Today In SEC Softball: April 25 > SEC > NEWS
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    Today In SEC Softball: April 25

    softBALL RESULTS
    Tulsa 12, Arkansas 9
    Tennessee 5, Tennessee State 0
    Georgia 9, Kennesaw State 1
    Alabama 12, Troy 0
    Mississippi State 1, Southern Miss 0

    Arkansas falls despite a remarkable effort

    Tulsa, Okla. – The University of Arkansas softball team dropped a heart-breaker in a 12-9 walk-off home run game to Tulsa on Wednesday afternoon. This moves the Razorbacks overall record to 24-22 while Tulsa moves to 33-11.
                   
    Arkansas started the game on a 5-0 run scoring five runs in the first three innings. The duo of Clarisa Navarro and Devon Wallace got the Razorbacks going in the top of the first. Wallace reached first base with a single to the right field. Navarro then recorded her eighth home run over the right center field wall to give Arkansas the 2-0 lead. Jayme Gee continued the first inning hitting spree by hitting the ball to the shortstop, who bobbled the ball, allowing her to make it to first base. Sierra Bronkey brought Gee home all the way from first with a double to the right center field to increase the lead to 3-0.
                   
    Tulsa placed its first runner in scoring position after Lacey Middlebrooks hit a line drive up the middle all the way to the wall, placing her on second. The Razorbacks solid defense prevented Middlebrooks from coming in for the score.
                   
    Sophomore Chloe Oprzedek blasted the second home run on the day over the center field wall in the top of the third, giving her seven on the season. Bronkey added to the home run derby collecting a solo over the right center field fence giving her two on the season, as well as, increasing Arkansas’s lead to five.
                   
    Tulsa answered in the bottom of the third loading the bases off of two singles a hit by pitch. Two runs were brought in off a fly ball hit to left center field.
                   
    Arkansas loaded the bases in the top of the fourth after Tori Mort, Wallace and Navarro all collected a walk. Unfortunately, Arkansas was unable to bring any runs home that inning, leaving three stranded.
                   
    The Golden Hurricane tied the game in the bottom of the fourth after three singles and a double brought in three runs.
                   
    Arkansas responded the very next inning after back-to-back singles from Gee and Bronkey. Megan Pearson hit a sacrifice bunt to advance the two runners and was safe at first due to a throwing error from the pitcher. Andrea Sullivan then placed a ball in center field bringing in one run. A throwing error by Tulsa allowed for the Razorbacks to bring in another run to make the score 8-5.
                   
    Tulsa did not back down and scored another run the bottom of the fifth with precise bunting from the Golden Hurricane making the score 8-6 in favor of Arkansas.
                   
    Arkansas put another run on the board in the sixth bringing home Navarro and giving Arkansas the 9-6 lead.
                   
    Middlebrooks kept the Golden Hurricane alive in the bottom of the seventh hitting a solo home run over the left field wall to make it a 9-7 game. Tulsa made it a one run game after Bowen hit a double to center field bringing in one run and making it a nail biting finish. The pinch hitter Julie Crane placed the ball down the right field line to advance the tying run from second to third, with only one out. After a confusing play where Oprzedek was uncertain if the ball hit down the right line was fair, Tulsa scored after a throwing error to first base. Jill Barrett, who went five-for-five on the day stepped up to the plate and hit a walk off home run to give Tulsa the 12-9 victory.
                   
    Junior’s Chelsea Cohen and Hope McLemore shared time in the circle for the Razorbacks Cohen throwing 4.1 innings and McLemore 2.0 innings.

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    GIBSON & BURCHELL’S RBIs LEAD #6 UT SOFTBALL PAST TENNESSEE STATE, 5-0

    KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – On Wednesday night at the Lee Softball Stadium, the #6 Tennessee Lady Vol softball team (41-9) weathered a 55-minute rain delay during the fourth inning and got two RBIs each from senior designated player Shelby Burchell and junior second baseman Lauren Gibson in defeating Tennessee State, 5-0.

    For the Lady Vols it marked their season-high 14th-straight win as well as UT’s 75th consecutive triumph over in-state opponsition dating back to March 22, 2000.

    Burchell led the Big Orange offense by going 2-for-4 with her seventh double and a pair of RBIs, while Gibson was 1-for-2 with a pair of walks (team-high 40 free passes) and two RBIs.  Junior first baseman Melissa Brown knocked in a tally via a 1-for-3 effort, and junior third baseman Raven Chavanne improved her season batting average to .417 by going a perfect 3-for-3 at the dish with a walk, two tallies and her squad-leading 24th and 25th steals.

    Junior pitcher Ivy Renfroe won her 11th consecutive decision from the circle, limiting the Tigers to just two hits with a walk and 10 strikeouts as part of her eighth solo shutout of 2012.

    “It’s always a huge challenge to play in-state teams,” Lady Vol Co-Head Coach Ralph Weekly said.  “They come ready to play.  Tennessee State has a good young pitcher who’s done well for them all season long.  We hit a lot of “at-em” balls tonight.  We had a lot of base hits, but we also hit a lot of balls right at people.  The weather delay prevented us from playing two games.  This was a good game for our team, and I’m proud of our players’ effort.”  

    After Renfroe rolled through the Tiger line-up in order in the top of the first, the Tennessee offense immediately jumped in front of TSU, putting up a pair of runs during the bottom half.  Chavanne got the outburst started with a perfect bunt single, reaching scoring position by stealing her team-high 24th base of the season.  A sac bunt from junior right fielder Kat Dotson advanced the UT speedster to third where she soon was joined on the base paths via walk by sophomore shortstop Madison Shipman.  The 6-1 shortstop swiped her 16th bag of the year, setting the stage for a two-RBI base knock off the bat of Gibson as the Big Orange nabbed a quick 2-0 lead.

    The Lady Vols threatened during both the second and third innings but failed to add to their advantage.  Consecutive two-out singles from sophomore center fielder Tory Lewis and Chavanne in the former and a two-out double by Burchell in the latter granted UT scoring chances against Tennessee State starting pitcher Shea Morris.  With Burchell at second with two down in the third, Brown ripped a promising shot into the gap, but the ball was tracked down on a great running grab by TSU center fielder Jennifer Givens.

    It didn’t really matter with Tennessee’s 6-0 hurler in firm control of the proceedings, retiring the first nine batters she faced through the opening trio of frames with five strikeouts. 

    With two outs in the top of the fourth, TSU finally managed its initial base runner as catcher Devin Amar drew a walk.  She never moved a muscle from first as Renfroe recorded her sixth K of the contest by catching first baseman Jordan Rehl swinging to end the frame.

    The skies opened up at the point as the two teams retreated to their respective dugouts for what amounted to a 55-minute rain delay.

    Tennessee State broke up Renfroe’s no-hit bid with one down in the top of the fifth as second baseman Kelly Troglin hit a high chopper up the middle that was corralled on the run Gibson, but she had no play. 

    The Lady Vol speed game got the Big Orange offense off-and-running again in the bottom of the fifth.  As she so often does, Chavanne got the attack started with an infield single and stolen base.  Dotson followed immediately with a sharp single into the outfield, placing a pair of speedsters on the bags with still none out.  With one down following a Dotson steal, Gibson battled to draw a walk, loading the bases for Burchell.  The Columbia, Tenn., native stepped into the batter’s box and ripped a two-RBI base knock through the infield, making it 4-0.  The advantage expanded to five tallies just seconds later as Brown followed with a RBI single of her own to score Gibson.

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    No. 12 Georgia Races Past Kennesaw State 9-1

    ATHENS, Ga.—The No. 12 University of Georgia softball team (36-12) used early runs to race past Kennesaw State (28-22) Wednesday night 9-1 in six innings at Jack Turner Stadium.

    Junior Tess Sito led the way offensively and in the circle, as the Ohio native went 4-for-5 on the night with a home run, scored a run and drove in two, while posting the game-ending RBI double. In the circle, Sito (8-1) earned the win after allowing three hits with seven strikeouts.

    Senior Ashley Pauly followed at the plate with two hits and a run while freshman Niaja Griffin notched two runs. As a team, Georgia tallied 11 hits in the contest.

    Kennesaw State’s Abbey Mixon (7-5) took the loss after giving up five hits and five runs in 1.1 innings of work. Monica Vickery then came in for 1.2 innings to give up three hits and three runs while Amanda Henderson allowed one run on three hits in the final 2.2 innings.

    Georgia came out explosive in the first inning, as Sito led off with a home run to right field. Pauly then reached on a fielding error before advancing to second on freshman Paige Wilson’s single. With senior Kristyn Sandberg loading the bases on a hit by pitch, Griffin doubled off the left center wall to put the score at 3-0. Two more runs came across the plate with junior Christine Olney’s extra-base hit to end the first at 5-0.

    The Bulldogs plated three runs in the bottom third to increase their lead to 8-0. Griffin made her way to third off of a hit by pitch, stolen base and a groundout before reaching home on freshman Gracie Goulder’s single up the middle. Freshman Anna Swafford then cleared the bases with her two-run home run swing.

    The Owls got on the board in the fourth with Lindsay Vollmer getting things started with a single and advancing to second on a fielding error. Kaylee Williams then switched places with pinch runner Amanda Burns to make the score 8-1.

    Sito helped seal the win in the sixth, as her game-ending RBI double gave Georgia the mercy-rule win. Olney opened the inning with a walk before getting to second on a sacrifice bunt by Pauly. Sito then sliced her double through the left side to end the game at 9-1.

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    No. 3 Alabama Softball Powers Past Troy, 12-0

    TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The third ranked Alabama softball team used the long ball early and often on Wednesday night, hitting four home runs en route to a 12-0, run-rule victory over in-state rival Troy in front of 2,726 fans at Rhoads Stadium. With the victory, the Crimson Tide improves to 43-4 on the year, while the Trojans fall to 31-17.

    On top of the offensive output, freshman pitcher Leslie Jury threw a one-hitter to improve to 11-3 on the year. Jury struck out six Trojan batters in her five innings of work while walking four. The only hit came on a third inning bunt single.

    Alabama senior Amanda Locke belted two home runs and drove in three while junior Kayla Braud also chipped in two hits. The Tide outhit the Trojans, 11-1, as nine different players tallied a hit in the winning effort.

    As it had done all season long, the Crimson Tide took an early lead with a big first inning. Alabama plated four runs on the strength of back-to-back home runs.

    After Braud scored on a wild pitch, Locke hit her 13th home run of the season on a solo shot over the wall in left. Senior Jazlyn Lunceford then followed suit with a solo shot of her own, clearing the wall in center. Senior Kendall Dawson then ripped a double to left-center to score senior Cassie Reilly-Boccia all the way from first.

    The home run by Locke was her 49th in her career, which moves her into third place all-time in the Alabama annals. It was her and Lunceford’s third straight game with a home run and the second straight contest the Tide had gone back-to-back.

    Alabama continued to light up the scoreboard as it added three more runs in the second inning. After Braud scored on an error on a steal attempt at third, Locke smashed her second of the game with a two-run shot in center. It was her fifth home run in her last five games.

    The Tide kept scoring, this time plating two runs in the third. Jackey Branham walked and advanced to second on Jennifer Fenton’s infield single. Branham came around to score on Braud’s single. The Crimson Tide tacked on another run later in the inning when Lunceford hit a sacrifice fly to score Fenton from third to make the score 9-0.

    Alabama wasn’t done with the long ball though, as freshman pinch-hitter Chaunsey Bell blasted a solo shot over the center field wall to extend the lead to 10-0. Jordan Patterson drew a walk and advanced to second on Ryan Iamurri’s pinch hit single. After Jackie Traina drew a walk to load the bases, Keima Davis hit a single up the middle to score two more runs to provide the final margin.

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    Becker Throws Complete-Game Four Hitter In 1-0 Win At Southern Miss

    HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Reigning Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Week Stephanie Becker tossed a complete-game, four-hit shutout at Southern Miss (13-27) Wednesday night for a 1-0 Mississippi State (30-19) victory at the Southern Miss Softball Complex. With their 11th-straight non-conference victory, the Bulldogs finish the 2012 regular season with a perfect 8-0 record against in-state teams.

    “Becker was lights out tonight,” Head Coach Vann Stuedeman said. “The defense was behind her from the first inning to the last out. She made them hit 10 balls in the air, all of which were caught by the defense behind her.”

    The southpaw threw an efficient 67 strikes on 92 pitches, going the distance for the team-best 12th time this season. Becker struck out eight and walked none in her second shutout of 2012 (March 3 vs. Eastern Illinois).

    Sophomores Sam Lenahan (2-for-4) and Jessica Offutt (2-for-3) both had multiple-hit games, while senior Ka’ili Smith went 1-for-2 with a home run and two free passes. Also picking up base knocks for the Maroon and White were junior Jessica Cooley (1-for-4) and freshman Courtney Vanlandingham (1-for-2).

    Smith scored the only run of the game in the top of the third, drilling an opposite-field solo shot off the scoreboard in left for her fourth home run of the season.