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    SEC Softball Wednesday Roundup

    Softball RESULTS
    Tennessee 8, EKU 0
    Georgia 6, Georgia Southern 3
    Arkansas 9, UMKC 1
    Kentucky 8, Lipscomb 1
    Alabama 6, Houston 3
    Florida 7, Florida State 4
    South Alabama 12, LSU 5


    Griffin Hits Grand Slam as Tennessee Pounds Eastern Kentucky

    KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Rainey Gaffin smacked a grand slam and drove in five runs to back Ivy Renfoe's six-strikeout gem and lead No. 6/5 Tennessee to an 8-0, five-inning win over Eastern Kentucky on Wednesday at Lee Stadium. 
     
    Tennessee (28-6) plated four runs in the second and four in the third to power past Eastern Kentucky (18-12) and pick up its 22nd non-conference win on the year. 
     
    Gaffin finished 2-for-3 with the grand slam, an RBI single and five RBIs. Kat Dotson had a two-RBI single and Lexi Overstreet had an RBI double off the wall in right field. 
     
    Ivy Renfroe (13-3) enjoyed a dominant day in the circle, fanning six batters and allowing one hit over five shutout frames. The win marked her four complete-game shutout of the season. 
     
    Shaylon Robb (6-6) started the game for EKU and allowed five earned runs over 2.1 frames take the loss. Leanna Pittsenbarger allowed three earned runs over 1.2 relief frames. 
     
    With two on and two outs the bottom of the second, Overstreet drilled the first pitch she saw from Robb off the wall in right field to plate Madison Shipman from second base and give UT a 1-0 lead. In the next at-bat, Gaffin knocked a well-placed RBI single to the shortstop to score Hannah Akamine push UT's lead to 2-0. Two batters later, Dotson rippled a bases-loaded single through the right side to drive in Overstreet and Gaffin. 
     
    In the Tennessee third, Pittsenbarger entered the circle with one and one out. Akamine hit a one-out single down the left field line to load the bases. Two batters later, Gaffin took a ball and a strike before sending the next pitch off the scoreboard in left for the first grand slam of her UT career. Tennessee went up 8-0 and never looked back. 
     
    The Lady Vols will next head to Lexington, Ky., to face No. 20/20 Kentucky on Friday at 5 p.m. in a non-conference game. UT returns home on April 1 to host Western Carolina at 6 p.m. before hosting Tennessee State on April 2 at 7 p.m. 



    Bulldogs Soar Past Eagles

    ATHENS, Ga. --- Kaylee Puailoa went 3-for-3 with four RBI, including two home runs, to lead the No. 22/23 University of Georgia softball team to a 6-3 victory over the Georgia Southern Eagles on Wednesday, March 27, at Jack Turner Stadium. The Bulldogs improved to 26-7 for the season as the Eagles dropped to 15-18.
     
    Geri Ann Glasco (16-1) got the start and the win for Georgia after putting in four innings of work, striking out seven batters and giving up just one hit. Chelsea Wilkinson came to the circle for the Bulldogs at the top of the fifth, threw for two innings, recorded three strike outs and gave up three hits and three earned runs. Morgan Montemayor came in as relief in the seventh inning and struck out the final three batters.
     
    Sarah Purvis (8-11) suffered the loss for Georgia Southern after spending 3 1/3 innings in the circle and giving up eight hits and four earned runs. In one inning of work, Allie Miles gave up two hits and two earned runs before Brooke Red came to the circle for the final 1 and 2/3 innings. Red faced the minimum and kept Georgia from extending it’s lead at the end of the game.
     
    The Bulldogs took an early lead in the first inning after Tina Iosefa laced a triple to right field to drive in Anna Swafford. Iosefa crossed home on a single from Puailoa to make the score 2-0.
     
    A pitchers’ duel ensued for the next 2 1/2 innings before Puailoa put the Bulldogs up 3-0 in the fourth inning after sailing a home run over the lights at right-center field. After Katie Browne belted a double off the center field wall, the Eagles made a call to the bullpen to bring Miles to the circle. Christine Olney, who reached on a single, crossed the plate on a wild pitch to stretch Georgia’s lead to 4-0.
     
    Georgia went up 6-0 in the fifth inning after Puailoa knocked another no-doubter over the wall to drive in Iosefa, who reached on a walk. The second round-tripper marked Puailoa’s second multi-home run game of the season. Tess Sito followed Puailoa with a walk before Georgia Southern turned to its third pitcher of the game, Red, who struck out Olney and Browne to end the inning.
     
    The Eagles put runs on the board in the sixth inning when Tabby Douberley hit a three-run home run to decrease Georgia’s lead to 6-3. Wilkinson struck out the next batter to end the inning and halt Georgia Southern’s scoring.
     
    Montemayor came to the circle at the top of the seventh and struck out the side to end the game and seal Georgia’s win.
     
    Next up, Georgia travels to Fayetteville, Ark., for a three-game series, starting at 7 p.m., on Friday, March 29. The Bulldogs will face the Razorbacks in a double header on Saturday, March 30, with games scheduled for 2 p.m., and 4 p.m. Georgia returns home to host Georgia Tech on Wednesday, April 3, at 6 p.m., at Jack Turner Stadium.



    Arkansas Wins at Bogle Park

    FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas softball team defeated the UMKC Kangaroos, 9-1, in five innings on Wednesday at Bogle Park.
     
    Arkansas (22-13) was led by Clarisa Navarro in the game. She hit two homeruns at the plate and finished the game with four RBI. This was the first time a Razorback homered twice in a game since Devon Wallace did it against No. 4 Alabama on April 28, 2012. Navarro was also great in the field as she made an inning-ending catch over the third-base fence in the fourth inning. She flipped over the fence in the process of running down the out.
     
    “She is amazing,” head coach Mike Larabee said. “I wouldn’t trade her for any shortstop in the country. An outstanding effort today from Clarisa. She went deep twice tonight, she is getting hot at the right time of the year.”
     
    Nicole Schroeder also had a big day at the plate as she went 2-for-3 with a solo-homerun and garnered two RBI. Also homering was Jayme Gee, she hit a solo-shot in the fourth inning. Arkansas homered four times in the game.
     
    “The homeruns were awesome to see,” Larbee said. “Jayme Gee did a nice job at the plate today. Schroeder’s was also nice to see. A great day at the plate for those three individuals.”
     
    In the circle it was freshman Kelly Young picking up the win for the Hogs. She went four scoreless innings and only allowed two hits, while striking out three. This moves Young to 5-0 this season.
     
    “Kelly was really good today,” Larabee said. “We talked about getting ahead in counts and she did. She didn’t walk a batter tonight.”
     
    Arkansas started the scoring in the bottom of the first as Wallace kicked off the inning with her SEC-leading 42nd walk of the year. She came around to score two batters later when Navarro belted the first homerun of the game for the Razorbacks. Her two-run blast was the second of the year for the junior.
     
    Young retired the first nine batters that she faced in the game and struck out Jenna Rangel to end the bottom of the third inning.  This was the freshman’s third strikeout of the game against the ‘Roos.
     
    Wallace again started the scoring in the third as she walked to lead off the inning. Stephanie Canfield followed the walk with a bunt single and two runners were left on for Nicole Schroeder. After working a 3-2 count, she lined a changeup into rightfield that scored Wallace from second. Her 23rd RBI of the year gave Arkansas a 3-0 lead. Chloe Oprzedek added to the lead two batters later when she blooped a two-run single into rightfield. Canfield and Schroeder both scored on the two-out hit to give Arkansas a five run lead.
     
    Young’s streak of retired batters came to an end when Brooke Parker reached on a hard hit, infield single. However, she was doubled up the next play when Katie Kelly lined out popped out to Canfield in rightfield. Canfield then fired the ball to first for a double play. Navarro ended the inning with more excellent defense as she caught the third out while falling over the third-base fence.
     
    Gee led off the bottom of the inning with a solo-homerun. Her fifth homerun of the year eclipsed her 2012 total of four. Navarro also went deep in the fourth inning as she rocketed a two-run blast over the leftfield fence to give Arkansas an 8-0 lead. Schroeder followed the bomb with a solo-homerun of her own. This was Schroeder’s second RBI of the day and it sent Arkansas to a 9-0 advantage after the fourth.
     
    Hope McLemore came out to work the fifth and gave up a solo-homerun to Caitlin Christopher. This was the only run scored for UMKC and Arkansas took the game, 9-1, in five innings.
     
    Next up, the homestand continues with a weekend series versus No. 22 Georgia. Game one is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Friday in Bogle Park. The Friday game is also the pink game this season. Arkansas fans wearing the official pink t-shirt will be admitted free to the game. The first 250 fans will also receive free pink can coozies. 



    Kentucky Offense Spurs Win at Lipscomb

    LEXINGTON, Ky. - Behind home runs from sophomore catcher Griffin Joiner and junior pitcher/infielder Lauren Cumbess, as well as a 3-for-4 night at the plate by junior outfielder Ginny Carroll, the No. 20/21 University of Kentucky softball team posted a 8-1 victory over Lipscomb at Draper Diamond in Nashville on Wednesday night. 
     
    Joiner was impressive in the game, going 2-for-3 with both hits being extra-base hits. The native of Hopkinsville, Ky., started her solid game at the dish with a home run to leftfield - her team-best eighth home run of the season - while she continued her strong game in her next at-bat with a RBI double off the wall in rightfield. Joiner now has a team-best 28 RBI on the year with a .337 average. 
     
    Cumbess added the insurance runs for Kentucky with her two-run roundtripper in the fifth inning, giving the Wildcats a four-run lead. Cumbess ended the game 2-for-4 with two RBI. The native of Normal, Ill., is now hitting .350 this season, with four homers and 22 RBI.
     
    Carroll was also strong offensive, going 3-for-4 with three singles and two RBI, while freshman infielder Christian Stokes had two singles in the game. Pinch hitter Emily Gaines hit a sacrifice fly to collect an RBI in the sixth inning.
     
    True freshman pitcher Kelsey Nunley got the win in the game, going the final five innings, allowing two hits and no runs with five strikeouts. Nunley is now 15-3 on the year with a 1.83 ERA, striking out 101 in 123.1 innings pitched.  
     
    Junior pitcher Ellen Weaver got the start for Kentucky, making her first pitching performance since a short outing against Western Michigan on March 3. Weaver threw the first two innings of the game, allowing one run on one hit with two strikeouts. 
     
    Lipscomb scored first with a single run in the second inning. The inning started with Weaver getting a strikeout, followed by a double to right-centerfield by Gracey Aguirre. Mickey Bell then laid down a sacrifice bunt that was fielded by Steed, who threw wildly to first, allowing Aguirre to score and Bell to reach first safely. Weaver got out of the inning with a popups to leftfield and shortstop. 
     
    Kentucky (24-8) took the lead in the top of the fourth inning. Joiner started the rally with a leadoff home run to leftfield that easily cleared the wall. The rally continued as Stokes singled to rightfield, advancing to second on a groundout by Cumbess. Stokes came home to score when freshman Nikki Sagermann singled to left-centefield to give UK the 2-1 lead.
     
    The Wildcats got three runs in the fifth inning to take a commanding lead. The inning started with a leadoff walk by Steed, who advanced to second on a groundout and later scored when Joiner laced a double to rightfield. After a groundout advanced Joiner to third, Cumbess laced a home run over the right-centerfield fence to give Kentucky a 5-1 lead.
     
    Kentucky put another insurance run on the board in the sixth inning. Carroll started the inning with a single through the leftside and was pinch ran for by Darington Richardson, who moved to second on a stolen base and third when the Lipscomb catcher threw the ball into centerfield. Richardson then came home to score on a sacrifice fly by Gaines. A strikeout and lineout ended the inning. 
     
    UK loaded the bases in the seventh inning after a walk to Joiner, single by Stokes and single by Cumbess. After a strikeout, Carroll continued her strong night with a two-run single to leftfield to give UK a 8-1 lead. 
     
    The Wildcats will be in action again on Friday when they return to the UK Softball Complex for a matchup with Tennessee on at 5 p.m. ET. The single-game set will not count towards Southeastern Conference standings. The Wildcats will hit the road for six straight following Friday's contest before returning home for a three-game set with highly ranked Florida beginning Friday, April 12 at 6 p.m. ET.
     
    Lipscomb won the lone meeting between the two schools, defeating UK 3-0 in a neutral site game in 2010. 
     
    Kentucky will play host to the SEC Tournament this season for the first time in school history. The event, which is considered one of the most prestigious softball tournaments in the nation, will be May 8-11 in Lexington. The championship game will be featured on ESPN2, while all other games will be shown on ESPNU.
     
    For the latest on UK softball, follow "@UKSoftball" on Twitter or like Kentucky Softball on Facebook.



    Alabama Picks Up Non-Conference Win at Houston

    HOUSTON, Texas - Alabama junior All-American Jackie Traina smashed two home runs to help lead the Alabama softball team to 6-3 victory over Houston in front of a Cougar Softball Stadium record crowd of 1,793, Wednesday night. With the win, the Crimson Tide improves to 30-4 overall.
     
    Alabama scored the six runs on 10 hits and were led at the plate by freshman Haylie McCleney's 3-for-4 effort. Traina hit two home runs and drove in four while senior Kayla Braud batted 2-for-3.
     
    Sophomore Leslie Jury (10-2) earned the win in relief, only allowing two hits and no runs in 5 2/3 innings while striking out three.
     
    Alabama opened the scoring in the first inning when junior Kaila Hunt singled in McCleney on a grounder that slipped through up the middle. McCleney started the game with a double and then moved to third on a Braud sac-bunt.
     
    UA continued the scoring in the opening frame when Traina smashed her 10th home run on the season. Traina lined it over the wall in center to score Hunt and give the Tide a 3-0 lead.
     
    After Houston rallied to tie the game at three, Alabama retook the lead in the fifth. Sophomore Jadyn Spencer blooped a two-out single in center to plate McCleney from second.
     
    Traina extended the Tide lead in the seventh inning with her second home run of the game. This time Traina connected on a two-run shot down the line in left to give Alabama a 6-3 advantage.
     
    Alabama will continue its spring break in Texas as it will return to SEC play against league newcomer Texas A&M. The two teams will meet in a three game series in College Station that will begin on Friday, March 29, with first pitch slated for 7 p.m. CT. 



    Gators Down Seminoles With Walk-Off in Extras

    GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Sophomore Briana Little (Middleburg, Fla.) ripped a walk-off grand slam over the left-center scoreboard in the bottom of the eighth inning to break a 3-3 tie between the No. 3 Gators and Florida State Seminoles Wednesday evening, giving Florida softball a 7-3 victory in front of a school-record crowd of 2,443 at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.
     
    For the Gators (32-3, 7-2 SEC), the walk off was their second-consecutive and fifth of the season, as the Orange and Blue improved to 4-2 in extra-inning games in 2013. Little blasted her team-leading third grand slam of the season for the game-winner. The Seminoles moved to 26-11 this year after the hard-fought battle.
     
    The Share A Little Sunshine Showdown, Florida vs. Florida State Game was presented Wednesday by Visit Florida. Share a Little Sunshine is Visit Florida’s campaign to encourage all Floridians to invite their friends and families to Florida to boost tourism and help our state’s economy. 
     
    The Gator and Seminole softball squads will square off again in Tallahassee for the second game between the two programs this year April 17 at 6 p.m. Florida will enter the contest riding a 10-game win streak over Florida State.
     
    Trailing the Seminoles 3-1 in the bottom of the seventh with two outs, UF took advantage of a costly FSU miscue when senior Kelsey Horton (Valrico, Fla.) put a ball in play to plate two runs and knot the contest at 3-3. Sophomore Lauren Haeger (Peoria, Ariz.) and Little both drew two-out walks for runners on first and second for the Gators in the bottom of the seventh before Horton sent a grounder to the Seminole third baseman, who then overthrew first base allowing both Haeger and Little to scamper home for the tie ballgame.
     
    Florida then loaded the bases with two down in the bottom of the seventh after a junior Stephanie Tofft (Lincoln, Calif.) walk and freshman Taylor Schwarz (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) hit-by-pitch, but a strikeout retired the side and sent the Gators and Noles into extras, UF’s sixth extra-inning contest of the season.
     
    After Florida starting hurler Hannah Rogers (Lake Wales, Fla.) held the Seminoles scoreless in the top half of the eighth, including her eighth strikeout of the evening, Florida put together a winning rally in the home half of the frame. 
     
    Sophomore Katie Medina (Downey, Calif.) roped a leadoff double in top of the eighth to right field before freshman Kirsti Merritt (Lake Panasoffkee, Fla.) was hit by a pitch for runners on first and second, one outs. The Seminoles then opted to intentionally walk Haeger to juice the bags for Little. The Gator outfielder delivered with the team’s seventh granny of the season to walk the Gators off with their 32nd win of the season.
     
    Rogers picked up the win for Florida, improving to 18-2 on the season, while FSU relief pitcher Monica Perry was charged the loss (13-7) after closing out the seventh and tossing the eighth. Seminole starting hurler Lacey Waldrop worked the majority of the contest for Florida State, holding UF to three hits and one run through 6.2 innings before the Noles’ seventh-inning defensive miscue,  fanning 18 Gators on the evening. Rogers allowed just two earned runs, three walks and had eight Ks on the evening.
     
    Florida drew eight walks, six free passes from Waldrop, two from Perry, to help manufacture offense and put together its 13th come-from-behind win of the season.
     
    In a tightly-contested match-up, UF was first to get on the board in the bottom of the third inning after the Gators scratched a run across on a dropped third strike, allowing freshman Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.) to cross the dish from second for the 1-0 Gator lead.
     
    The Seminoles responded with a three-run fourth inning, fueled by a Morgan Bullock two-RBI triple to deep center field and followed by a Bullock run scored when the Noles capitalized on a Gators’ passed ball for the 3-1 lead. 
     
    Both hurlers went to work in the fifth and sixth innings for zeros on the board before UF knotted the game in the seventh to set up the game-winning heroics. 
     
    Stewart, Little, Horton, Tofft and Medina accounted for UF’s five hits against Florida state, Tofft with her team-leading 10th double of the season in the bottom of the fourth. Haeger and Tofft tied for the team lead, each drawing two walks.
     
    Bullock was 4-for-4 to lead Florida State at the plate Wednesday evening.
     
    NEXT UP
     
    Following the Sunshine Showdown Wednesday between UF and FSU, the Gators will hit the road and finish out the month of March with a Southeastern Conference series at Ole Miss March 29-31. The Orange and Blue take a 36-7 all-time advantage over the Rebels into the three-game weekend set in Oxford, Miss. Following the series with Ole Miss, UF will return back to Gainesville for a five-game home stand April 3-10, as the Gators play host to UCF, Mississippi State & USF at home.
     
    For live updates, box scores, stats, pictures and recaps throughout the season, be sure to visit UF on GatorZone, follow the Gators on Twitter and visit the team on Facebook for all the latest on Gator softball. For broadcast and television information, visit the UF softball schedule page.



    LSU Stumbles at South Alabama

    MOBILE, Ala. – The No. 13 LSU softball team was handed a 12-5 defeat by No. 25 South Alabama Wednesday in a non-conference matchup at Jaguar Field.
     
    LSU’s (28-7) pitching staff surrendered a season’s best 12 runs on a season-high 15 hits. Rachele Fico was issued the loss and fell to 16-4 on the season. She was touched up for seven runs, six earned, on eight hits over her 2.2 innings of work.
     
    The Jaguars (28-5) used a balanced offensive attack as eight players collected hits and picked up RBIs. Haley Fagan turned in a 4-for-4 effort with three runs scored and a RBI. Meghan Collins and Blair Johnson added a pair of RBIs to fuel South Alabama. 
     
    “I don’t really have an answer for tonight’s performance,” head coach Beth Torina said. “We didn’t pitch well, we didn’t play good defense and we struggled to swing the bats. At the same time, a lot of credit goes to South Alabama. They’re a solid team that came out and really took the momentum. The one positive that we can take away from this game is that we didn’t give up, and we continued to fight. No doubt we have a lot of work to do before we take the field again on Saturday.”
     
    With LSU trailing 11-0 during the fifth inning, the Tigers put together a rally to extend the game as Tammy Wray and Simone Heyward drew walks in between Lauren Houston being hit-by-a-pitch to fill the bases.
     
    Jacee Blades, who garnered a 2-for-4 effort and her team-leading 11th multi-hit performance of the season, legged out an infield single and slide around the tag attempt by the South Alabama first baseman to plate LSU’s first run.
     
    Bianka Bell cleared the bases and cranked a 2-0 offering over the left centerfield fence for a grand slam to pull the Tigers back within 11-5. The four RBIs for Bell are a career-high.
     
    The Jaguars platted a run on an Alex Breeden RBI groundout during the home half of the frame for the final margin of 12-5.
     
    LSU had an opportunity to strike first in the second inning. Allison Falcon was hit-by-a-pitch, while Wray and Houston coaxed free passes to load the bases. However, South Alabama starting pitcher Farish Beard got Simone Heyward to strike out to end the threat and keep the ledger scoreless.
     
    The Jaguars used that momentum and cashed in for the game’s first run during the bottom of the inning. Julie Moss and Fagan connected back-to-back singles. With one out, Wray attempted to throw out Fagan going to second base. Her errant throw went into right centerfield which enabled Moss to cross the plate to make the score 1-0.
     
    South Alabama exploded for six runs and extended its lead to 7-0 during the third inning. The Jaguars sent 11 batters to the plate and received RBI from Breeden, Collins, Johnson and Moss sparked by Collins’ two-run double and capped by Johnson’s two-run single.
     
    South Alabama batted around once more and tacked on four additional runs in the fourth inning. Fagan knocked a solo home run followed by RBI hits from Britany Campbell and Emily Messer to push the advantage to 11-0.
     
    Beard notched eight strikeouts against four walks during her 4.1 innings of work and stayed unblemished at 12-0 for the Jaguars in the circle. South Alabama went to Hannah Campbell, who fired 2.2 frames of two-hit relief to close out the contest.
     
    LSU returns to action with a Saturday doubleheader versus Samford. First pitch is on-tap for 1 p.m. from Tiger Park. The game will be broadcasted by the LSU Sports Radio Network on Country Legends 104.9 FM in Baton Rouge and can be accessed by Geaux Zone subscribers at www.LSUsports.net/live.
     
    Fans also can follow every pitch of LSU softball this season via live stats at www.LSUsports.net/livestats along with live in-game updates on LSU softball's social media outlets at www.Facebook.com/lsusoftball and @lsusoftball on Twitter.
     
    The Tiger Park Ticket Office will open 90 prior to the first pitch. Fans can purchase tickets on-site starting at $5 for adult general admission and $3 for youth ages 3-12.