|friday softball Results
|Ole Miss 2, Penn 1
|Central Florida 4, Ole Miss 3
|Auburn 7, Middle Tennessee 3
|Auburn 10, Gardner Webb 0
|LSU 7, Syracuse 6
|Oregon 10, LSU 2
|Texas A&M 6, Louisiana Lafayette 4
|Tennessee 9, UNC Wilmington 1
|Tennessee 8, Charleston Southern 1
|Michigan 9, Texas A&M 2
|Mississippi State 9, Hofstra 1
|Mississippi State 4, Maryland 3
|Alabama 13, Iowa State 4
|Alabama 9, St. John's 1
|Kentucky 5, Illinois 4
|Kentucky 6, USF 3
|Arkansas 11, Wright State 3
|Arkansas 8, Northern Iowa 0
|Florida 4, Drake 3
|Florida 8, Mount St. Mary's 2
|Georgia 4, North Dakota State 1
|Georgia 11, Radford 0
Hummel Goes Distance as Rebels Tie Program Record Win Streak
ORLANDO, Fla. – Junior pitcher Carly Hummel threw a complete game against Penn on Friday afternoon, and the Ole Miss softball team (13-8) tied the program record with its ninth straight victory, topping the Quakers 2-1 in Orlando, Fla., at the UCF Holiday Inn Select Spring Fling.
The win is Ole Miss’ ninth consecutive victory, tying the 1999 and 2002 Rebels for the longest streak in program history.
Hummel won her fourth consecutive game and moved to 6-4 on the season. The junior from Bakersfield, Calif., has pitched 5.0 or more innings in each of her last four starts.
After walking two batters in the opening frame and loading the bases with a hit by pitch and only one out away, Hummel settled down to strike out Penn’s Georgia Guttadauro and force Korinne Raby to fly out to center field.
Ole Miss junior first baseman Londen Ladner broke open the scoreless game on the first pitch of the bottom of the second inning with a blast just left of the 12-foot high wall in dead center field at the UCF Softball Complex. The home run was Ladner’s third of the season, all coming within the last seven games.
Senior left fielder Brittany Broome stole her 17th base of the season in the bottom of the third after reaching base on a walk, but the Rebels couldn’t bring her home from second base. Of note, though, is Broome’s steal tied her with Brooke Turner (2002-05) for the most career steals in Ole Miss history (59). The senior from Suwanee, Ga., has stolen four bases in a game twice this season.
The Rebels loaded the bases in the bottom of the fifth with no outs, but a sacrifice fly by Allison Brown that scored Haley Culley was the only run Ole Miss could bring home, bringing the score to 2-0.
Penn answered in the top of the sixth with one unearned run to cut the Ole Miss lead in half, but that would be all for the remainder of the game.
Hummel finished with six strikeouts in the game and four hits.
Rebels Rally, Lose Heartbreaker in 10 Innings at UCF
ORLANDO, Fla. – The Ole Miss softball team (13-9) rallied out of a 2-0 hole to push the game into extra innings, but lost 4-3 at UCF in the bottom of the 10th, ending its program-record tying nine-game winning streak.
Junior pitcher Shelby Jo Fenter battled throughout the game for the Rebels, throwing all 9.1 innings while allowing just four hits and two earned runs, and striking out 10.
Ole Miss, as it has done so many times before this season, showed its grit and heart Friday night by never getting down and making numerous big plays in key situations.
UCF got on the board in the bottom of the second with a solo home run hit high into the wind blowing hard to right-center.
The Knights loaded the bases one inning later, but the Rebels minimized the damage with a strikeout and pop up to Melina Preciado in shallow right field, to allow just one run to score.
The Rebels cut the UCF lead in half in the fifth inning with an RBI single to right-center field by junior catcher Marina Parra that scored Brittany Broome from second base.
Broome then tied the game in the next inning with an RBI single to left field that brought RT Cantillo in from second.
Neither team could get any runs across the plate in the seventh, and Ole Miss entered its third extra-inning game of the season tied with UCF at 2-2.
In the top of the ninth, with the international tiebreaker rule putting Haley Culley on second base to start the inning, the Rebels put down a sacrifice bunt to advance Culley to third base. With two outs away, sophomore third baseman Allison Brown hit a single over the first baseman’s head into right field to bring Culley home and give Ole Miss its first lead of the game at 3-2.
UCF responded in the bottom of the inning with a run of its own to push the game to the 10th.
After a scoreless 10th for Ole Miss, UCF won the game in the bottom half of the inning with a fielder’s choice that scored Kahley Novak from third, who was running on contact.
The extra-inning loss was Ole Miss’ first on the year, and ends the Rebels’ program-record tying nine-game winning streak. In the loss, Broome recorded her 18th steal of the season, and the 60th of her career, passing Brooke Turner (2002-05) as the Ole Miss all-time steals leader.
Auburn Picks Up Two Wins
Auburn, Ala. -- The Auburn softball team improved to 14-4 with a pair of wins in the first day of the War Eagle Classic tournament. Auburn defeated Middle Tennessee 7-3 and beat Gardner-Webb 10-0 in five innings.
“I thought we came out ready to swing the bats and get after it today,” Auburn head coach Tina Deese said. “Branndi (Melero) is on fire right now. We swung the bats well all the way through the lineup. We need to carry this over to tomorrow and be ready for another big day.”
In the second game of the day, Auburn scored 10 runs on 13 hits to cruise to a 10-0 win over Gardner-Webb (3-5).
Marcy Harper started and earned the win to improve to 5-2. Harper scattered four hits, did not issue a walk and struck out four.
Ashley Ryne started and took the loss to fall to 1-3. Ryne allowed six runs, all earned, on eight hits with four walks and one strikeout.
Auburn jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning as each of the first three batters reached and scored. Morgan Estell singled, Branndi Melero walked and Brooke Lathan brought them both home with a double that gave Auburn a 2-0 lead.
After the first out was recorded, Emily Carosone singled to right field to plate Lathan and push the lead to 3-0. Caitlin Schultze was hit by a pitch and McKenzie Kilpatrick drew a walk to load the bases. Baylee Stephens made it 4-0 with an RBI ground out to third base.
The Tigers added to their lead in the top of the second. Carosone picked up her second RBI of the day on a single to left that scored Estell (walk) to make it a 5-0 game.
Caitlin Jordan gave the Tigers a 6-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning. Melero singled to open the inning and quickly stole second. A ground out moved her to third and Jordan brought her home with a single to right field.
The Tigers broke the game open in the top of the fifth when Melero cranked a three-run home run to left for a 9-0 lead. It was Melero’s fifth home run of the season, second of the day and it came with Kelsey Bogaards (single) and Estell (fielder’s choice) aboard. After a double by Lathan and a single by Jordan put runners at first and third, Carosone made it 10-0 with a single that plated Lathan and would cap the scoring for the game.
In the first game of the day, Auburn got home runs from Branndi Melero and Baylee Stephens to post a 7-3 victory over Middle Tennessee (0-11).
Hilary Mavromat improved to 5-0, earning the win in relief. Mavromat pitched five and one-third innings, scattering four hits and striking out two. Lexi
Davis started and went one and two-thirds innings, allowing three runs, all earned, on four hits with two walks and one strikeout.
Jordyn Fisherback took the loss to fall to 0-6. Fisherback started and allowed seven runs, four earned, on eight hits with one walk and three strikeouts in five and two-thirds innings.
Middle Tennessee jumped to a 3-0 lead in the top of the second inning. With two outs, Niki Campbell doubled to right field and then stole third. She was followed by Nina Davenport who walked. Kristi Marquez followed with a towering three-run homer to center. It was Marquez’s second home run of the season.
The Tigers rallied in the bottom of the fifth. Caitlin Schultze led off with an infield single and was lifted for pinch-runner Tiffany Howard. After a pair of pop-ups, Kelsey Bogaards laced a single to left to put runners at second and first. Morgan Estell then took ball four on a 3-1 count to load the bases. Branndi Melero followed with a grand slam, taking a 1-0 pitch over the wall in center, to give Auburn a 4-3 lead. It was Melero’s fourth home run of the season.
Auburn took advantage of an MTSU error to increase its lead in the sixth inning. Caitlin Jordan reached and advanced to second when Davenport dropped her fly ball in left field. Kristyn Richards was put in to run for Jordan and took second on a sac bunt by Tiffany Howard. Austyn West followed with a single to center to score Richards and make it 5-3. Baylee Stephens then made it 7-3 with a two-run home run to right. It was Stephens’ first home run of the season.
Mavromat shut the door on the Blue Raiders in the top of the seventh to seal the victory for the Tigers.
LSU Splits on Day One of Diamond 9 Citrus Classic
ORLANDO, Fla. – The No. 11 LSU softball team had to come back on three separate occasions to snatch a 7-6 victory over Syracuse after dropping 10-2 five-inning decision to No. 10 Oregon on day one of the Diamond 9 Citrus Classic Friday at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
Jacee Blades turned in a 3-for-4 performance, while Allison Falcon added a 2-for-4 effort which included the game-winning, two-run double during the sixth inning to fuel a 10-hit attack for the Tigers (15-3) versus Syracuse (4-6). The three hits for Blades equaled a career-high.
“I thought the whole day was very uncharacteristic in all three phases of the game, but credit our players for going 1-1 on one of their worst days,” head coach Beth Torina said. “Our slappers, A.J. (Andrews), Jacee (Blades) and Simone (Heyward), were the key to the game. They did a really good job of putting the pressure and creating a lot of havoc on their defense. Without them, we would have been in a lot of trouble.”
Down 6-5 heading into the bottom of the 6th inning, the Tigers started their rally as Simone Heyward smacked a one-out double down the right field line followed by an A.J. Andrews walk.
After Blades reached via a fielder’s choice, Falcon lifted a 0-2 offering that fell in for a double in-front of a diving SU right fielder Shirley Daniels. Both Andrews and Blades hustled around to cross the plate to vault LSU ahead by a 7-6 margin.
Ashley Czechner retired the Orange with a 1-2-3 frame in the seventh inning to secure the 7-6 win. She tossed the final 2.2 innings and improved to 3-0 on the season. The junior right-hander was touched up for two runs on one hit and recorded four strikeouts versus one walk.
“I was happy with Czechner’s ability to come out of the bullpen and clean things up today,” Torina said. “She’s going to continue to get better and better. Her biggest mistake was the leadoff walk to open the sixth inning after we scratched out three runs. She bounced back and will continue to grow as she gets more comfortable at this level.”
“I had so much confidence in my team that they were going to get the job on offense,” Czechner said. “I gave up that home run, and I was down on myself. Falcon’s hit really fired me up. I was ready to go back out there, shut the door and get the win for us because we clawed all the way back.”
Syracuse broke through for the game’s first run during the second inning and took advantage of three hit-batters along with a walk issued by LSU starter Meghan Patterson.
The Tigers responded with a pair of runs in the third inning. Andrews and Blades connected a pair of one-out doubles to even the ledger at 1-1. Two batters later and with two outs, Bianka Bell added a RBI single to make it 2-1.
Syracuse regained a 4-2 advantage during the fourth inning courtesy of a Veronica Grant three-run dinger. The Orange capitalized on a throwing error by third baseman Tammy Wray and made the most of the extra out.
Syracuse had an opportunity to extend its lead and loaded the bases with one out in the fifth inning. Czechner entered the game and escaped the jam via a pair of ground balls to keep the score at 4-2.
LSU kept the momentum and fired back with three runs in the home half of the frame. Blades legged out an infield single. After Falcon traded spots with her following a fielder’s choice, Bell coaxed a two-out walk. A passed ball enabled the runners to move up to second and third base. Rikki Alcaraz provided the equalizer with a two-run single to left centerfield. She stole second base and scored the go-ahead run on a Syracuse error.
The Orange secured a 6-5 edge in the sixth inning after Grant connected for her second dinger of the game, a two-run shot to left field.
“We always talk about passing the bat, and that hitting is contagious,” Blades said. “As slappers, we did our best to put the ball on the ground and get on-base to set the table for our hitters. We had to fight and scratch to get everything we can. I was proud of how we answered back every time they retook the lead.”
Game 1 – No. 10 Oregon 10, No. 11 LSU 2 (5 Innings)
Oregon (14-3) raced out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. The Ducks struck for a pair of singles to start the game and scored the game’s first run after a throwing error by second baseman Allison Falcon. Alexa Peterson platted the second run on a squeeze bunt.
LSU attempted to rally and tallied consecutive singles from Tammy Wray and Sandra Simmons to open up the second inning. Oregon’s Jessica Moore wiped away the threat with a pair of strikeouts sandwiched between a ground ball.
The Ducks extended its lead to 4-0 during the third inning after a Peterson RBI double followed by a Samantha Pappas RBI groundout.
Oregon dented the scoreboard for a five-spot in the fourth inning to surge ahead 9-0. The big hits for the Ducks were a Janie Takeda tallied a RBI single and a Kailee Cuico two-run homer.
LSU garnered two runs during the fifth inning to extend the game. Rikki Alcaraz and Simone Heyward reeled off one-out singles. After A.J. Andrews reached via an error, pinch hitter Dylan Supak ripped a two-run single through the right side to pull the Tigers back to 9-2.
Oregon closed out the 10-2 triumph in the bottom half of the frame. In her 3.1 frames of action, Rachele Fico surrendered a career-high nine runs, seven earned, to fall to 9-2 on the season.
NO. 7/9 TENNESSEE TAKES 2 VS. UNC-WILMINGTON, CHARLESTON SOUTHERN
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – No. 7/9 Tennessee took a pair of wins over UNC-Wilmington and Charleston Southern on Friday at CSU Softball Field in the first day of the Buccaneer Invitational.
The Lady Vols (16-3) took a 9-1, five-frame victory over UNC-Wilmington (6-9) and an 8-1 win over Charleston Southern (3-8) later in the afternoon.
GAME 2: No. 7/9 Tennessee 8, Charleston Southern 1
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. - Lauren Gibson had a three-run double in UT's seven-run fifth inning and Ivy Renfroe struck out over seven strong innings to lead No. 7/9 Tennessee past Charleston Southern, 8-1, on Friday in the Buccaneer Invitational.
The Lady Vols (16-3) were locked in a stalemate with the host Buccaneers (3-8) through the first four frames before exploding to a 7-0 lead in the fifth.
Gibson led the way with three RBIs and two runs scored. Madison Shipman knocked a pair of doubles and tallied one RBI and one run scored.
Ivy Renfroe (6-1) fanned seven over seven innings to earn her team-leading sixth win of the year. She allowed just one earned run and threw 74 of her 118 pitches for strikes.
CSU starter Jennifer Giles (1-6) was locked in a pitcher's duel with Renfroe through the first four before the Lady Vols' big fifth inning. Giles finished with eight runs (six earned), nine hits and six runs allowed over seven innings.
The Lady Vols left four runners stranded through the first four frames before the bats started to heat up in the fifth. Melissa Davin got the ball rolling with a leadoff single to left center. Rainey Gaffin moved her over with a sac bunt and Raven Chavanne followed with a walk on five pitches. Kat Dotson reached on a dropped fly in center field to load the bases for Gibson. On a 1-0 count, Gibson drilled the ball to right center to clear the bases and give UT a 3-0 lead. She advanced to third on the throw and scored when Shipman clubbed an RBI double to center field. In the next at-bat, Shipman stole home on a double steal with Hannah Trainer taking second base. UT's lead grew to 6-0 two batters later when Melissa Brown hit an RBI single through the left side to plate Trainer. Two batters later, Rainey Gaffin connected for an RBI single through the right side, bringing home pinch runner Jennifer Burroughs.
In the top of the sixth, with runners on second and third, Tarango hit an RBI sac fly down the right field line to plate Shipman from third base.
CSU scored one run in the bottom of the sixth when Hayes Holdsworth had a one-out RBI groundout to second to score Jasmine Conley.
The Lady Vols will continue play in the Buccaneer Invitational on Saturday when they play UNC-Wilmington at 9 a.m. and Valparaiso at 11 a.m. On Sunday UT will face Charleston Southern at 3 p.m.
GAME 1: No. 7/9 Tennessee 9, UNC-Wilmington 1 (5 innings)
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. - Cheyanne Tarango hit a three-run homer, Lexi Overstreet had a two-RBI hit to end the game early and Erin Gabriel tossed five strong innings as the No. 7/9 Tennessee softball team defeated UNC-Wilmington, 9-1, in five frames on Friday in the Buccaneer Invitational.
The Lady Vols (15-3) took command with two runs in the first and four runs in the third before UNC-Wilmington (6-9) got on the scoreboard in the fourth.
Tarango had the best game offensively, going 2-for-4 with the three-run jack to center in the third inning and an RBI single up the middle in the fifth. Overstreet went 2-for-3 with two RBIs in the bottom fifth. Madison Shipman was 2-for-2 with an RBI double and two runs. Raven Chavanne had one hit, two runs and one stolen base.
Gabriel (3-0) struck out five and allowed just two hits and one earned run over five strong innings in the circle to earn the win.
Jodryn (3-2) took the loss for the Seahawks after allowing nine runs (seven earned) over 4.2 innings.
UT struck first with two runs in the bottom of the first. With one out and Chavanne on third base, Gibson connected for an RBI single to left. In the next at-bat, Shipman doubled to left field to plate Gibson and give the Lady Vols a 2-0 advantage.
In the bottom of the third, Melissa Brown had an RBI ground out to second base to plate Chavanne. Tarango came up big with two outs and runners on second and third. The sophomore hammered an 0-1 pitch over the wall in center field to extend UT's lead to 6-0.
UNC-Wilmington answered with one run in the fourth. Olivia Poplin hit a two-out down the left field line and KC Shue scored on the play.
In the fifth, Tarango came through again with a one-out RBI single up the middle to score Shipman. Two batters later, Overstreet drilled a 3-1 pitch to center field to drive in Brown and pinch runner Jennifer Burroughs and conclude the game by run rule.
Texas A&M Splits Games in Orlando
ORLANDO, Fla. – The fifth-ranked Texas A&M softball team (19-1) rallied to a 6-4 win over No. 13 Louisiana (14-3) before ending a program-best start of 19 straight wins with a 2-9 loss to 14th-ranked Michigan (12-3) Friday on day one of the Citrus Classic at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
The Aggies now have just one loss in 20 games and will play three more, vs. Illinois State, College of Charleston and Penn State, to close out the weekend.
Louisiana struck early, using a single and a home run in the first two at-bats to jump to a 2-0 lead. The Aggies didn’t let the lead stay long, scoring two runs of their own in the bottom of the inning.
Junior Brittany Clopton, who was celebrating her birthday, hit an infield single to start the half-inning. Two straight walks loaded the bases before senior Mel Dumezich was hit by a pitch to force Clopton across the plate. A third walk, by freshman Cali Lanphear, forced senior Nicole Morgan home to tie the game.
The Ragin’ Cajuns stretched back out to a two-run lead in the top of the fifth on a pair of base hits and a fielding error.
A&M again answered quickly, this time with just one run on a Nicole Morgan solo blast over dead-center field.
Trailing 3-4 in the bottom of the sixth, the Aggies took their first lead of the game. With one out, Lanphear drew a walk before junior Jenna Stark hammered a home run over the wall in right field and picked up two RBI as she carried Lanphear home on the hit.
Senior Sydney Shannon used the momentum for a long hit of her own, a double to right center, before junior Allison Garrett replaced her on the base paths. Garrett took third on a wild pitch and, with two outs, sophomore Brittany Clopton reached on a throwing error that gave Garrett time to score from third, unearned.
The Aggies retired three batters in the top of the seventh with no more damage done and ended the game with a 6-4 victory over the Ragin’ Cajuns for their 19th-straight win on the season.
Dumezich (13-0) took the win after throwing nine strikeouts and allowing three earned runs on seven hits and one walk. UL pitcher Jordan Wallace suffered the loss after she gave up five earned runs on five hits and six walks through 5.1 innings in the circle. The game marked the first time the ace was removed from the rubber in the middle of an inning this year.
The Aggies’ streak came to a halt against the No. 14 Michigan Wolverines after early mistakes were left unanswered in the 2-9 loss.
A series of errors and four base hits gave the Wolverines four unearned runs in the top of the first. Dumezich entered to pitch for the Aggies and stopped the bleeding as she threw a groundout for the final out of the half-inning.
Michigan used a leadoff single and a fielding error in the top of the second to push two more runs, one unearned, home for the 6-0 lead.
Looking for a rally in the bottom of the second, the Aggies tallied two runs on a bomb over centerfield by Stark. The blast picked up two RBI as Lanphear, who reached on a fielder’s choice, also scored on the play. Stark hit two home runs on the day as she went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and four RBI.
The Aggies left two runners on the bags in the bottom of the third and fourth innings. Michigan added a seventh run in the top of the fourth with a one-run home run over centerfield that brought the score to 7-2.
A&M was again unable to make a rally effort, stranding four runners through the sixth inning. Michigan threw its last stone in the top of the seventh with a two-run home run that pushed the Wolverine lead to 9-2 before the team shut down the A&M side in the final half-inning.
Aggie pitcher Lauren Ainsley (6-1), who started the game and reentered in the seventh to close out, took the loss after giving up four unearned runs on four hits and striking out one through 1.1 innings. Michigan’s Sara Driesenga (11-2) earned her 11th victory of the season after she struck out 10 batters and gave up just two runs on seven hits in the complete-game effort.
State Bats Come Alive In Opening Day Sweep At Citrus Classic
ORLANDO, Fla. – Going up against two NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago, the Mississippi State softball team captured two victories on the opening day of the 2013 D9 Citrus Classic Friday. The Bulldogs defeated Hofstra in game one by a score of 9-1 in six innings, before holding on for a 4-3 triumph against Maryland in game two.
With the first-day sweep at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, the Maroon and White improved to 11-4 on the season, the best start for the Bulldogs through 15 games since the 2009 squad also began 11-4.
GAME ONE RECAP
Going up against a Hofstra squad that was a swing away from making it to the Women’s College World Series a season ago, the Bulldogs tied a season high with nine runs on an efficient 11 hits. The nine runs came despite the fact that the Pride started All-American Olivia Galati, who led the NCAA in 2012 with a 0.95 ERA.
Junior Alison Owen, the reigning SEC Co-Pitcher of the Week, picked up her fourth win in as many appearances. The right-hander improved to 6-1 overall after surrendering one run on three hits for her fourth-consecutive complete game as a starter. Owen struck out five and walked none, improving upon her NCAA-best 70-to-1 strikeout to walk ratio. The run allowed in the fifth inning was the first run given up by the Newnan, Ga., native in her last 30.0 innings as a starter.
At the plate, shortstop Erin Nesbit made the most of her first start of her redshirt junior campaign, finishing 2-for-3 with a grand slam. The four-RBI bases clearer was her second career grand slam (April 7, 2010), making her the seventh player in school history with two career grand slams.
Fellow junior Sam Lenahan (2-for-4, 3 RBIs, 2 runs) and redshirt sophomore Briana Bell (2-for-3, 2 RBIs, one run) also went yard for the Bully Bombers. Bell’s solo homer came directly after Nesbit’s grand salami, making it the first time in 2013 MSU hit back-to-back jacks. The trio of round-trippers marked a season high for State, while also equaling its output from the previous six games.
Also having multiple-hit games at the dish were the junior duo of Heidi Shape (3-for-4, run) and Logan Foulks (2-for-4). Despite going 0-for-6 to start the inning at the plate, the Bulldogs still came one hit shy of tying the season high of 12 hits thanks in part to a .538 average with two outs (7-for-13).
GAME TWO RECAP
Mississippi State jumped out to a 4-0 lead through the sixth frame and held on for a hard-fought 4-3 victory against Maryland. The SEC vs. ACC battle marked a matchup of two NCAA Tournament teams from last season.
Senior left-hander Stephanie Becker picked up the win in her seventh start of the season, moving to 2-0 all-time against the Terps (Feb. 27, 2010). The southpaw had a no-hitter going with four outs left in the game, until Maryland leadoff hitter Sara Acosta broke up the no-no bid with a bunt single. Overall, Becker yielded three runs off four hits in
6.1 innings of labor, striking out five and walking none. The southpaw now has 28 strikeouts and zero walks over her last three starts.
Lenahan continued where she left off in game one, ending game two with three RBIs off of a single, double and a walk. Shape (1-for-3, two runs), Foulks (1-for-3, run) and Bell (1-for-3, run) also collected base knocks. Senior first baseman Shelby Fisher rounded out the offense courtesy of a sacrifice-fly RBI.
Alabama Sweeps Day One of the Easton Classic
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The top-ranked Alabama softball team earned two run-rule victories to open the Easton Classic, Friday at Rhoads Stadium. Alabama started the day with a 13-4 win over Iowa State and then capped off day one with a 9-1 victory against St. John’s. With the pair of victories the Crimson Tide moves to 20-0 on the season.
The top-ranked Alabama softball team defeated Iowa State, 13-4 in six innings, in the Crimson Tide’s first game of the Easton Classic at Rhoads Stadium, Friday afternoon.
With the win, starting pitcher Leslie Jury improves to 7-0, while junior Kaila Hunt led a balanced scoring attack with three RBI, going a perfect 2-for-2 on the day, with a walk as well. The Tide took advantage of patience at the plate, tallying nine walks and scoring 10 runs on walks, hit batters or errors.
Alabama wasted no time scoring, by plating three in the first inning, started by an Andrea Hawkins single. After stealing second, she scored on a Hunt single to short right field. The second run of the inning was scored on an infield error off the bat of Kallie Case, followed by Hunt scoring on a passed ball to cap off a three-run first frame.
After Alabama was set down in order in the top of the second, Iowa State battled back with four runs of their own without the benefit of a hit out of the infield, to take an early lead.
Alabama would strike back immediately in the third, scoring six runs – five courtesy of walks – to seize back the lead at 9-4. The Tide batted around the lineup, and a total of nine batters would reach base.
Jury would settle into a groove, setting down eight in a row from the second to the fourth inning – including two strikeouts.
Leading off the top of the fifth with a stand-up triple, freshman Haylie McCleney would score on a sac-fly off the bat of Hunt to extend the Tide lead out to six runs.
The Tide would tack on three runs in the sixth, adding to their lead that would eventually serve as the final score at 13-4.
In the day one nightcap of the Easton Classic, Alabama defeated St. John’s, 9-1, in five innings on Friday evening from Rhoads Stadium.
With the decision, starting pitcher Lauren Sewell improves to 4-0 on the season, while St. John’s starter Ashley Beza drops to 2-3. Danielle Richard, who was 2-for-3 on the night, recorded two RBI to pace the Tide at the plate. Sewell allowed one unearned run on one hit and struck out six.
St. John’s got the scoring underway in the top of the third after being held hitless through the first two frames. The run was plated on an error on Kaila Hunt.
The Crimson Tide answered back immediately with four straight hits to open the bottom of the inning – highlighted by Haylie McCleney’s double to deep center that scored two runs. Singles by Hunt and Richard both drove in a run apiece, respectively. Ryan Iamurri brought home a pair of runs with a screamer to center, and increased the Alabama lead to 6-1.
Alabama added on to its lead, with an RBI double by Richard in the fifth. Andrea Hawkins’ triple drove in the final two runs of the game to seal the victory, in a run-rule five-inning game.
Kentucky Shines in Extra Innings to Defeat Illinois, USF
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Senior outfielder Alice O’Brien ripped an RBI game-winning single in the eighth inning against Illinois and junior pitcher Lauren Cumbess completed the doubleheader in style by recording a win in the circle behind two hits and two RBI at the plate, as the No. 17/19 University of Kentucky softball team won its third consecutive extra-inning game, taking down Illinois 5-4 in eight innings and USF 6-3 in nine innings on Friday. Both games were played at the USF Softball Stadium in Tampa, Fla., as part of the Under Armour Invitational.
O’Brien delivered the late offense for Kentucky (13-3) in the win over the Fighting Illini to start the day. After Illinois got a run in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game at 4-4, neither team got a rally started in the seventh, forcing extra innings. In the top of the eighth, sophomore catcher Griffin Joiner started the inning at second due to international tiebreaker rules with O’Brien powering a single up the middle to score Joiner and give UK the 5-4 lead. The RBI was O’Brien’s 10th of the season, while she also has three doubles, one homer and 13 runs scored.
“I’m pretty sure I had two strikes on me and I just battled and got deep into the count and tried to get my bat on something and send it up the middle,” O’Brien said after the game-winning single. “Luckily it squeaked up the middle. I had a rough day (at the plate) but that one made it feel a little bit better. You are going to have some of those days sometimes.”
True freshman pitcher Kelsey Nunley threw a solid bottom of the eighth inning, getting a sacrifice bunt for the first out and then a groundout and a fly out to center to strand a runner at third and seal the win. Nunley, who is now 8-0 on the year, went all eight innings in game one, allowing seven hits, four runs – two earned – while striking out five. Nunley leads UK in ERA this season with a 2.19 mark, including a team-high 42 strikeouts.
Joiner provided most of UK’s offense vs. Illions with a 2-for-3 night, drilling her team-leading fourth homer of the season and team-high fifth double. The hits took her hitting streak to a career-high tying six games before going hitless against USF. Joiner is having a sensational sophomore season at the dish already tying her overall home run total from last season and sitting just six RBI shy of her 2012 total. The native of Hopkinsville, Ky., is hitting .357 (15-for-42) on the year with 14 RBI.
Cumbess was the hero in game two, delivering both Wildcat hits in the game along with earning the victory in the circle with five hitless innings. Junior Ellen Weaver started the game and had a strong outing, scattering six hits over four innings allowing only two earned runs with two strikeouts. Cumbess came on to pitch in the fifth inning and kept the Bulls hitless the rest of the way, allowing a run to score in extra innings, which was unearned. All told, Cumbess struck out four Bulls, increasing her season total to 29 strikeouts. The junior has a 2.71 ERA this season with a 3-1 record in 31 innings pitched.
At the plate vs. USF, Cumbess went 2-for-4 with two RBI, including an RBI single in the third inning through the left side of the infield and an RBI bunt single in the ninth. For the season, Cumbess leads UK with a .429 (21-for-49) batting average, including four doubles, two homers and a team-high 17 RBI. Cumbess’ was riding an eight-game hitting streak heading into action Friday, but went hitless against Illinois.
“I was just throwing my game and trusting my pitches,” Cumbess said after the victory. “Ellen had a great game and they started to take some pitches on her so we thought it would be good to switch it up on them. I am a different look to them than Ellen because she is a lefty and I am a righty. I think that threw them off seeing a lefty the first part of the game.”
With the win over USF, Kentucky (13-3) has now defeated two teams that played in the Women’s College World Series last season. UK started the year with a 3-2 season-opening, extra-inning win over then-No. 3 Cal. Cal and USF were two of eight teams to make the 2012 WCWS last season.
In all, UK has defeated three ranked teams this season in Cal, then-No. 16 Washington and then-No. 20 Stanford, while also besting four teams in Oregon State, San Diego State, USC Upstate and USF that were or currently are receiving votes.
“These wins are exciting and good for us,” O’Brien said. “It is always good when you can battle back. That was a huge win (against USF) and a great team effort overall.”
UK has now played three consecutive extra-inning games, starting with its 12-8 victory over USC Upstate last Sunday in Spartanburg, S.C., before the two wins Friday. In all, UK has not played a regulation seven-inning game since its Feb. 15 win against Washington. Since the win over the Huskies, UK run-ruled UC Riverside in six innings, lost in five innings to No. 1 Oklahoma, run-ruled Georgetown in six innings and run-ruled Howard in five innings before the USC Upstate game.
“We have a lot of fight and a lot of fun when we play,” Cumbess said. “I think we keep that fun spirit (late in games) and that helps us stay confident and calm and just play our game the entire time. We just stay happy and have fun playing the game of softball.”
The Wildcats are currently riding a five-game winning streak, which ties their highest such streak of the season.
Illinois jumped on top in game one with two runs in the first inning, helped by a Wildcat error. After a slap hit to the left side of the infield by Alex Booker to start the inning, Kylie Johnson put down a sacrifice bunt to advance Booker to second. Nunley then got a strikeout for the second out before Jess Perkins hit a sharp grounder to the right side that Stokes couldn’t handle, allowing a run to score. Remeny Perez then hammered a double to leftfield, scoring Perkins and give the Illini a 2-0 lead.
UK tied the game in the top of the third behind the two-run blast from Joiner. With one out, senior infielder Kara Dill singled up the middle and after a failed bunt attempt, Joiner redeemed herself with a deep homer to rightfield to tie the game.
The Fighting Illini took the lead back in the bottom of the third after a one-out walk to Johnson, who stole second and third and came home to score on the fielder’s choice by Perkins as UK’s throw home to get Johnson out was late. However, Illinois didn’t have the lead long as UK got a leadoff single by freshman Maisie Steed in the fourth and then a homer by junior Ginny Carroll to leftfield to make it a 4-3 game.
After Illinois tied the game in the bottom of the sixth with an RBI single by pinch hitter Jessica Davis and a scoreless seventh inning, the stage was set for O’Brien to deliver the single and give UK the win.
Kentucky scored first in the second game of the day, taking a 1-0 lead in the second inning against USF. Steed started the inning with a leadoff walk and after Carroll struck out, junior Emily Gaines got hit by a pitch to put runners on second and third with one out. True freshman Darington Richardson pinch ran at first for Gaines and UK put on a double steal with the USF catcher throwing the ball into leftfield wildly, allowing Steed to score and Richardson to move to second. Stokes reached base after a passed ball on a strikeout to put runners at the corners but a fielder’s choice and a Dill fly out ended the inning.
USF answered in the bottom of the inning when Nicolette Levine hit her first home run of the season to leftfield to tie the game 1-1. The Bulls got a two-out double by Courtney Goff later in the inning, but Weaver got the pinch hitter Stormi Grzvbek to groundout to end the frame.
The Wildcats took back the lead in the top of the third when Cumbess recorded UK’s first hit of the game. After back-to-back walks to Joiner and O’Brien, Cumbess stepped up and singled through the left side, scoring pinch runner Sarah Frazer to give UK the lead. Steed hit a soft liner to short that resulted in a double play at second base and Carroll popped up to second base to end the inning.
The Bulls got a run in the third inning after back-to-back singles from Kenshyra Jackson and Lee Ann Spivey before a pop up bunt gave UK an out. Mo Santos then hit a high fly ball to rightfield that got caught in the wind and drifted all the way to the wall over Jolly’s head, scoring Jackson to tie the game. Weaver then walked Courtney Goff to load the bases, but got out of the inning without any more runs when D’Anna Devine grounded into a fielder’s choice and Ashil Goff grounded out.
UK got four runs in the ninth inning behind one hit and one USF error. The inning started with O’Brien at second base due to international tiebreak rules, who later scored when Cumbess pushed a bunt single past the pitcher and first baseman. Cumbess later advanced to second on a wild pitch strike three to Steed, who advanced to first on the wild pitch and made it to second when Cumbess’ advanced to third on aggressive base running with a stolen base. After Carroll flied out to rightfield, freshman outfielder Sylver Samuel was intentionally walked, followed by Christian Stokes earning a bases loaded walk to make it 4-2 UK. The final two runs of the inning scored when Jolly hit a slow roller to the shortstop, who threw wildly home allowing two runs to score.
USF got a run in the bottom of the ninth on two illegal pitch calls by the third base umpire. Cumbess threw a called strike three for the first out of the inning, but the umpire ruled illegal pitch, granting the base runner third base. The UK hurler then got a swinging strike three, but another illegal pitch call advanced the base runner home to make it a 6-3 game. For good measure, Cumbess struck out the batter a third time for the first out of the inning. The native of Normal, Ill., then got a lineout and a fly out to end the game.
Arkansas sweeps day one of Woo Pig Classic
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas softball team swept its first day in the Woo Pig Classic. The Razorbacks defeated Wright State and Northern Iowa by scores of 11-3 in six innings and 8-0 in five innings, respectively, on Friday at a snowy Bogle Park.
Arkansas (14-5) was led in game by Devon Wallace at the plate as she completed game one, going 2-for-2 with three RBI, a double, a homerun, two runs scored and two walks. Not to be outdone by Wallace was catcher, Jayme Gee. The junior went 3-for-4 with a triple, two runs scored, an RBI and a walk. Head coach Mike Larabee thought the team compiled a nice day at the plate.
“I feel really good about the way we played today,” Larabee said. “I thought we competed well. Wallace is a special player. She is undoubtedly one of the best hitters in the country.”
Also having a nice day overall at the plate was Jennifer Rambo. She went 3-for-5 with a walk, an RBI and two runs scored. Wallace added another solo shot in game two and went 1-for-2 with a walk. Clarisa Navarro also added two hits in game two and scored two runs. But the big hit of game two came from Amanda Summerford in the third inning as she belted a three-run homerun into the leftfield grass. This was Summerford’s first start of 2013.
“I am really happy for Amanda,” Larabee said. “It is her senior year and she is playing with a lot of confidence. I am proud of her. She is an athletic kid that knows the system and has waited her time.”
Game two starter Chelsea Cohen pitched a gem in the circle. She went five scoreless innings, giving up five hits and striking out seven. This improved the senior captain’s strikeout total to 53 through 43 innings pitched. Cohen picked up the win in game two, her sixth of the year.
“The biggest thing we try to pound into our pitcher’s heads is getting ahead,” Larabee said. “For the second consecutive game, she made it look really easy out there.”
Game one’s scoring began with two outs in the second inning. Gee and Chloe Oprzedek drew back-to-back walks to put two runners on for Wallace. She notched her first hit of the day, a double to the leftfield gap, scoring Kyndra Meeker, who pinch ran for Gee. Sierra Bronkey followed the double, adding two runs of her own on a single and making the score 3-0, Hogs. Navarro continued the offensive inning, shooting a double down the leftfield line, scoring Bronkey. Jennifer Rambo followed with an RBI-single, plating Navarro and giving Arkansas a 5-0 lead after two.
Gee continued her offensive production with one out in the third. She belted a triple off of the rightfield wall, scoring Claire Clark, who singled and stole second earlier in the inning. This would finish the day for Raider pitcher Krystian DeWitt, she went 2.1 innings, giving up seven runs on six hits. Wallace would add to the total as she belted a two-run bomb into the leftfield grass two batters later. Wallace’s fifth homerun of the year made the score 8-0, Arkansas.
The top of the fourth featured three runs for the Raiders. Lindsay Barrett started the inning with a triple and then scored on a throwing error. Taylor Knore followed the triple with a triple of her own. Wright State earned its second run on another triple, two batters later, from Kortney Tackett. Run three came when Kristi Boreing stole second and as Gee made the throw to second, Tackett came home to score. After a single up the middle from Kaitlyn Kite, Kelly Young’s game was complete. She allowed three runs on six hits in 3.1 innings pitched. Young gave way to Kimmy Bealsey with the bases loaded and one out. The sophomore came in and struck out the next two batters, leaving minimal damage in the inning.
Arkansas answered in the bottom of the fifth as Gee led off the inning with a single to leftfield. Oprzedek followed with a bunt single of her own and then Wallace walked to load the bases for Bronkey. The junior lifted a ball into centerfield for out number one, but the flyball scored Gee. Rambo then singled to bring across the tenth run of the game for the Razorbacks as Oprzedek crossed the plate to give Arkansas a 10-3 lead.
Beasley worked wonders on the mound after being inserted into the game in the fourth. She retired eight of the ten batters that she faced, striking out six, while only giving up one hit.
Summerford led off bottom of the sixth and reached on an error. The senior then stole second and put herself in scoring position with zero outs. Three batters later, pinch hitter and freshman Lauren Montgomery ended the game. She lined a single up the middle to score Summerford from second and give Arkansas an 11-3 win in six innings.
Game two saw the senior captain, Cohen, take the circle for the Razorbacks. She was helped out by the Arkansas offense immediately in the first inning as Bronkey and Navarro hit back-to-back singles with one out. After Meeker pinch ran for Bronkey she scored on a Nicole Schroeder sacrifice fly. Navarro scored later in the inning on a wild pitch to make the score 2-0, Hogs, after one inning of play.
Wallace hit her second homerun of the day and first of game two in the second inning. With two outs, she sent a solo shot into the snowy sky giving Arkansas a 3-0 lead.
Navarro and Rambo hit back-to-back singles to start the bottom half of the third. Both runners scored on a moonshot by Summerford. The senior outfielder lifted the first pitch of her at-bat into the leftfield grass for her first hit of the season.
Cohen continued to work through the Panther lineup and was helped out in the top of the fourth with two outs from Navarro. The junior shortstop made a sensational play, diving to her left and stopping the ball. She then flipped it to second with her glove to retire Melissa Walls and end another scoreless inning for Cohen.
Schroeder walked to lead off the bottom of the fifth. After Ashley Martindale pinch ran for the freshman, Summerford reached on an error and Andrea Sullivan walked to load the bases for Oprzedek. She delivered a game-winning, two-run, single up the middle, giving Arkansas an 8-0 win.
Florida Cruises by Drake and Mount St. Mary’s Friday
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The No. 4 Gator softball squad improved to 19-1 on the year with victories over Drake and Mount St. Mary’s on the first day of UF’s March home tournament Friday at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. Florida defeated the Bulldogs 4-3 and the Mount 8-2 in the doubleheader, the Gators’ first two games of a five-game weekend home stand.
Sophomore pitcher and first baseman Lauren Haeger (Peoria, Ariz.) led UF’s offensive efforts at the plate, going 3-for-7 (.439) on the day with three RBI, including a 2-for-4, two-RBI performance in game two against Mount St. Mary’s. As a team, Florida was aggressive on the base paths, swiping 12-of-13 between the two games. Freshmen Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.), Taylore Fuller (Trenton, Fla.) and sophomore Jessica Damico (Gray Summit, Mo.) each tallied two stolen bases on the day, while six other Gators swiped one bag apiece.
Sophomore hurler Alyssa Bache (Clearwater, Fla.) (5-0) and Haeger (6-0) both earned wins in the circle Friday, Bache earning the victory in the nightcap over the Mount (0-7) with a career-best 12 strikeouts, while Haeger worked a complete-game for the win against Drake in the first game of UF’s twin bill.
After topping Drake, 4-3, Florida concluded its undefeated day with an 8-2 victory over Mount St. Mary’s. The Gators used a four-run second inning to get things started against the Mount and followed with two runs in the fourth and one each in the fifth and sixth stanzas. UF did a majority of its work against the Mount with two outs, as the first six Gator runs stemmed from two-out Florida rallies. Florida additionally added its eighth run with two down in the top of the sixth.
Bache worked her fifth complete game of the season against Mount St. Mary’s, limiting the Mount to just five hits and two runs on the evening. The righty fanned a career-best 12 batters, while walking just three to notch her fifth victory of the year.
The Gators did work against MSM with two outs in the second, putting together a four-run, three-hit stanza, started by a Fuller single to left field. Fuller then swiped second before classmate Taylor Schwarz (Palm Beach, Fla.) beat out an infield single and swiped a bag of her own to put two runners in scoring position. A sophomore Katie Medina (Downey, Calif.) walk juiced the bags, pressuring the Mount defense to commit an error on freshman Aubree Munro’s (Brea, Calif.) at-bat that plated UF’s first two runs of the game and turned over the Gator lineup.
Next up, Stewart poked a RBI single through the right side for the 3-0 Florida lead. A junior Stephanie Tofft (Lincoln, Calif.) walk loaded the bags again and the Gators were able to capitalize on a Nicole Pagano wild pitch for the fourth run of the inning.
After a scoreless third frame, Haeger then struck for a two out, two-RBI double off the right-center wall in the fourth that extended the Gator lead, 6-0. Damico kept the offense rolling in the fifth with a RBI double – her second two-bagger of the year – that took UF up, 7-0.
The Mount’s Rachel Gavigan put up the first run of the game for Mount St. Mary’s in the bottom of the fifth, striking for a RBI double to narrow UF’s lead, 7-1, but Bache fanned her eighth batter of the game to retire the side.
UF used a leadoff walk from Tofft and a base hit from Haeger for runners on first and second in the sixth before the duo advanced to third and second, respectively on a ball in the dirt. Tofft then scampered home with two outs after an errant throw to third on the play to extend the Gator lead, 8-1.
Cat Clifford battled back for Mount St. Mary’s with a leadoff home run in the bottom of the sixth for an 8-2 ballgame, but Bache forced a foul out, struck with ninth K and forced Alexa Tuck to foul out to retire the side.
Bache then sat down the side in the bottom of the seventh with her 10th, 11th and 12th strikeouts of the contest.
Pagano moved to 0-5 this season with the loss in the circle for the Mount, but fanned 14 Gators and walked another eight through her complete-game effort.
In UF’s first game Friday against the Drake Bulldogs (10-7), the Gators put up two runs in the first frame and one each in the third and sixth innings to top Drake, 4-3, in the back-and-forth battle. Drake scored one run in the second and two in the top of the seventh to keep the contest close.
Game one’s starting pitcher, Haeger put the Gators on the board first with a RBI single through the right side that allowed Stewart to scamper home from third. Florida started the inning hot with a leadoff double from Stewart, followed by a walk for fellow first-year Kirsti Merritt (Lake Panasoffkee, Fla.). After Stewart scored, Merritt was able to manufacture Florida’s second run on a DU defensive miscue that took the Orange and Blue ahead 2-0 after the first inning.
Drake relief pitcher Rebekah Schmidt helped her cause with a solo home run in the top of the second that narrowed the UF margin, 2-1, heading to the home half of the inning.
Senior Kelsey Horton (Valrico, Fla.) went yard in the bottom of the third to add the Gators’ third run of the day and extend the UF advantage, 3-1. For Horton, the homer was her third of the season, tying for first on the Florida squad, and the 29th of her career.
A Tofft RBI double added the fourth and final run for Florida in the bottom of the sixth, but Drake made things interesting in the top of the seventh with a one-out, two-run homer from leadoff hitter Amy Pierce to bring the Bulldogs within one run, 4-3.
Haeger buckled down, though, fanning Zeah Peterson and forcing Hayley Nybo to fly out to close out the victory for the Orange and Blue. Haeger improved to 6-0 in the circle for the Orange and Blue, allowed six hits and Drake’s three runs on the afternoon, while fanning six Bulldog batters in the victory.
Stewart, Haeger, Horton and Tofft accounted for UF’s four hits in the contest, while Drake put up six, led by Pierce’s 2-for-3 afternoon.
Bulldog starting pitcher Jordan Gronewold (6-4) shouldered the loss for Drake after giving up UF’s first two hits and runs of the game before Schmidt came on for 5.1 innings of relief.
Long Ball Lifts Georgia to Pair of Wins
ATHENS, Ga. --- The No. 23/24 University of Georgia softball team improved to 9-6 on Friday, March 1 at Jack Turner Stadium on the first day of the Fifth Annual Bulldog Invitational. The Bulldogs earned a 4-1 win over North Dakota State in the first game of the day, before powering their way to an 11-0, five-inning win over the Radford Highlanders in the nightcap.
Highlighting the day was a quartet of home runs by Paige Wilson, Anna Swafford, Geri Ann Glasco and Tess Sito. Wilson’s home run was a grand slam, the first since 2011 and just the fifth in school history.
GEORGIA 4, NORTH DAKOTA STATE 1
Glasco picked up the win for the Bulldogs against North Dakota State to improve to 5-1 on the year, allowing just three hits, while striking out eight batters in five innings in the circle. Morgan Montemayor came on in relief, throwing two innings, allowed one run on just two hits, while striking out four.
Krista Menke dropped to 1-5 after suffering the loss for the Bison. Menke pitched a complete game, allowing all four Georgia runs.
After a pitcher’s duel that lasted 2 1/2 innings, Georgia put runs on the board in the third when Anna Swafford hit a two-run homerun to drive in Kaylee Puailoa. The homerun was Swafford’s first of the season.
The Bulldogs increased their advantage in the fourth inning after Katie Browne hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score Wilson, who led off the inning with a single. Moments later, Sito reached first on an error that allowed Tiesha Reed to cross the plate.
North Dakota State scored a run in the seventh inning but it was too late for a rally.
GEORGIA 11, RADFORD 0
Making her first start of the season in the circle, Sito (1-0) struck out six of 11 batters faced and allowed just two hits to get the win. Rachael Walters recorded the loss and dropped to 1-2 after giving up six of Georgia’s 11 runs.
The Bulldogs took an early lead in the first when Niaja Griffin and Wilson hit back-to-back, one-out doubles. Wilson crossed home after Glasco reached second on a fielding error. With two outs, Sito tripled to right center to drive in Reed and increase Georgia’s advantage to 3-0.
The Bulldogs sealed the victory with an eight-run third inning. Sito started things off when she sailed a long home run over the right center field wall. Puailoa followed with a double before Olney reached on an error that drove in Maya Branch, who was pinch running for Puailoa.