she retired the next two batters on a pair of infield pop-ups.
After going down in order in the third and fourth innings, the Tigers were able to pad their lead in the top of the fifth inning. Guzman reached on a one-out single and then advanced to third on a slow ground out to first by Branndi Melero. Hilary Mavromat followed with a single to center that plated Guzman to push the Auburn lead to 3-0.
The Tigers added a run in the top of the sixth when Schultze delivered a two-out RBI. Lathan singled to open the inning and took second on a sac bunt. A ground out moved Lathan to third and Schultze followed with a single to left that gave Auburn a 4-0 lead.
Ole Miss broke the shutout bid with two outs in the sixth. Doornberg singled with one out, but was forced out on a fielder’s choice from pinch-hitter Natalie Nimmo. After Brittany Broome was put back in at first, Cantillo laced a triple off the wall in left to score Broome and make it a 4-1 game. Bunner ended the rally when she forced Londen Ladner to ground out to Guzman at shortstop.
Auburn broke the game open in the top of the seventh when Lathan ripped a one-out, three-run home run to center. Lathan’s home run was her fifth of the season and her second of the series. The homer came with Branndi Melero (error) and pinch-runner Kristyn Richards aboard. Richards ran for Mavromat who reached a fielder’s choice that did not produce an out.
Trailing 7-1 going into the bottom of the seventh, Ole Miss mounted a rally. The Rebels made it a 7-2 game when Jayjohn hit a one-out, solo home run to left. It was Jayjohn’s first home run of the season. After a ground out, Amanda Hutcheson singled through the right side and came in to score on Overbeck’s fifth home run of the season.
No. 9 Georgia Splits Series With No. 4 Florida
ATHENS, Ga.—The No. 9 University of Georgia softball team finished Saturday with a split decision in its contests with No. 4 Florida, as the Bulldogs took a 3-2 win in the team’s rain delayed game from Friday before falling 4-2 in game two.
Georgia is now 29-6 on the season and 8-3 in league play while Florida moves to 30-4 and 11-2 in the SEC.
Game One-Georgia 3, Florida 2
Georgia finished out the rain delay from Friday’s night game on Saturday with a 3-2 win over the Gators.
Resuming in the top of the seventh with one out and a Florida runner on first, Kasey Fagan powered a two-run shot over the left center field wall to put the score at 3-2. Senior Erin Arevalo then put up back-to-back strikeouts to record the final two outs.
Arevalo earned the win after she gave up eight hits and struck out eight in a complete game of work. Florida’s Hannah Rogers took the loss, as she allowed three runs, one earned, on three hits while striking out four.
Reining Freshman of the Week Paige Wilson finished the game with two hits and two runs while senior Brittney Hubbard posted Georgia’s other hit along with a run. Seniors Kristyn Sandberg and Ashley Pauly batted in the runs, as Sandberg had two and Pauly with one.
Game Two-Florida 4, Georgia 2
Despite outhitting Florida 9-7, Georgia dropped the second game of the series 4-2 on Saturday.
Wilson along with juniors Tess Sito and Macie Couey each posted two hits in the contest followed by Sandberg, senior Ashley Razey and freshman Gracie Goulder with one apiece.
Arevalo took the loss, as she gave up two runs, one earned, on five hits while striking out four in four innings of work. Sophomore Morgan Montemayor started the contest and allowed two runs on two hits and stuck out seven. Florida’s Lauren Haeger earned the win after giving up one run on six hits while putting down six batters. Rogers took the start, as she gave up a run on three hits.
Goulder put the Bulldogs ahead 1-0 in the second with a solo shot to right field. Florida answered back in the top of the third, though, to knot the contest at one apiece. Ensley Gammel made her way to second on a walk and sacrifice bunt from Katie Medina before scoring the run on a K. Fagan single to left center.
Georgia responded immediately in the bottom frame with a Sandberg home run to go up 2-1, but the lead was soon lost, as Florida tied it in the top of the fourth after Cheyenne Coyle’s home run.
Florida gained its first lead of the series in the fifth after adding two runs to pull ahead 4-2. Michelle Moultrie led off the inning with a single to right before the next at-bat issued two Bulldog errors to score Moultrie and allow Sami Fagan to reach third. S. Fagan then scored off of Bailey Castro’s single through the left side to close the game’s runs.
Gamecocks Sweep DH from Longwood behind Westfall's Power
Behind a two-home run day from senior Kaitlin Westfall, South Carolina (22-16) swept a doubleheader from Longwood (23-14) on Saturday afternoon at Beckham Field by scores of 7-2 and 12-5. Westfall went 4-for-6 with two homers, seven RBI and five runs scored in the two victories, becoming the 18th person in program history with 10 or more career blasts. Sophomore Chelsea Hawkins added doubles in both games.
Game 1 Recap
Westfall Powers Gamecocks to 7-2 Game 1 Win over Longwood The senior hit her third homer of the year, scored three runs and drove in two
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Behind senior leftfielder Kaitlin Westfall’s 2-for-2 day, South Carolina (21-16) ran past Longwood (23-13) in a 7-2 victory in game one of Saturday’s doubleheader at Beckham Field.
In the second, Westfall followed the leadoff walk drawn by sophomore second baseman Dana Hathorn with a blast to left field, her third home run of the year, to give the Gamecocks a 2-0 lead. Westfall reached base and scored in all three plate appearances.
The Gamecocks grew their advantage to 5-0 in the fourth, with a two-out, two-RBI single by junior shortstop Samie Garcia scoring Westfall and Hawkins brining home the first two runs of the inning. Senior pinch runner Sam Arbaugh scored the third run of the frame when the Lancers threw a ball into center on Garcia’s stolen base with two down.
Sophomore rightfielder Chelsea Hawkins added an RBI double with two outs in the fifth that scored Westfall to put South Carolina up 6-0. Senior centerfielder Lauren Lackey made it 7-0 with her seventh-inning RBI single to score senior pinch runner Jackie Slawson, who replaced senior first baseman Molly Brossart after she started the frame with a single.
Longwood tried to mount a comeback bid in the seventh, getting a two-out, two-RBI single from Katie Shinrock, but Gamecock redshirt junior Audrey Broyles (6-5) got an infield pop to end the inning and game.
Broyles struck out seven batters while allowing four hits and two unearned runs in the complete-game win. Broyles did not walk a batter. Ashley Cornell (7-4) took the loss for the Lancers, giving up seven runs, four earned, on 10 hits and three walks in six innings.
Freshman designated player Kristen Struett joined Lackey and Westfall as Gamecocks that had two hits in the game.
Game 2 Recap
Westfall’s Grand Slam Sends Gamecocks to 12-5 Victory over Longwood Senior also added another hit and drove in five runs in the contest
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Senior leftfielder Kaitlin Westfall hit her second homer of the day, her first career grand slam, to put the South Carolina Gamecocks (22-16) up for good in a 12-5 win over Longwood (23-14) in game two of the doubleheader in front of 613 fans at Beckham Field.
Westfall put the cap on the seven-run third, driving the 1-0 offering over the left-field wall to make it 7-0. Junior shortstop Samie Garcia started the scoring with her RBI single to the right side, scoring junior Hannah Milks after she pinch ran for redshirt senior Kaela Jackson and stole second. Senior centerfielder Lauren Lackey hit one off Longwood pitcher Libby Morris (10-7), driving home senior pinch runner Jackie Slawson. And senior third baseman Evan Childs placed a beautiful bunt down to score Garcia from third. Sophomore second baseman Dana Hathorn drew a walk to set up Westfall’s round-tripper.
South Carolina tacked on five more in the fourth, with Hathorn plating freshman pitcher Kristen Struett and Garcia with her bases-loaded single down the left-field line. Westfall brought home Childs with a single through the left side. Sophomore Chelsea Hawkins added an RBI on a grounder, allowing Hathorn to score. And Westfall scampered home after the Lancer leftfielder mishandled Jackson’s hit.
Longwood got out to a 3-0 lead after two-and-a-half innings. Brooke Short had an RBI single in the first, scoring Kori Nishitomi from second after she reached on a walk and moved up on a groundball. The Lancers struck with two outs in the third, with Short scoring on an error by the Gamecock leftfielder. Ashley Kramer added an RBI single back up the middle, scoring Jordan Cox from third.
The Lancers kept the game alive in the fifth, as Kramer drove a double to right center, plating Short after she reached on a fielder’s choice. A wild pitch allowed Cox to score from third after she got on base with a walk to make it 12-5.
Westfall led the Gamecocks with a 2-for-4 effort, driving in five that was helped by the grand slam. Westfall records the first five-RBI game for South Carolina since Jill Semento did the same on April 7, 2009 against Coastal Carolina.
Garcia went 2-for-4 as well with two runs scored and an RBI. Hathorn scored twice and drove in two in a 1-for-3 day. Hawkins added a double, while four Gamecocks - Garcia, Childs, Milks and Slawson - all stole a base.
Struett (2-0) got the win, tossing 4.2 innings and giving up five runs, three earned, on five hits and six walks. Gamecock freshman Katelynn Howser shut the door on Longwood, giving up one walk in a hitless 2.1 innings of relief. She struck out three. Morris took the loss for the Lancers, giving up 12 runs, 11 earned, on 10 hits and four walks in six innings.
#9 UT SOFTBALL OUTLASTS LENGTHY RAIN DELAY TO DOWN KENTUCKY, 8-0 (5 INN.)
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Despite dealing with a three-hour and three-minute rain/hail delay in the top of the fourth, the #9 Tennessee Lady Vol softball team (26-8, 8-5 Southeastern Conference) struck for eight runs over the opening two frames, rebounding from a tough loss in its series opener to roll past Kentucky on Saturday at the Lee Softball Stadium, 8-0 (5 inn.).
UT junior pitcher Ivy Renfroe fired her third consecutive shutout in improving to 8-6 on the season, scattering five hits, walking none and striking out two over 5.0 innings of work.
At the plate sophomore shortstop Madison Shipman was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and three RBIs, improving her team-leading RBI total to 35. Junior third baseman Raven Chavanne was 2-for-3 with a pair of tallies, marking the Thousand Oaks, Calif., native’s 14th multi-hit contest of the season. Junior right fielder Kat Dotson (1-for-1, RBI), junior second baseman Lauren Gibson (1-for-2, RBI) and junior first baseman Melissa Brown (1-for-2, RBI) each were credited with an RBI.
“The old saying between night and day,” Lady Vol Co-Head Coach Ralph Weekly said. “I thought our team played really well against a very good Kentucky team. It seems like the last couple or three years, every time we play them it’s a battle. We came out and played our game today like they played their game yesterday. It should be a really good rubber match tomorrow.”
After Renfroe struck out shortstop Kara Dill for the initial out of the first inning, third baseman Brittany Cervantes lifted a little blooper that dropped just inside the right field line for a base hit. A grounder to third advanced the runner into scoring position with two outs as catcher Griffin Joiner stepped into the batter’s box. She worked the count full before lining a single through the left side of the infield. Sophomore left fielder Melissa Davin charged the ball and came up throwing to the plate as senior catcher Ashley Andrews made the tag to keep the ‘Cats off the scoreboard.
A double just off the glove of a diving outfielder by Chavanne to open the bottom of the first got a big Lady Vol scoring outburst started. Dotson was struck by a pitch, putting two on and setting the stage for a RBI single from Shipman as the Lady Vols nabbed a quick 1-0 lead. With runners stationed at second and third and just one out, Gibson hit a ground ball on the infield, but it proved enough to score Dotson from just 60 feet away for a 2-0 advantage. Shipman soon strolled home from third on a Rachel Riley wild pitch as the Big Orange’s lead expanded to a trio of tallies.
Tennessee blew the contest open in the bottom of the second as the Lady Vol offense put up five runs by virtue of three hits and a Kentucky error. Andrews got the assault started with a lead-off single through the infield. Sophomore center fielder Tory Lewis hit a shot back to the circle that was thrown away at second as no UK infielder covered the bag while trying to get the lead runner. Chavanne then contributed an infield base knock, packing the bags full of Big Orange. A walk issued to Dotson forced in UT’s fourth tally, and then Shipman blasted a two-RBI double to the Lee Stadium wall as the gap expanded to 6-0. With the bases again loaded following a free pass to Gibson, a throwing error to first on a potential double-play grounder permitted Shipman to cross with Tennessee’s seventh score. A sacrifice fly off the bat of Brown completed the five-run frame as the Lady Vols raced in front by eight tallies.
Each team went down in order during a quiet third inning before inclement weather consisting of heavy rain and marble-sized hail entered the Lee Stadium area at approximately 2:58 p.m., necessitating a three-hour and three-minute delay in action.
Following the lengthy break Renfroe picked up where she left off, getting two quick outs before allowing a single to left center by designated player Ginny Carroll. The 6-0 right hander responded to the base runner by posting her second strikeout of the contest, concluding the frame.
The Big Orange threatened to add some insurance in its portion of the frame, beginning with Dotson singling on the infield. After Shipman popped out to Dill at shortstop, Gibson ripped a shot through the infield to give the Lady Vols a pair of runners with just one out. The base runners could advance no further, however, as a pop out and a strikeout ended the fourth.
LSU Softball Blitzes Arkansas for 10th Straight Win
BATON ROUGE – A.J. Andrews, Ashley Langoni and Juliana Santos each collected two hits and a pair of RBIs as the LSU softball team cruised to a 9-1 five-inning victory over Arkansas Saturday in-front of season’s best 1,421 fans at Tiger Park.
LSU (26-8, 9-1 SEC) racked up 11 hits, and all nine players in the starting lineup reached base. The Tigers also extended their season-long winning streak to 10 consecutive games and have won 15 of the last 16 meetings versus Arkansas (18-15, 2-11 SEC)
“That was a great job for us,” head coach Beth Torina said. “I thought all the way around it was a fantastic effort. Both on the mound and offensively – that was one of the best I’ve seen them. It was one of the best we’ve seen them offensively all season, and we can expect that from them because they are capable of putting up those numbers.”
Brittany Mack posted seven strikeouts against one walk and won her ninth straight decision to improve to 12-4 on the season. The senior right-hander was touched up for one run on three hits. She pounded the strike zone early and often en route to 14-of-20 first pitch strikes.
LSU came out clicking on all cylinders out of the gate and posted three first-inning runs. Jacee Blades and Langoni strung together back-to-back singles, while Santos crushed a RBI double into the left centerfield gap to give LSU a 1-0 edge.
Allison Falcon smashed a RBI single to left field which platted Langoni. A throwing error by Arkansas left fielder Jennifer Falcon enabled Santos to scamper home to make it 3-0.
“Of course, we wanted to come out and prove a point today,” Santos said. “We had a lot of opportunities yesterday, and we just weren’t able to capitalize on them. We hit fairly decent yesterday, we just didn’t get the timely hits. The coaching staff just put emphasis on that today. We just came out swinging, and I think you would agree with me that everybody got it done today.”
Arkansas scored its lone run during the third inning on an Amanda Guile two-out, RBI single to draw back to 3-1. The run ended LSU’s program record streak of five consecutive SEC shutouts. It also was the first earned run allowed by the Tigers during a 56.1 innings stretch dating back to the Mississippi State series opener on March 16.
LSU fired back with three-run fourth and fifth innings for the final margin of 9-1.
Tammy Wray opened the fourth with a leadoff single. Pinch runner Alex Boulet used aggressive base running to scoot all the way into third base on an Ashleigh Kuhn sacrifice bunt. Andrews, Langoni and Santos tacked on RBI hits to vault the Tigers to a 6-1 advantage.
The Tigers loaded the bases to start the fifth inning after an Ashley Applegate single, a Lauren Houston hit batsman and a Kuhn walk. Andrews laced a RBI single to left field, while Houston scored via a wild pitch to push the LSU edge to 8-1. Consecutive walks to Blades and Langoni capped the 9-1 win.
Arkansas’ Chelsea Cohen was tagged for six runs on nine hits in four-plus frames. She fell to 11-11 for the season.
“When they hit, they definitely hit in big bunches and big numbers – you can see that in our innings, we score a lot of runs at one time,” Torina said. “It’s definitely a mentality, and today we definitely had that confident mentality.”