Today In SEC Softball: February 16 > SEC > NEWS
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    Today In SEC Softball: February 16

    SATURDAY sec softball RESULTS
    Auburn 8, Kansas 5
    Arkansas 14,  Tulsa 3
    Tulsa 3,  Arkansas 1
    Alabama 2,  Wichita State 0
    Kentucky 11,  UC Riverside 3
    Florida 10, Western Carolina 0
    Georgia 13, MTSU 1
    Mississippi State 1,  W. Kentucky 0
    Tennessee 11, USF 0
    Tennessee 10, Coastal Carolina 3
    Florida 10, Savannah State 0
    Missouri 11,  Fresno State 3
    Northwestern State 10, Mississippi State 5
    Alabama 2,  Georgia Southern 1
    Missouri 5,  San Diego 0
    Texas A&M 3, North Carolina 1
    Oklahoma 11,  Kentucky 0
    South Alabama 4, Ole Miss 2
    UCF 3, South Carolina 1
    LSU 4, Virginia 0
    Texas A&M 9, Pittsburgh 5
    South Carolina 8, Buffalo 0
    LSU 5, Memphis 4


    Auburn Rallies To Beat Kansas

    Auburn, Ala. --  The Auburn softball team rallied from deficits of three runs and two runs to claim an 8-5 win over Kansas Saturday afternoon at Jane B. Moore Field.
                   
    Auburn improved to 10-0 with the victory and will next take on Bryant at 2 p.m. Sunday. Kansas fell to 6-2.
                   
    “This was a really solid win for our team,” Auburn head coach Tina Deese said. “We did pretty much what we have all season, getting better with each at-bat. We didn’t get much going early, but we kept getting at-bats and it finally came together in the sixth inning. Mo (Morgan Estell) and Branndi (Melero) each came through with big hits. Kelsey (Bogaards) gave us a chance with a walk and stealing a base. This was a good team win.”                
                   
    Lexi Davis earned the win in relief to improve to 3-0. Davis pitched the final four and one-third innings allowing two runs, both earned, on five hits with two walks and one strikeout.
                   
    Kelsey Kessler (2-2) took the loss in relief, allowing three runs, all earned, on two hits with one walk in two-thirds of an inning. Alicia Pille started and went five and one-third innings, allowing three runs, all earned, on six hits with three walks and five strikeouts.
                   
    Kansas pitching issued seven walks while the Jayhawks stranded a game-high 11 runners on base in the game.
                   
    Kansas jumped out early, scoring a run in the top of the first inning. With one out, Kansas got consecutive doubles from Megan Hull and Alex Hugo, with Hugo’s driving in Hull for a 1-0 Jayhawks’ lead.
                   
    Kansas added to its lead in the top of the third inning. Hull led off with a walk and was followed by a one-out double by Maddie Stein which put runners at third and second. After a pop up for the second out, pinch-hitter Taylor Hatfield laced a single to right that plated both runners for a 3-0 Jayhawks lead.
                   
    The Tigers cut into the deficit with a two-out, solo home run by Branndi Melero in the bottom of the third inning. It was Melero’s first home run of the season and it cleared the wall in right to make it a 3-1 game.
                   
    In the bottom of the fourth, Caitlin Schultze delivered a two-out, RBI double that plated pinch-runner Kristyn Richards to make it a 3-2 game. Richards ran for Caitlin Jordan, who drew a one-out walk. Richards stole second and took third on a wild pitch, setting up Schultze’s RBI double.
                   
    Kansas responded to the Auburn rally, pushing across a run in the top of the fifth. With the bases loaded and two outs, Alex Jones hit a hard chopper past Carosone at third and into left field which plated Chaley Brickey (fielder’s choice) to make it a 4-2 game.
                   
    Auburn made it a 4-3 game in the bottom of the fifth inning. With one out, Estell doubled and Melero singled to put runners at third and second. Brooke Lathan drew a walk to load the bases and McKenzie Kilpatrick lofted a sacrifice fly to left that scored Estell from third. With runners at second and first, Jordan took strike three on a 3-2 count to end the rally with the Tigers trailing by one.
                   
    The Tigers scored for the fourth consecutive inning, this time taking the lead on a two-out, two-run double by Estell in the bottom of the sixth. Carosone singled to open the inning and took second on a one-out walk to Kelsey Bogaards. Carosone alertly took third on a pop-out to put runners on the corners with two outs. Bogaards then stole second. On a 2-2 pitch, Estell laced a double to the wall in left to score both runners and give the Tigers a 5-4 lead.
                   
    After Melero drew a walk, Lathan blooped a single into right-center to push Estell home and increase the Tigers’ lead to 6-4. Melero took third while Lathan advanced to second on the relay throw home. Kilpatrick followed with a walk to load the bases and Jordan followed with a walk to push Melero home to make it a 7-4 game. The Tigers took a third straight walk, this time to Carosone which plated Lathan to make it an 8-4 lead which capped the scoring.

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    No. 13/14 Georgia Grabs 13-1 Win over MTSU

    ATHENS, Ga. --- The No. 13/14 University of Georgia softball team racked up 10 hits in an 13-1, five-inning win over the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders on Saturday afternoon as part of the 10th Annual Georgia Softball Classic at Jack Turner Stadium in Athens, Ga. With the win, the Bulldogs move to 6-2 on the season.

    Morgan Montemayor picked the win to improve to 3-1 on the season. Montemayor allowed just one hit and struck out two in four innings of work. Chelsea Wilkinson closed out the game, striking out two in the top of the fifth.

    The Bulldogs took an early 4-0 lead in the first inning. Three-straight walks by Paige Wilson, Geri Ann Glasco and Kaylee Puailoa loaded the bases for the Bulldogs and chased Kailey McDougald from the circle. With one away, Katie Browne singled to right center for Georgia’s first hit and drove in Glasco.  The Bulldogs took advantage of a MTSU miscue, scoring two runs on a fielding error. A sacrifice fly by Niaja Griffin drove in the final run of the inning.

    Georgia added four runs in the second to extend its lead to 8-0. Highlighting the inning was a RBI-single by Bryanna Blanco, the first extra base hit of her career.  She scored the final run of the inning on a RBI-groundout by Tess Sito. Georgia also got runs by Katie Sowers, Puailoa.

    The Bulldogs tacked on five more runs in the top of the third to take a 13-0 lead over the Blue Raiders. With one away, Wilson recorded a bunt single, extending her hit streak to 20 games. Glasco followed with her third home run in three games to give the Bulldogs a 10-0 lead.  RBI singles by Browne, Blanco and Sito plated the final three runs of the game for the Bulldogs.

    Middle Tennessee got on the board when a double by Samantha Nieves drove in LaRi Mitchell. Montemayor struck out the next batter to end the inning and keep the Blue Raiders from scoring again. Wilkinson relieved Montemayor in the top of the fifth, recording two strikeouts and a fielder’s choice.

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    LANPHEAR POWERS AGGIES TO 3-1 WIN OVER NORTH CAROLINA

    COLLEGE STATION--True freshman Cali Lanphear’s long three-run home run in the fourth inning proved the difference as No. 10 Texas A&M remained unbeaten with a 3-1 win over No. 23 North Carolina Saturday afternoon in the Aggie Classic at the Aggie Softball Complex.

    Lanphear turned on a 1-2 offering from Lori Spignola and drove the pitch high down the line in right. The ball curled around the foul pole and landed in the street beyond the right field fence to put the Aggies (8-0) in front.

    Senior All-American pitcher Mel Dumezich made the long ball stand up, twice stranding the bases loaded and working around nine UNC hits and stranding 11 base runners to pick up her sixth win of the season.

    The Tar Heels (6-5) capitalized on a pair of second-inning infield singles to take the early lead.

    Amber Parrish led off the frame with a floater that landed behind a drawn-in Amber Garza at third and moved to second on a sacrifice. Following a single up the middle that put runners at the corners, Elisha Elliott pushed a 1-1 pitch through the right side for the RBI and the game’s first run.

    UNC loaded the bases on another infield single, but Dumezich battled from behind to strike Amy Nece out looking and induce a soft liner to short off the bat of Erin Satterfield to escape further damage.

    Spingola (3-3) suffered the loss, allowing six hits and three runs over six innings of work.

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    Gator Softball Improves to 10-0 With Wins over Western Carolina and Savannah State Saturday

    GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Florida softball was back on the diamond Saturday in the second day of the Lipton Invitational at KSP Stadium, and the Orange and Blue added two victories to improve to an unscathed 10-0 on the season. The Gators topped Western Carolina, 5-0, and Savannah State, 14-0 (5 inn), the second meeting this weekend between UF and SSU.

    Florida has shut out its opponents in all four Lipton Invite games thus far, run-ruling three of them. UF will cap off a seven-game week with its final two games of the home tournament this season Sunday with a second match-up against UNC Wilmington and a tilt with Charleston Southern.

    Florida is off to a 10-0 start for the third-consecutive season and with their 19 runs in Saturday’s two games, the Gators have now out-scored their opponents 94-13 this season, including 41-0 on the weekend. UF has collaborated for 16 extra-base hits this weekend.

    Junior ace Hannah Rogers (Lake Wales, Fla.) earned the start – and victory – in the circle for the Gators against Western Carolina to improve to 4-0 on the season with the four-hit shutout, her second shutout of the season. In the second Gator game of the day, sophomore Alyssa Bache (Clearwater, Fla.) put on a career-best performance, working her way to a third victory this season, her second against Savannah State in as many days, with a two-hit shutout and eight strikeouts Saturday after posting a one-hit shutout in the Friday evening match up with the Tigers.

    For Bache, the career-best nine Ks topped her previous best five strikeouts.

    Freshman Aubree Munro’s (Brea, Calif.) bat came alive Saturday, as the first-year catcher went 2-for-3 (.667) with a double and triple, scored two runs and pushed three others across the plate. Sophomore Jessica Damico (Gray Summit, Mo.) also batted .667 on the day, going 2-for-3 with a three-run homer against the Catamounts.

    After a 5-0 win over WCU in UF’s first game of the day, Florida exploded on offense for a 14-run, eight-hit performance against Savannah State. UF posted an eight spot in the first inning and six runs in the third against the Tigers.

    Sophomore Bailey Castro (Pembroke Pines, Fla.), junior Stephanie Tofft (Lincoln, Calif.), sophomore Katie Medina (Downey, Calif.) and Munro all collaborated with RBIs in the first inning against Savannah State in game two for an eight-run, four-hit stanza for the Orange and Blue. Florida then exploded for a six-run, four-hit third frame, highlighted by Munro’s triple and a junior Ensley Gammel (Bakersfield, Calif.) three-run jack, her second homer of the year to shut down the Tigers.

    Bache fanned a career-high nine batters, including two in the top of the fifth, to secure the game for the Gators.

    SSU hurler Amanda McDowell dropped to 1-2 on the season. Megan Uhrman and Torrian Wright connected for a hit each to account for Savannah State’s two hits in the tilt with Florida.

    In UF’s first game of the day against WCU, six different Gators connected for hits against the Catamounts, led by Damico’s 1-for-1 game with a three-run blast.

    A Merritt RBI double started things off for UF against the Catamounts in the top of the first for the early 1-0 Gator lead and it wasn’t until the fifth that Florida put up its next run after a spark on defense when sophomore Briana Little (Middleburg, Fla.) laid out for a ball in foul territory to retire WCU in the bottom of the fourth.

    Little then led off the top of the fifth for the Gators with a single through the left side, swiped second and moved to third on a wild pitch to get into scoring position. Next up, freshman Taylore Fuller (Trenton, Fla.) drew a one-out walk and swiped second for two runners in scoring position for the Orange and Blue. Medina proceeded to plate her first run of the year on a ground out that moved Little home to take the Gators up, 2-0, after the fifth.

    A Damico three-run round-tripper, her first of the season, extended the Gator lead, 5-0, after Florida’s turn at the plate in the sixth frame thanks to a three-run, three-hit outing for Florida in the inning. A Lauren Haeger (Peoria, Ariz.) hit to left and a Castro base hit to center put runners on first and second to set up Damico’s three-run bomb for the Gators’ final three runs of game one.

    WCU pitcher Taylor Sigmon was 2-for-2 at the plate to aid the Catamounts’ offensive efforts, accounting for half her team’s hits against the Gators, but the righty was tagged with her first loss of the season in the circle as WCU moved to 5-3 on the season.

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    Alabama Sweeps Day Two of the FGCU Tournament

    FORT MYERS, Fla. – The top-ranked Alabama softball team (9-0) swept day two of the FGCU/LaQuinta Inn and Suites Saturday afternoon at the FGCU Softball Complex. The Crimson Tide opened the day with a 2-0 win over Wichita State and then earned a nine-inning, walk-off, 2-1 win over Georgia Southern.

    Game One

    Behind a one-hitter from sophomore Leslie jury, the top-ranked Alabama softball team opened day two of the FGCU Tournament with a 2-0 win over Wichita State, Saturday morning.

    Jury (2-0) had her finest outing of the season, allowing the one hit and issuing just one walk while striking out nine.

    Freshman Haylie McCleney once again paced the Tide at the plate with a 2-for-3 effort, adding a run and three stolen bases.

    Alabama opened the scoring in the first inning and to no surprise McCleney was involved. The rookie started off the game with an infield single, promptly stole second and after getting bunted over by fellow rookie Andrea Hawkins, scored on a Jackie Traina single.

    Junior Kaila Hunt then doubled the lead with a solo shot on the first pitch she saw in the third inning. The home run that was lined sharply over the wall in left-center, was her fourth on the season.

    Game Two

    Alabama and Georgia Southern needed nine innings to sort things out as sophomore Danae Hays hit a walk-off, two-run double to down the Eagles, 2-1.

    Jackie Traina went the full nine innings to improve to 5-0. The All-American allowed one unearned run on five hits and struck out 14.

    After Georgia Southern scored an unearned run to open the ninth inning, Alabama quickly responded, by loading the bases with no outs. Hays then smacked a double over the head of the left fielder to score freshman Haylie McCleney and the winning run, Kaila Hunt from second.

    It was the first extra-inning game for the Tide since UA knocked off Tennessee, 3-2, in 11 innings on March 21, last season.

    Senior Kayla Braud batted 3-for-4 with a stolen base and a double. The Tide collected seven hits in the winning effort.
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    HUDSON PITCHES AND SWINGS NO. 8/7 MIZZOU TO TWO WINS

    SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The No. 8/7 Mizzou softball team continued its strong start to the 2013 season with a five-inning, 11-3 win over Fresno State and a 5-0 victory over San Diego at UCSB’s Gaucho Classic at Campus Diamond on Saturday. The Tigers improved to 4-0 with the wins, while the Bulldogs and Toreros dropped to 6-5 and 2-3, respectively.

    Senior Nicole Hudson (Webb City, Mo.) highlighted the day for Mizzou, hitting her fourth and fifth home runs over the two games, while pitching for the victory against Fresno State. The Tigers totaled four home runs against the Bulldogs and two in the win over the Toreros to bring their season total to 14 through four games.

    Hudson pitched 5.0 innings to earn the win (1-0) against the Bulldogs, allowing eight hits and three earned runs. She homered in the second inning, drawing the Tigers even with the Bulldogs 1-1. Fresno State took a 1-0 lead in the first inning after the first of two home runs by Bulldog 1B Stesha Brazil.

    The third inning saw Mizzou push away for a 5-1 lead before Fresno State caught back up with two runs of its own. Three singles from junior Mackenzie Sykes (Blue Springs, Mo.), sophomore Emily Crane (Troy, Mo.) and sophomore Corrin Genovese (East Amherst, N.Y.) helped power the inning. Fresno State’s Brazil hit her second home run, a two-run ball, for the Bulldogs’ scoring output.

    The Tigers five-run fifth inning secured the win, with sophomore 3B Angela Randazzo (Poway, Calif.) hitting a two-run blast to get Mizzou started. Hudson had previously drawn a walk to get on base before Randazzo went yard. Sykes and pinch hitter Carlie Rose (Nixa, Mo.) hit back-to-back solo home runs to improve Missouri’s lead to the final score of 11-3.

    In the second game of the day, the Tigers and Toreros held each other to zero runs apiece through the first three innings. Hudson changed that with a solo home run in the fourth inning for the first hit allowed by San Diego’s Jenny Lahitte.

    The senior’s solo shot would prove to be enough, but the Tigers did not stop in the fifth inning by adding four more runs. Sophomore Kelsi Jones (Carmel, Ind.) started the inning with her own solo home run to put Mizzou up 2-0. Two consecutive bunts for singles by sophomore Kayla Kingsley (Oklahoma City, Okla.) and senior Princess Krebs (Lithonia, Ga.) kept the inning going.

    Kingsley scored on a San Diego throwing error to second base, while Crane doubled in Krebs. Senior Jenna Marston (St. Louis, Mo.) stroked a single to deep center to bring in Crane to set the final score of 5-0.

    Sophomore Bailey Erwin (Claremore, Okla.) allowed just two hits in 7.0 innings of work to notch the win (2-0). She struck out four Toreros in the winning effort.
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    Owen one-hits Western Kentucky; Dawgs Fall To Northwestern State

    STARKVILLE, Miss. – On a chilly Saturday afternoon that saw snow flurries at the MSU Softball Stadium, the Mississippi State softball team split a doubleheader on the second day of the Bulldog Battle. The Maroon and White shut out Western Kentucky, 1-0, before falling to Northwestern State by a 10-5 margin. With the split, the Bulldogs moved their record to 4-3 on the young season.

    Game One Recap

    Junior Alison Owen tossed MSU’s first complete-game one-hit shutout since 2009 as the Bulldogs pitched their way to a 1-0 triumph against Western Kentucky in game one of the doubleheader.

    Owen painted a masterpiece inside the circle, striking out three and walking none to move to 2-1 on the year. After yielding a base hit with two outs in the top of the first, the right-handed hurler retired the final 19 batters. Owen’s first career complete-game one-hit shutout was State’s first since Lindsey Dunlap accomplished the feat vs. Jackson State on April 9, 2009. Western Kentucky’s Emily Rousseau dropped to 1-1 with two hits and a run allowed.

    The lone run of the game came in the bottom of the second, when junior catcher Sam Lenahan deposited a 1-1 pitch into the parking lot beyond the right field wall for her second solo home run of the season.

    Game Two Recap

    Mississippi State suffered its third loss of the season in a 10-5 setback to Northwestern State in game two of the double dip.

    Starter Stephanie Becker tallied her first loss of her senior season in the circle, giving up nine runs (four earned) in 3.1 innings of work.
    The southpaw struck out four and walked one. Brooke Boening picked up the win for NSU, moving to 2-0 on the year.

    The Lady Demons jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in the top of the first when NSU designated player Kylie Roos launched a wind-aided grand slam to right field.

    State responded in the bottom half of the frame with Logan Foulks’ second homer of the season, a solo shot that rained down on the trees beyond the left-field wall. The Maroon and White followed it up with a double to the gap in right by Lenahan and a walk by Julia Echols. With two down, Chrissie Rovtar laced an RBI single through the left side to cut the deficit in half.

    Head Coach Vann Stuedeman’s squad tacked on one more in the second with an RBI single by Jessica Offutt that plated Kayla Winkfield to make it a 4-3 contest in favor of the visitors.

    Defense plagued the home team in the fourth, putting the game out of reach. Three errors by the MSU defenders plated five unearned runs for the Lady Demons, giving a score of 9-3.

    Fighting back in the bottom of the sixth, MSU plated its final two runs on a sacrifice fly by Rovtar that scored Echols and senior Jessica Cooley’s second homer of the season. The round-tripper was Cooley’s 19th career long ball, placing her fourth in school history in career home runs.

    Tashana Triplett scored the game’s final run for NSU in the seventh.
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    No. 22 Softball Defeats UC Riverside, Falls to No. 1 Oklahoma

    SAN DIEGO – The 22nd-ranked University of Kentucky softball team concluded play in the 23rd Campbell/Cartier Classic on Saturday by defeating UC Riverside 11-3 in the first game of a doubleheader before falling to No. 1 Oklahoma 11-0 in the final game of the day at the SDSU Softball Stadium in San Diego. 

    Kentucky (8-3) ends a 10-day west coast trip with a solid overall record after playing some of the best teams in the nation. During the trip, the Wildcats defeated three ranked teams in then-No. 3 California, No. 16 Washington and No. 20 Stanford. The wins increased head coach Rachel Lawson’s win total against ranked foes to 34.

    The Wildcats also posted wins against two teams that were receiving votes on the trip, taking down Oregon State and San Diego State. UK’s other wins came against Western Michigan, Cal Poly and UC Riverside. UK’s losses are to No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 3 Arizona State and unranked Portland State. Before the loss to highly ranked Oklahoma, UK was on a five-game winning streak – the longest of the season.

    Junior pitcher/infielder Lauren Cumbess led the Wildcats in batting average on the weekend, posting a .500 mark (8-for-16) with one double, two homers and five RBI. Sophomore catcher Griffin Joiner also had a good offensive showing, hitting .455 (5-for-11) with two doubles, a triple and two RBI, while senior outfielder Alice O’Brien had two hits and four RBI. Cumbess leads the team in average overall this season with a .429 (15-for-35) mark, including a team-high 10 RBI.

    In the circle, true freshman hurler Kelsey Nunley continued her strong start to the season, posting a 3-0 record with a 2.21 ERA and 13 strikeouts. Overall, Nunley has a 2.50 ERA in eight appearances, throwing 36.1 innings with a team-high 32 strikeouts. Cumbess started two games over the weekend, posting a 1.40 ERA with a 1-0 record. Cumbess’ overall ERA of 2.04 leads the team.

    Nunley’s numbers are even more impressive in her four starts this season, posting a 4-0 record in those games and a 6-0 record overall. In her four starts, Nunley has thrown 25 innings, allowing only three runs - two earned - while striking out 27 and walking seven.

    Oklahoma jumped on the Wildcats early in UK’s second game of the day, getting five runs in the first two innings. That was all OU pitcher Keilani Ricketts, who was named national player of the year by multiple organizations last week, needed, going four shut-out innings allowing only four hits and striking out three. OU’s biggest hit came in the five-run fifth when catcher Jessica Shults hit a grand slam. Shults ended the game 2-for-4 with 5 RBI.

    Kentucky started the day with an 11-3 win over UC Riverside to increase its winning streak to five games, a season long. Nunley picked up her sixth win of the season after Cumbess started in the circle, going three innings, allowing three runs – two earned – while striking out six. When Cumbess left the game, the score was tied 3-3 before UK took a lead for good in the fourth inning setting up Nunley to throw three scoreless innings for the victory. Nunley only allowed one hit with two strikeouts.

    UK was strong at the plate against UCR, getting an impressive performance from Joiner, who ended the game 2-for-2 with a double, triple and two RBI, marking the first time a UK player has earned two extra-base hits in one game since Ginny Carroll last May vs. LSU. The native of Hopkinsville, Ky., becomes the first player on the team this season to record a double, triple and a home run. Joining Joiner with a multi-hit game was senior Kara Dill, who went 3-for-5. O’Brien had two RBI, while Cumbess went 1-for-2 with two RBI. UK had base runners in almost every inning, drawing 12 walks.

    UC Riverside got on the board first in the game after two Kentucky errors. Kayla White started the inning with an out before Ariel Shore hit a fly ball to center that was dropped by UK’s Sylver Samuel, allowing Shore to reach second. Marissa Escalante then hit a roller to first that went under the glove of Maisie Steed for UK’s second error, allowing Shore to score and give UCR a 1-0 lead.

    UK would respond in the top of the third inning after a leadoff single by Dill and a double to right field by Joiner to score Dill. Joiner advanced to third on the throw and later came home to score when O’Brien hit a sacrifice fly. Cumbess then walked and was pinch ran for by freshman Darington Richardson, who stole second base and later advanced to third when Krystal Smith reached on a fielder’s choice. Smith then stole second base, drawing a throw from the catcher that was mishandled by the second baseman, allowing Richardson to score and give UK a 3-1 lead.

    The Wildcats didn’t have the lead long as Shore singled and Escalante drilled a homer to center field to tie the game 3-3 in the bottom of the third.

    That was all UCR would score as UK would take the lead for good in the fourth inning after Dill reached on a fielder’s choice and later stole second. Joiner then come through again with the game-winning RBI, hammering a triple to right field past the outstretched glove of the right fielder, scoring Dill and giving UK the 4-3 lead.

    UK sealed the victory with a seven-run sixth inning on three hits, two errors and five walks. The big hit in the inning was a two-RBI single by Cumbess with the bases loaded and a RBI single by pinch hitter Nikki Sagermann. Pinch hitter Ellen Weaver also hit a sacrifice fly in the inning, while the other runs scored via bases-loaded walks or an error.
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    Razorbacks split day two at Unconquered Invitational

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The University of Arkansas softball team defeated the Tulsa Golden Hurricane 14-3 in five innings and fell in tournament play, 3-1, to Tulsa, on Saturday in Tallahassee, Fla. at the Unconquered Invitational.

    Arkansas (8-3) will play in the consolation game of the Unconquered Invitational and will face Hofstra Sunday at 11:30 a.m. CT. Head coach Mike Larabee switched up the lineup in game one versus Tulsa, inserting Jennifer Rambo at second base. She made the most of her opportunity, going 2-for-3 with a triple and four RBI in game one. She followed the breakout performance going 1-for-3 with a solo homerun in tournament play, in game two versus Tulsa. Coach Larabee thought the lineup change paid off in both games.

    “We just wanted to get that bat into the lineup,” Larabee said. “She also played really well defensively today. She came up with some big hits today.”
    Game two featured a terrific outing from senior pitcher Hope McLemore, she went seven innings, giving up three runs on six hits. Larabee was happy with her first start of the invitational.

    “Hope pitched well enough to win,” Larabee said. “We just didn’t give her the offensive support. She is going to keep us in every game that she pitches.”
    Also having a nice game one at the plate were; Clarisa Navarro, who went 2-for-3 with a double, three runs scored and three RBI, Devon Wallace, who went 2-for-2 with a double, a walk and three runs scored and Amanda Geile, who went 2-for-2 with a walk, two runs and an RBI. Coach Larabee was happy with the offensive production in game one.

    “I thought we came out and competed hard today after a disappointing Friday,” Larabee said. “I was very proud of our athletes in both games and the hitting in game one today.”    

    The Razorbacks jumped out to an early lead in game one, scoring two runs on a Rambo single up the middle. Navarro and Wallace scored on the play to give Arkansas a 2-0 lead.

    Tulsa bounced back in the top of the second with two singles to open the inning. After a walk to Julie Kernen, the bases were loaded with one out for Catherine Horner. Horner drew a four-pitch walk, cutting the lead in half. After another run was walked in, Larabee pulled the plug on starter Kelly Young and inserted sophomore Kimmy Beasley with the bases still loaded and one out. Caitlin Everett connected on a fastball and lined it up the middle, scoring another run and giving Tulsa a 3-2 lead. Beasley retired the next two batters and got out of the inning with minimal damage.

    Jayme Gee started the next inning with a solo homerun to centerfield to tie the game at three runs apiece. Chloe Oprzedek followed the homerun with a walk and then scored on a two-RBI double into the leftfield gap by Navarro. Wallace continued the run scoring in the second with a standup double that scored Navarro. Rambo increased her RBI total to four in the game when she lined a triple down the rightfield line. Rambo would score on a throwing error on the play, giving Arkansas its seventh run of the inning.

    With a 9-3 lead heading into the third, Beasley started to settle in, retiring nine of the next ten batters she faced and striking out three. She received the win after pitching 3.2 scoreless innings, allowing two hits and striking out four.  

    Oprzedek tallied her second hit of the game to start the third. She then stole second base and scored on an RBI hit from Navarro, Canfield also scored on the play, giving Arkansas an 11-3 lead. Wallace continued the inning with her ninth walk of the year and Arkansas added another run on the next at bat when Geile lined a single up the middle, scoring Navarro. Wallace caught the Tulsa defense sleeping after Rambo grounded out to second and scored her third run from second base on the play, giving Arkansas a 13-3 lead. Both Navarro and Wallace each tallied three runs in the game. Lauren Montgomery then pinch hit, and used her first collegiate at bat to line an RBI double down the left field line. Arkansas won game won, 14-3 and out-hit the Golden Hurricane 12-to-4.

    The result of game number one put Arkansas in the No. 4 seed for tournament play. This meant that Arkansas would face the No. 1 seeded Tulsa, again, later in the day.

    Game two saw McLemore take the mound and face trouble immediately in the first inning, when she faced a bases loaded jam with no outs. The senior captain was able to get Lacey Middlebrooks to ground out, Oprzedek followed with a nice play by the Arkansas dugout, snagging a Haley Henshaw fly ball out of the air for out two. McLemore got Cassidy Bowen to ground out and end the inning.

    In the top half of the second inning Rambo continued her hot streak as she belted a solo homerun into the rightfield trees. Rambo’s fifth RBI of the day gave Arkansas a 1-0 lead.

    A pitchers dual developed in the next three innings as the seniors, McLemore and Middlebrooks tried to out-pitch each other for a spot in finals. The shutout ended for McLemore when Middlebrooks reached on a fielder’s choice and plated Everett. The game was tied 1-1 heading into the sixth.

    McLemore shut down the Golden Hurricane offense in the sixth behind a great play from Canfield in right field. She tracked down a rocket off the bat and caught it on a dead sprint into the warning track. The game was sent into the seventh at a 1-1 tie.

    After the Razorbacks were unable to score in the top half of the seventh, McLemore forced Everett to fly out to left. Jill Barrett was then retired on a nice play from Navarro at shortstop. After Samantha Cobb walked, Middlebrooks ended the game on a walk-off homerun over the centerfield wall.
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    DOTSON, ELLEN RENFROE LEAD NO. 4/4 UT IN 12-0 WIN AT NO. 12/12 USF TARANGO, GIBSON HOMER IN LADY VOLS’ 10-3 WIN OVER COASTAL CAROLINA

    GAME 1: No. 4/4 Tennessee 11, No. 12/12 USF 0
    TAMPA, Fla. -- Kat Dotson had a pair of RBI triples and the No. 4/4 Tennessee softball team poured on six runs in the sixth to back a strong outing in the circle by Ellen Renfroe to defeat No. 12/12 USF, 11-0, on Saturday in the USF 4 Team Tournament.

    The Lady Vols (8-0) and the Bulls (5-2) were locked up in a scoreless pitcher's duel through the first five frames before the UT offense came to life late in the game. All nine of Tennessee's hits in the game came in the sixth and seventh innings.

    Dotson led the way for UT, going 2-for-4 at the plate with three RBIs and two runs scored. Hannah Akamine, Melissa Brown and Haley Tobler had two RBIs apiece.

    Ellen Renfroe (3-0) earned her second complete-game shutout of the season. She fanned seven batters over seven innings.

    USF ace Sarah Nevins (2-1) was in control in the circle through the first five innings before the Lady Vols exploded to a 6-0 lead in the sixth. Nevins finished the game with five strikeouts and six runs allowed over 5.2 frames. Sam Greiner allowed five runs over 1.1 relief frames.

    Melissa Davin led off the sixth inning with a well-placed single just out of reach of the second baseman. After Tory Lewis advanced her to second on a sacrifice bunt, Whitney Hammond entered to run for Davin. Two batters later, with two outs, Dotson slammed a triple off the top of the wall in right field to plate Hammond and give UT a 1-0 lead. Madison Shipman reached base on a dropped flyball in the ensuing at-bat to score Dotson.

    After Lauren Gibson drew a walk on seven pitches, Cheyanne Tarango was drilled in the back, loading the bases. Akamine connected for a two-RBI single up the middle to push Tennessee's lead to 4-0. Greiner entered to pitch for Nevins and Brown knocked a triple to left center on a 0-2 pitch to drive in two more runs.

    In the top of the seventh, UT scored five more runs. With two on and no outs, Dotson banged a two-RBI triple off the bottom of the wall in right field to give Tennessee an 8-0 advantage. Two batters later, Gibson ripped an RBI single through the left side. Tarango walked and Anna Renfroe drew a seven-pitch walk to load the bases for the Lady Vols once again. Tobler capitalized with a pinch-hit single up the middle to plate two more runs and round out the score at 11-0.

    UT continues play in the USF 4 Team Tournament on Sunday, facing the winner of tonight's semifinal between No. 12/12 USF and NC State. The game time will be either at 10:30 a.m. or 12:45 p.m. depending on the travel plans for the teams.

    GAME 2: No. 4/4 Tennessee 10, Coastal Carolina 3
    TAMPA, Fla. -- Lauren Gibson and Cheyanne Tarango hit home runs to lead the No. 4/4 Tennessee softball team to a 10-3 win over Coastal Carolina on Saturday in the USF 4 Team Tournament.

    Gibson and Tarango hit back-to-back homers in the third inning to give UT a 3-1 lead in the third and some momentum against a Coastal Carolina (2-7) team that played hard from start to finish.

    Ivy Renfroe tossed 2.2 innings of relief, allowing two runs and striking out five. She also recorded the first hit in the first at-bat of her career, a single on a full count down the left field line in the second inning.

    Chanticleers starter Ashley Bagwell (1-2) took the loss after allowing four runs (three earned) over 3.1 frames. Morgan Mastriania allowed six runs over the final 2.2 frames.

    Tarango went 2-for-3 at the plate with a homer and four RBIs and tossed 4.1 frames, allowing just one earned run to improve to 2-0. Gibson went 2-for-2 with a solo homer to right, two RBIs, one run and one walk. Kat Dotson scored three runs and had a pair of walks.

    Coastal Carolina struck first, taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. With one out and runners on the corners, Jazmin Daigle singled through the left side off a 1-1 pitch from Tarango to drive in one run.

    Tennessee knotted the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the fame at first. With two outs and the bases loaded, Tarango hit a sacrifice fly to left field and Dotson scored sliding into home plate.

    Ivy Renfroe relieved Tarango in the circle at the start of the second.

    Gibson led off the bottom of the third with a rocketed shot over the high end of the wall in right field on a 2-0 pitch from Bagwell. Tarango followed with homer over the wall in left center, giving Tennessee a 3-1 lead.

    In the top of the fourth, Coastal Carolina evened the game at 3-3. Sara Rasley hit a one-out single through the left side to plate Brooke Donovan. Two batters later, Kiana Quolas knocked an RBI single up the middle on a 2-2 pitch to up the middle for an RBI single to tie the game.

    The Lady Vols added two more runs in the bottom of the fourth. With two outs and runners on second and third, Gibson ripped a single up the middle to plate Kat Dotson. Madison Shipman scored from third base in the next at-bat when Lauren Gibson stole second base.

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    NO. 10 AGGIES WIN NINTH STRAIGHT, DOWN PITT 9-5

    COLLEGE STATION—The 10th-ranked Texas A&M softball team remained unbeaten on the season, pounding out 12 hits Saturday evening en route to a 9-5 win over Pittsburgh before 1,217 fans at the Aggie Softball Complex.

    With the victory, the second of a come-from-behind variety on the day, the Aggies (9-0) are off to their best start since 2007. A&M rallied to defeat No. 23 North Carolina 3-1 in its first game of the afternoon.

    “Coming back twice today shows we have a lot of fight in our team,” head coach Jo Evans said. “We need to do a better job defensively—we put ourselves in a couple of jams—but I’m encouraged by how our team fought back, didn’t press, didn’t give up and found a way to win. I always feel like it’s the sign of a good team that you can not play your best and still win. That shows we have a lot of different weapons out there and different ways we can win ballgames.”

    That held true in the victory over the Panthers, with eight different A&M batters—highlighted by a 3-for-4, 3-RBI performance by Emily Albus—collecting hits in the game.

    A&M fell behind early after Pitt (1-3) took advantage of two Aggie errors in the top of the first, scoring twice off starter Lauren Ainsley.

    Texas A&M would answer quickly however, jumping on Panther starter Savannah King (0-2) one inning later with a six-hit, five-run outburst. The big blow of the frame came off the bat of second baseman Jenna Stark, who brought home Mel Dumezich and Amber Garza with a long home run to left field. The three-run shot was her first of the year and put the Aggies on the board.

    Albus would add an RBI single and Cassie Tysarczyk would plate another after an outfield error off her base hit, making the score 5-2.

    Albus extended the lead in the next inning, lining a two-out, two-run double off the base of the wall in left to score Alex Masek and Brittany Clopton.

    Tysarczyk made the score 8-2 in the fourth, blasting a home run into the street past the right-field fence—her third long ball of the season.

    Pitt scored three off reliever Kristen Davenport in the fifth to cut the Aggie lead to 8-5 but would get no closer. A&M tacked on another run on a Dumezich RBI groundout in the sixth.

    Ainsley (3-0) totaled six innings of work in the game, allowing two unearned runs, four hits and three walks while fanning five.

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    Howser Tosses One-Hitter in 8-0 Win in Five Against Buffalo

    ORLANDO, Fla. – Behind a commanding one-hit performance from sophomore starting pitcher Katelynn Howser, South Carolina (6-2) shut out Buffalo (1-3) 8-0 in five innings to close out Saturday’s action at the UCF Holiday Inn Select Tournament.

    Howser (1-0) only allowed one hit off her own glove and hit one batter in the five-inning shutout. Howser struck out three. Senior shortstop Samie Garcia and junior second baseman Dana Hathorn both posted three hits, with Garcia adding a triple, two runs scored and two RBI while Hathorn doubled, scored once and drove in a run. Junior right fielder Chelsea Hawkins and sophomore designated player Kristen Struett both went 2-for-3, with Struett adding a double and two RBI.

    The Gamecocks posted three runs in the third, the first on junior centerfielder Ashlyn Masters’ RBI single to left, scoring Garcia. Struett followed with a double to right center, scoring Hathorn and Masters and chasing Bulls starter Tori Speckman (0-1). South Carolina added two more in the fourth, the first on Garcia’s triple, scoring junior pinch runner Brooke Barnhill, while Hathorn plated Garcia with her double.

    South Carolina ended things without an out in the fifth. The Gamecocks loaded the bases thanks to a Bull error, an infield single and a fielder’s choice. Sophomore catcher Olivia Lawrence and freshman third baseman Lauren Masters, both making their first starts of 2013, drew bases-loaded walks, making it 7-0. Garcia followed with a ball that hit the wall in right, allowing redshirt senior pinch runner Kelley Dillon to score to end the game.

    Speckman gave up three earned runs on eight hits in 2.1 innings of work, taking the loss. Ryleigh Fitzgerald had the only hit with two outs in the fifth, glancing off the glove of Howser before getting away for the hit.

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    Ole Miss Rally Comes Up Short vs. South Alabama

    MOBILE, Ala. – Ole Miss freshman Bri Payne hit her second home run of the season, and sophomore Allison Brown hit her team-leading seventh double, but the Rebels (3-7) fell to South Alabama 4-2 on Saturday afternoon at the Mardi Gras Invitational in Mobile, Ala.

    Ole Miss fell in a 4-0 hole against South Alabama, which is receiving votes in each of the two major softball top 25 polls, but couldn’t claw its way all the way back out of the deficit.

    The Jaguars took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second with a two-run double by designated player Blair Johnson. South Alabama then scored two more runs in the bottom of the fourth with a pair of solo home runs to make it 4-0.

    Ole Miss cut the South Alabama lead in half in the top of the fifth with a solo home run from Payne, and an RBI double from Brown. Payne’s home run, a bomb into the wind in left field, was her second of the season. Later in the inning, with junior centerfielder RT Cantillo at second base, Brown battled at the plate, and on the 13th pitch of her at bat finally connected with a roped stand-up double down the left field line.

    Senior pitcher Erinn Jayjohn came on in relief of starter Shelby Jo Fenter, and threw a scoreless final 2.2 innings, allowing one hit and striking out one.

    Cantillo, who is leading the Rebels with a team-best .409 batting average, stole two bases Saturday against South Alabama, and was hit by two pitches. Junior first baseman Londen Ladner finished 2-2 at the plate with a pair of singles.

    Brown’s seven doubles this season are three shy of her freshman total last season. The Los Alamitos, Calif., native is batting .379 with a team-high 11 hits and a team-high nine RBI. Payne’s two home runs this year lead the team.

    “(Allison) is so consistent right now,” Ole Miss softball head coach Windy Thees said. “She’s definitely our emotional team leader. She’s very steady for us.”

    Ole Miss will finish its play in the Mardi Gras Invitational on Sunday at 10 a.m. CT against Jackson State. The Lady Tigers (3-6) fell to Lamar in their first game of the Mardi Gras Invitational before winning both of their games Saturday over Central Arkansas and Lamar.

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    No. 10 Softball Stays Perfect at Purple & Gold Challenge

    BATON ROUGE – The No. 10 LSU softball team picked up two more wins over Virginia (4-0) and Memphis (5-4) on day two of the Purple & Gold Challenge Saturday at Tiger Park.

    Rachele Fico fired 8.2 shutout innings fueled by 12 strikeouts against one walk and collected both wins in the circle to run her record to 6-0 for the season.

    Bianka Bell secured a pair of multi-hit efforts which included the game-tying RBI single with two outs during the seventh inning of LSU’s comeback win over Memphis.

    “They did a good job all across the board,” head coach Beth Torina said. “I was pretty confident they were going to find a way. I didn’t know how they were going to do it, but I was confident. I think being in that type of a spot and showing that we can come back from being in a deficit down to our last out will help in the long run.”

    Trailing 4-3 during the seventh inning, LSU put together a rally. The top of the order, A.J. Andrews and Jacee Blades set the table with back-to-back singles with one out.

    After an Allison Falcon popup and with LSU down to its final out, Bianka Bell came up with a clutch RBI single through the right side to even the tally at 4-4. On the throw to the plate, Bell and Blades advanced to second and third base.

    “I was just thinking stay relaxed, forget the last two at-bats that I had, just try to make contact and put the ball in play,” Bell said. “That way our quick runners can come in and score. When I got the pitch, I swung. I made contact, and it found a hole.”

    Four pitches later, Blades scampered home with the winning run on a wild pitch which gave LSU a 5-4 walkoff victory.  

    Rachele Fico garnered the win in relief and retired all five batters she faced. The senior right-hander improved to 6-0 on the season and is eight strikeouts shy of eclipsing Dani Hofer (2006-09) for fifth place on program’s all-time list.

    “This team has a lot of fight and a lot of heart,” Fico said. “I knew we were going to win. I didn’t doubt it in my mind for a second. This team is so capable, one through nine. I think the ability of our hitters to put a lot of pressure on their pitchers has been the key. It was just a great team effort.

    LSU built a 3-0 lead and dented the scoreboard during each of the first two innings. It marked the sixth time that LSU has scored a first-inning run, and the Tigers have outscored their opponents by an 18-0 margin this season.  

    Andrews was hit-by-a-pitch and Falcon provided a single to open up the first inning. Two batters later, Tammy Wray delivered a RBI single with two outs to centerfield for the game’s first run.

    During the second inning, Andrews tacked on RBI single to score Lauren Houston, who reached on a leadoff walk. Jacee Blades added a sacrifice fly to drive in Rikki Alcaraz, who reached to make it 3-0.   

    Memphis charged back with a pair of runs in the fifth and sixth innings, respectively. Morgan Mosby, who went 3-for-4, belted a two-run triple followed by Amber Lindhal’s two-run double which gave Memphis a 4-3 edge.

    Game 1 – No. 10 LSU 4, Virginia 0
    LSU made the most of an extra out during the first inning of the Virginia game. Allison Falcon struck out on a pitch in the dirt for what seemed to be the third out of the frame, but a throwing error by the UVA catcher enabled Falcon to reach first base safely.

    After Bell legged out an infield single and Tammy Wray drew a walk to load the bases, Sandra Simmons collected two RBIs on a single down the left field line to give the Tigers a 2-0 edge.

    With one out in the third inning, Bell smashed a 2-2 offering for an opposite field home run that bounced off one of the flag poles in right centerfield to push the LSU advantage to 3-0.

    The Tigers tacked on an insurance run during the sixth inning. Wray knocked a leadoff single to centerfield, while Simmons completed her three RBI performance by cranking a RBI double to plate pinch runner Alex Boulet for the final margin of 4-0.

    “Sandra has done a great job,” Torina said. “I feel very confident when she is at the plate. She made a lot of things happen for us. She puts the ball in play very consistently, and she puts the ball in play very hard. She is always going to make something happen.”

    Fico tossed a four-hitter to complete her fourth shutout and move to 5-0 on the young season. She racked up 11 strikeouts, her third straight start with double digit Ks. At one point, Fico retired 12 consecutive batters before allowing a two-out walk in the seventh inning.