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    SEC Softball Game Report - 3/22

    friday sec softball RESULTS
    Florida 8,  Arkansas 0  (Game 1)
    Florida 5,  Arkansas 2  (Game 2)
    Georgia 6,  Ole Miss 0
    Kentucky 5,  Mississippi State 4
    Tennessee 8,  Texas A&M 6
    LSU 4,  South Carolina 0
    Alabama 8,  Auburn 0


    Georgia Shuts Out Ole Miss

    ATHENS, Ga. --- Paige Wilson went 3-for-4 and hit a two-run home run to lead the No. 23/24 University of Georgia softball team to a 6-0 victory over the Ole Miss Rebels, on Friday, March 22 at Jack Turner Stadium. Georgia improved to 23-7 overall and 4-0 in Southeastern Conference play, while the Rebels dropped to 19-16 and 1-6 in the SEC.

    Geri Ann Glasco (14-1) got the start and notched the win for the Bulldogs after refusing to give up a hit and walking just one batter in four innings of work. Chelsea Wilkinson came to the circle as relief in the top of the fifth and pitched a solid three innings, giving up just one hit and recording three strike outs.

    Carly Hummel (8-9), who suffered the loss for Ole Miss, threw five innings and gave up nine hits and five runs, all of which were earned. Georgia chased Hummel from the circle and Ole Miss turned to Erinn Jayjohn at the bottom of the sixth. Jayjohn allowed two hits and the final run of the game.

    Anna Swafford led off the game for Georgia with a walk just before Wilson belted a home run over the right field wall, giving Georgia an early 2-0 advantage. The round-tripper marked the second time in as many games that Wilson has hit a first-inning home run.

    In the top of the third, Melina Preciado was on her way home, but Wilson made a fielder’s choice and threw the ball to Katie Browne at the plate who stopped Preciado in her tracks, keeping the Rebels scoreless.

    After striking out Brittany Broome to end the top of the third, Glasco led off the bottom of the third with no-doubter high and deep over the right field wall to give the Bulldogs a 3-0 lead. Two batters later, Tess Sito hit the third home run of the day over the right-center field wall, putting the Bulldogs up 4-0. Browne laced a long single to left field, driving in Christine Olney and bringing Georgia’s lead to 5-0.

    After a pitchers’ duel that spanned the fourth and fifth innings, the Bulldogs crossed the plate again in the sixth, when Glasco hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield and brought Swafford, who reached on a single, home to extend Georgia’s lead to 6-0. Wilkinson retired the side in the seventh to seal the victory for the Bulldogs.
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    CHAVANNE BLASTS 3-RUN HOMER, NO. 8/8 UT BEATS NO. 5/4 TEXAS A&M, 8-6

    KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Game 1 of the Tennessee-Texas A&M series was slugfest as the teams combined for six home runs. Raven Chavanne hit a three-run jack in the bottom of the sixth and Madison Shipman had three hits and a two-run bomb in the first to lift the No. 8/8 Lady Vols to a thrilling 8-6 win over the No. 5/4 Aggies on Friday at Lee Stadium.

    Tennessee (25-6, 4-3 SEC) scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth off Chavanne's bat to become just the second team this season to put eight runs on the scoreboard against power-swinging Texas A&M (26-3, 4-2 SEC).

    March Madness made its way to Lee Stadium late in the game as Texas A&M pulled ahead, 5-4, in the top of the fifth with three straight home runs. UT evened the game with one run in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI fielder's choice, but the Aggies responded with a run on a throwing error in the top of the sixth to re-take the lead. Chavanne's moon shot with two on in the bottom of the sixth ignited the home crowd and capped one of this season's most exciting two-inning stretches of UT softball.

    Chavanne went 2-for-3 with the homer, three RBIs, two runs and one walk. Shipman was 3-for-4 with a two-run homer. Kat Dotson was 2-for-3 with a two-RBI single and one walk. Melissa Davin was 2-for-3 with a double and Lauren Gibson was 1-for-2 with two runs scored and a stolen base.

    Ivy Renfroe (10-3) earned the win after tossing two strong relief frames with four strikeouts and one unearned run allowed. Ellen Renfroe started the game and tallied two strikeouts and four earned runs allowed over 4.1 innings. Cheyanne Tarango gave up one run in two-thirds of an inning in relief.

    Texas A&M ace Mel Dumezich (18-2) took the loss after allowing eight earned runs over five innings. Lauren Ainsley tossed one scoreless inning of relief.

    The Aggies got off to a hot start in the first inning when Meagan May hit a one out homer to center field to give A&M a 1-0 lead.

    Tennessee responded in the bottom of the first to take a 2-1 lead. With one out, Gibson was hit by a pitch and Shipman followed with a monster two-run homer over the wall in left on a 1-0 pitch.

    Davin led off the bottom of the third with a single up the middle and Chavanne hit a slapper to first base for an infield single. Three batters later, with Davin on third and Gibson on second, Cheyanne Tarango was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Dotson followed with hard-hit two-RBI single up the middle to build UT's lead to 4-1.

    In the top of the fifth, the Texas A&M offense woke up in a big way. Emily Albus hit a one-out double to left field and May drove her in with a two-run homer to left field. Nicole Morgan hit a solo blast over the scoreboard to even the game at 4-4. After a pitching change with Tarango entering the circle, Dumezich sent a 1-0 pitch over the wall in center field to give the Aggies a 5-4 lead.

    The Lady Vols tied the game at 5-5 in the bottom of the fifth. With one out and runners on the corners, Tarango reached on a fielder's choice with Chavanne beating out the throw at home.

    Texas A&M pulled back in front, 6-5, in the top of the sixth. Ivy Renfroe started the inning in relief. With runners on first and second and two outs, Clopton scored from second base after an errant throw at second base on a fielder's choice.

    Rainey Gaffin drew a pinch-hit walk to open the sixth and Davin followed with double to left. Chavanne stepped in the box, took two strikes looking and then sent a towering shot over the wall in center field before an erupting Lady Vol fanbase.
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    Alabama Blanks Auburn, 8-0, in Six Innings

    TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama softball team gave head coach Patrick Murphy his 800th win in impressive fashion, blanking rival Auburn, 8-0, Friday night at Rhoads Stadium. With the victory, the Crimson Tide improves to 28-3 overall and 5-2 in Southeastern Conference play.

    Junior Jackie Traina (13-2) tossed arguably her best game of the season, allowing just three hits and striking out 11 while only walking one. The shutout was her fifth on the year.

    Sophomores Jadyn Spencer and Danielle Richard paced the Tide at the plate with two hits apiece. Alabama scored the eight runs on 11 hits and took advantage of four Auburn (20-12, 1-6 SEC) errors.

    After three quiet innings the Tide finally broke through in the fourth with three two-out runs. Senior Kayla Braud broke the silence with a single up the middle to score Richard. Sophomore Danae Hays then scored on an error and Braud later crossed the plate on a passed ball.

    Traina helped her own cause with an absolute blast over the storage shed well beyond the wall in left for a solo shot to begin the fifth inning to give the Tide a 4-0 lead. The home run was her eighth on the season.

    Alabama expanded its lead to 7-0 in a hurry with three quick runs in the sixth. Freshman Haylie McCleney scored on a junior Kaila Hunt single to left-center, then freshman Leona Lafaele blasted a moon-shot down the line in left for a two-run homer, her second on the season.

    Spencer ended the game in the sixth with a lined solo shot to give the Tide the run-rule victory. The home run was her second on the season.
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    O’Brien’s Walk-off Homer Leads Kentucky

    LEXINGTON, Ky. – Senior outfielder Alice O’Brien went 3-for-4 at the plate, hitting two home runs, including a leadoff, game-winning blast in the bottom of the 10th inning, to give the No. 21 University of Kentucky softball team a thrilling 5-4 extra-inning win over Mississippi State in the series opener Friday night at the UK Softball Complex in Lexington, Ky.

    After true freshman pitcher Kelsey Nunley worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the 10th inning to keep the game tied, O’Brien took matters into her own hands, blasting a leadoff homer well over the right-centerfield wall. The game-winning roundtripper was her second of the game and third of the season.

    Overall, O’Brien had a career game at the dish, tying her career-high with three hits and three runs batted in, while it was the second two home run game of her career. O’Brien’s two-homer game ties the most homers in a game in school history, marking the 20th time it has happened for the Wildcats. The native of Murfreesboro, Tenn., is now hitting .284 (21-for-74) on the season with five doubles, three homers, 21 RBI and a .473 slugging percentage.

    Sophomore catcher Griffin Joiner and junior pitcher/infielder Lauren Cumbess each had multi-hit games. Joiner went 2-for-4 with a run scored, while Cumbess was 2-for-4. Junior outfielder Ginny Carroll went 1-for-4 with a two-RBI single in the first inning. Freshmen Christian Stokes and Nikki Sagermann, along with junior outfielder Emily Jolly, each had a hit in the game.

    Kentucky (21-8, 3-4 Southeastern Conference) is now 4-1 in extra-innings games this season and 5-2 in one-run games. The victory is the first series-opening win of the year for UK, who has fallen in its previous two series openers.

    Mississippi State (20-7, 1-3 SEC) posted a four-run first inning to take advantage of the game early, but the Wildcats responded in the bottom of the opening frame with two runs to cut the lead in half. O’Brien then delivered her first homer of the game in the bottom of the third to tie the game at 4-4. The score would remain tied until O’Brien ended the game in the 10th.

    Nunley earned the win in the game, throwing the final nine innings, scattering six hits with no runs scored and eight strikeouts. The native of Soddy Daisy, Tenn., is now 13-3 on the year with a 2.03 earned-run average. Cumbess started the game, allowing four runs – only one earned – in the top of the first. Cumbess did not get a decision in the game.

    The Bulldogs started junior Alison Owen in the circle, who went four innings, allowing four runs – all earned – on seven hits with seven strikeouts. Owen was relived in the fifth inning by senior Stephanie Becker, who threw the final five innings to receive the tough-luck loss. Becker was impressive, allowing only four hits and one run with seven strikeouts.

    Offensively, MSU was paced by a pair of two-run homers in the first inning from junior Sam Lenahan and senior Jessica Cooley. Senior Shelby Fisher went 4-for-5 in the game.

    The game started with UK committing the first of four errors on the night. After Cumbess got a groundout for the first out of the inning, Lenaham hit a towering home run just fair down the leftfield line, giving the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead. After another UK error, Cooley made UK pay again, hitting a homer to leftfield to make it 4-0.

    UK answered in the bottom of the inning, starting a two-out rally. After back-to-back strikeouts to start the frame, Joiner singled down the leftfield line, advancing to third when O’Brien hit a bloop double to leftfield. Carroll then stepped up and hit a soft floater that dropped into left-centerfield, cutting the MSU lead to 4-2.

    O’Brien tied the game in the third with a towering home run to right-centerfield. Stokes started the inning with a leadoff walk, advancing all the way to third on a sacrifice bunt. A few pitches later, O’Brien tied the game with her homer.
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    LSU Blanks South Carolina in Opener, 4-0

    BATON ROUGE – The No. 13 LSU softball team used another stellar Rachele Fico pitching performance and a pair of timely two-out run producing hits from Rikki Alcaraz and Jacee Blades to come away with a 4-0 victory over South Carolina Friday as 1,156 fans gathered at Tiger Park for the series opener.

    The Tigers (26-5, 6-1 SEC) extended their winning streak to eight games and have collected victories in 12 of their last 14 outings dating back to March 1. LSU also has won 14 consecutive decisions over the Gamecocks (17-10, 0-4 SEC) since 2008.

    With the victory, LSU remains in sole possession of first place in the SEC Western Division standings. The Tigers have a one-game edge over Alabama, an 8-0 winner over Auburn earlier tonight.

    Fico registered a three-hit shutout, her ninth of the season, to move to 16-3 for the season. The win also was the 70th career victory for Fico as she retired 13 of the final 14 hitters she faced. The lone hiccup was a two-out walk during the sixth inning. The senior right-hander recorded seven strikeouts versus two walks.

    “I just take it for granted,” head coach Beth Torina said. “I just think that’s her job, and she does it every day. When we name the Players of the Game, I said Rikki (Alcaraz) and Jacee (Blades) because I just assume that Rachele did her job. But she is fantastic. We have learned to expect that from her. It’s not easy what she does. She is a fantastic player and a special competitor. She is able to shut down any offense at any time.”

    South Carolina’s best opportunity to score came in the second inning. The Gamecocks pieced together a Julie Sarratt walk followed by Shelby Gonzales single to left field. Fico regrouped by fanning Codee Yeske to end the threat and keep the score at 0-0.

    “Some balls were just able to find a hole and were able to land. I don’t think I was pitching well in the first inning,” Fico said. “We were able to get the outs and able to shut them down when they got runners on-base. As the game went on, I think we got stronger. Our defense played well for us tonight. We just came out. The second time in our line-up, we were able to make adjustments hitting offensively. We put runs up on the board and gave ourselves a nice lead. That definitely helped with the momentum of the game.”

    LSU broke through with a two-spot during the fourth inning. Blades led off the frame with an infield single. Two batters later, she was traded spots with Bianka Bell after a fielder’s choice. After strikeouts out in her first plate appearance, Alcaraz bounced back with in a big way with a two-run homer to straight-away centerfield. It was third dinger of the season.   

    “Rikki had a great day today,” Torina said. “She’s been doing some good things for us. She’s been swinging well. I’ve been putting her in situations where she can be successful, and she is making herself successful in other situations as well. She did a great job of making the adjustment from one at-bat to the next. I think that was the thing I was most impressed about with her tonight.”

    “I know the first time I didn’t have a really good at-bat, but the second time I knew I had to make an adjustment to the pitcher,” Alcaraz said. “I didn’t really pay attention to my home run. I just go up there and hit and do whatever I can do to help the team.”

    The Tigers added a pair of insurance runs in the fifth inning. Tammy Wray smacked a leadoff double down the left field line. With one out, Simone Heyward followed with a sharp single to left field to place runners on the corners. Heyward would steal second base, and Blades platted both runners by smacking a two-out single to left centerfield for the final margin of 4-0.

    “Whoever is up, we feel like they are going to get the job done,” Blades said. “We don’t panic just because there are two outs. We know we are going to get ourselves out of it. When we are up there, we take one pitch at a time and try to get the job done. I love hitting it with two outs because when I am in the field, I can’t stand when other teams score when you are almost out of the inning. I think we do a good job manufacturing runs with two outs.”
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    Florida Sweeps Friday Doubleheader Against Arkansas

    GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The No. 3 Gators first blanked Arkansas 8-0 in six innings before rallying for their 12th come-from-behind victory of the season with a 5-2 win in the nightcap to chalk up their third SEC series win with the Friday evening doubleheader sweep over the Razorbacks (21-12, 0-5 SEC).

    Florida (30-3, 6-2 SEC) and Arkansas will meet Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Gators’ Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium in the series finale, as projected inclement weather Sunday altered the originally scheduled Friday, Saturday, Sunday three-game set.

    Junior ace Hannah Rogers (Lake Wales, Fla.) earned the victory in game one to improve to 16-2 in the circle for the Orange and Blue. Rogers worked a complete game and used nine strikeouts to aid her efforts. The righty held Arkansas scoreless, limiting the Razorbacks to just four hits in six innings.

    In game two, it was sophomore Lauren Haeger (Peoria, Ariz.) who earned the nod – and win – in the circle for the Gators. Haeger improved to 9-1 on the season with five innings of work, allowing two runs, one free pass and striking out three before Rogers came on for her first save of the season, UF’s second this season, with two innings of scoreless relief.

    Rogers finished the day with 13 strikeouts after adding four through her two-inning save in game two.

    Haeger additionally led the Gators at the plate with a .667 clip, alongside senior Kelsey Horton (Valrico, Fla.), who also registered a .667 average – both going 2-for-3 at the plate, Haeger with four runs and three RBI off a double and homer and Horton with two doubles and two RBI in game two. The duo contributed to UF’s 16 overall hits in the doubleheader.

    In game one of the twin bill, UF scattered three runs in the first, two in the fourth and three in the sixth to enforce the run rule, topping the Razorbacks 8-0 in six innings for the team’s 10th mercy rule of the year, 12th shutout.

    UF put up eight hits to Arkansas’ four, powered by a 2-for-2 performance from Haeger, who knocked her fifth home run in a span of four games to get the Gators on the board first. Haeger finished with two walks, two runs and three RBI in game one. Junior Stephanie Tofft (Lincoln, Calif.) was 1-for-1 with a RBI and walk, while freshman centerfielder Kirsti Merritt (Lake Panasoffkee, Fla.) was 2-for-3 with two runs, a walk and a RBI.

    Florida first used Haeger’s 12th bomb of the year – a two-run shot in the first – to go up, 2-0, before Tofft connected for a RBI double for the 3-0 UF lead.

    In the fourth, Merritt and Haeger led UF’s offensive charge for two more Gator runs, the first on a Merritt RBI single before Haeger knocked a RBI double – her eighth of 2013 – to right center, her second consecutive game with two extra-base hits, both being a double and homer.

    With a 5-0 lead heading to the bottom of the sixth, UF used three more runs to enforce the mercy rule, first when freshman Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.) scored from third on a Kimmy Beasley wild pitch to take UF up, 6-0, before freshman Taylor Schwarz (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) ripped a two-RBI double, her first of the season, to left field for the 8-0 victory.

    Arkansas’ first hit of the game came in the third on a Sierra Bronkey base hit to left field. Bronkey and two other Razorbacks, Clarisa Navarro and Amanda Geile, were 1-for-2 in game one. Beasley (4-5) shouldered the loss in the circle for Arkansas, working a complete game with six strikeouts, six walks and UF’s eight hits and runs.

    In game two of the doubleheader, Florida used a three-run third inning to erase a 2-0 deficit after Arkansas plated two runs in the top of the first for the early lead.

    Sophomore Briana Little (Middleburg, Fla.) and Horton were both 2-for-3, Little with three RBI and Horton with two, to account for all five of UF’s runs batted in. Arkansas opted to pitch around Haeger, who drew three of Florida’s seven walks in the nightcap.

    Little got things started in the third inning for the Gators with a RBI blooper over the Arkansas’ third baseman’s head to plate Merritt, who reached on a leadoff triple off the left-field wall to start chipping away at the Razorback lead, 2-1.

    Next up, Horton hit the same sweet spot on the left field wall as Merritt for a two-RBI double that took the Orange and Blue ahead, 3-2, counting as the senior right fielder’s third game-winning RBI of the season. The Gators didn’t look back as Little accounted for two more runs in the bottom of the fourth on a hard-hit ball to left field that plated both Haeger and Stewart from third and second, respectively, for the 5-2 lead after four.

    Florida kept the offensive splurge going in the fifth after a Horton leadoff double, followed by a Schwarz infield single and a one-out Stewart infield single for ducks on the pond. Arkansas starting pitcher Chelsea Cohen forced a pop up and strikeout to retire the side.

    Rogers came on to finish out the sixth and seventh in the circle for Haeger and Florida to earn her first save of the season after picking up the win in game one. The Gators and Rogers averted a threat in the top of the sixth when the Razorbacks loaded the bases with one down. Rogers fanned Jayme Gee and pinch hitter Lauren Montgomery to get out of the jam.

    Both teams went three up, three down in the bottom of the sixth and top of the seventh, respectively, as Florida earned its sixth conference win with the Friday sweep.

    Cohen moved to 10-5 in the circle, as Arkansas’ Stephanie Canfield led the Razorback offense with a 3-for-4 evening in game two.