The Bulldogs will return to action in the home SEC opener on Friday, March 22 at 6 p.m. when they host Ole Miss for the first of a three-game series.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Junior Lauren Sewell got it done pitching and delivered with the bat as the Alabama softball team took down the visiting Panthers of Georgia State, 9-1, Wednesday night from the friendly confines of Rhoads Stadium.
The Crimson Tide improves to 27-3 on the 2013 campaign, winning its fifth in a row. Georgia State falls to 15-9 on the season. The win gives head coach Patrick Murphy, 799 on his career.
Sewell tossed a five inning gem, giving up one run on two hits while striking out three. She improves to 6-0 in 2013 and 23-1 for her career.
Sewell led the Crimson Tide at the plate as well, belting her first home run of the year, finishing 1-for-3 with three RBI, while senior Kayla Braud added her first home run of the year as well. Braud finished the night 2-for-3 with three RBI and two runs scored.
After GSU started the scoring in the first, Alabama would answer in the bottom of the second. The first run of the inning was scored on a freshman Andrea Hawkins single that plated sophomore Danielle Richard. Braud then sent the Katie Worley offering over the right field fence for a three-run shot, her first home run of the year. All in all, the Tide would put up a four spot to take the lead.
The power would return in the third inning, with Sewell shooting a laser blast to left field, scoring junior Jackie Traina and sophomore Jadyn Spencer. The three-run blast was Sewell's first home run of the season.
UA would plate two more runs in the fourth, adding to the lead and making the score 9-1. Sewell would send Georgia State down in the top of the fifth, ending the run-ruled game.
Alabama will continue the home stand this weekend, hosting in-state rival Auburn for a three game set. Game one will be Friday, with first pitch scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
Ole Miss Blanks Samford on Blustery Wednesday
OXFORD, Miss. – The Ole Miss softball team (19-15, 1-5 Southeastern Conference) got a complete game shutout from junior pitcher Carly Hummel, and defeated visiting Samford 3-0 on a cool, blustery Wednesday evening at the Ole Miss Softball Complex.
Hummel (8-8) threw all seven innings, allowing just four hits, zero walks and striking out five in the victory over the Bulldogs (9-15).
“Today I thought (Carly) threw her game very well and worked on all of her pitches … and I thought she did a very good job of mixing them up,” Ole Miss softball head coach Windy Thees said.
Ole Miss scored one run in each of the first three innings to take a 3-0 lead and held the lead for the remainder of the game. Samford would bring the tying run to the plate in the top of the seventh, but Hummel threw her fifth strikeout of the game and the Rebels got their seventh shutout victory of the season.
Freshman catcher Natalie Martinez had her first multi-hit game of the season, going 2-3 with one RBI. Defensively, Martinez threw out her fourth potential base stealer of the season with a nice throw in the fifth inning to freshman shortstop Haley Culley, who applied the tag.
Martinez and Culley were two of four freshmen to start for the Rebels in the infield Wednesday night.
“They’re talented – they’re very talented,” said Thees about her freshmen infielders Culley, Martinez, Madi Osias and Melina Preciado. “They know how to play this game; it’s just a matter of making plays. When you have a pitcher out there with a lot of confidence it helps. I think they all did a good job.”
Hummel, who has thrown five or more innings in eight of her last 11 starts, said the Rebels had a very hard practice Tuesday, and Wednesday’s win was an important one for the team.
“We came out and I think we played ready today,” Hummel said. “It was kind of difficult coming off that losing streak, especially with Missouri, they’re an awesome team. So coming out today, it was really important that we got that win.”
Culley scored the first run of the game for the Rebels in the bottom of the first on a wild pitch with the bases loaded.
Martinez scored Ole Miss’ second run of the game with an RBI double to left-center in the second inning. Martinez’s double scored junior right fielder Natalie Nimmo from second base.
With two outs away in the bottom of the third, sophomore designated player Lauren Lindsey hit her fifth double of the season to the left-center gap. After freshman right fielder Bri Payne came on as a pinch runner and advanced to third on a wild pitch, Osias hit an RBI double down the left field line to give the Rebels a 3-0 lead that proved to be the final score.
Ole Miss will now turn its attention to No. 23 Georgia (22-7, 3-0 SEC) as it returns to conference action in Athens, Ga. The Rebels will face the Bulldogs in a three-game series beginning Friday at 5 p.m. CT. First pitch Saturday is scheduled for 3 p.m. CT, and Sunday’s series finale will start at 1 p.m. CT.
For all Ole Miss softball news and information, go to OleMissSports.com and follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissSoftball and on Facebook at Ole Miss Softball.
Gators Hold USC Upstate to One Hit
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Following almost a two hour rain delay at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium, the No. 3 Gator softball team (28-3, 4-2 SEC) worked quickly, using three runs in the first inning and eight in the third to enforce an 11-0 run-rule over USC Upstate (21-3, 5-1 A-Sun), the Gators’ ninth mercy rule and 11th shutout of the season. Junior ace Hannah Rogers (Lake Wales, Fla.) and sophomore hurler Alyssa Bache (Clearwater, Fla.) combined for one-hitter, holding the Spartans hitless on the evening until the fifth.
Rogers received the start and earned the victory in the circle for the Orange and Blue Wednesday, improving to 15-2 overall after recording seven strikeouts in four hitless innings of work, before Bache completed the game with a scoreless frame of her own, allowing a single hit with two Ks. The effort marked the 13th combined one-hitter in Florida history and the first since the same Gator duo shut out Gardner-Webb in five innings last March.
Reigning SEC Co-Player of the Week sophomore Lauren Haeger (Peoria, Ariz.) paced the Gator attack, driving in four runs with a 2-for-3 night at the plate, connecting for a double and homer in the third inning.
Florida used a pair of two-out RBI hits from sophomore Briana Little (Middleburg, Fla.) and junior Stephanie Tofft (Lincoln, Calif.) in the bottom of the first frame to jump out to an early 3-0 lead on Upstate.
Rogers swiftly went to work in the circle on the defensive end for the Gators, punching out two Spartans in the first frame, one in the second, and two in the third and fourth innings each in an efficient 44-pitch outing.
The Orange and Blue kept the bats going in the bottom of the third as the Gators hit around, stringing together an eight-run, five-hit stanza to go ahead of the Spartans, 11-0. Florida first used an infield single from freshman Kirsti Merritt (Lake Panasoffkee, Fla.), followed by a Haeger two-run shot to left field to go ahead, 5-0. Haeger’s bomb marked her team-leading 11th of the season for Florida, her third consecutive game with at least one blast.
Next up, Little drew a walk with no outs on the board to set up a sophomore Bailey Castro (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) two-run jack for the 7-0 Gator lead, chasing Upstate starter Sam Poarch from the circle in favor of Anna Miller. The Gators then drew two consecutive walks before sophomore Katie Medina (Downey, Calif.) cashed in with a RBI single to right field for the 8-0 UF advantage.
Freshman Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.) was then pegged with a Miller pitch to juice the bags for Merritt, who was able to drive in a run following an Upstate defensive miscue for the 9-0 lead that left the bases loaded. Haeger registered her second extra-base hit of the frame with a two-RBI double to deep right center to take the Gators up the final 11-0 margin following the third stanza.
Following a scoreless fourth for both teams, Bache came on in relief in the circle for UF in the top of the fifth to close things out for the Orange and Blue. Dana Landers connected for Upstate’s first hit of the game, a double to left center, in the top of the fifth, but Bache was effective retiring the final three batters in order – including two strikeouts – to cap off Florida’s 28th win of the season.
Poarch moved to 1-1 on the season in the circle for the Spartans, while she and Miller combined for four Ks on the evening. Poarch was charged with five hits and four earned runs, while Miller gave up two Gator hits and three earned runs in the mid-week contest.