Georgetown beat UNC Wilmington 7-2 in the day’s first game, while Boston University took its first win of the year over Michigan State in the second game, 11-4.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama softball continued its undefeated weekend with a pair of wins, overpowering Virginia Tech 14-5 before edging out UCF in a pitchers’ duel, 1-0, in the final at-bat. The win over the Hokies was Patrick Murphy’s 800th career win at Alabama.
“I have been blessed to be with such great coaches and players over the years,” said Murphy. “I wouldn’t have gotten here without them.”
Murphy is just the 15th active Division-I coach with 800 wins at their current school and the only one in the SEC. Alabama (12-2) exploded offensively in the first game over Virginia Tech (6-5) to the tune of 14 runs on 14 hits, while the bats were quieted against UCF (8-3), but an untimely fielding error by the Knights allowed the winning run to cross the plate in the bottom of the seventh.
McCleney reached base safely in both games, stretching her streak to 14 games as she has reached base safely in every game so far this season. Danielle Richard failed to earn a hit against the Hokies, ending her career-best hitting streak at 10 games, which is the longest for any Alabama player so far this season.
The Alabama offense came alive against Virginia Tech, earning a season-high 14 hits to defeat the Hokies by nine runs, 14-5. Kallie Case hit well out of the eight-hole, going 4-5 with four stolen bases, tying the single-game record for stolen bases. Haylie McCleney drew four walks, marking the first time since Cassie-Reilly Boccia did so on March 2, 2012 against Maryland. Sydney Littlejohn (4-0) remains undefeated this season, going the distance with three strikeouts and just two walks. Kelly Heinz (4-3) took the loss for Virginia Tech, throwing 6.0 innings with 173 pitches.
With the score tied at 1-1 in the second inning, Alabama moved up 4-1 thanks to a Ryan Iamurri RBI single and a two-run single by Molly Fichtner. Alabama continued to extend its lead, scoring in each of the last four innings to out-score the Hokies 10-3 during that stretch.
After an offensive showcase in game one, Saturday’s second game was a pitchers’ duel as the two teams remained scoreless until the final inning, as the UCF center fielder dropped a two-out fly ball to allow the winning run to cross the plate. Leslie Jury (5-1) earned the win in the circle, striking out six with just two hits allowed, while Mackenzie Audas (4-2) took the tough-luck loss in the circle with no runs allowed besides the game-winning error.
Both teams battled in the opening six innings, setting up Alabama for a nail-biting seventh inning. Two walks and a single loaded the bases, bringing Richard to the plate. She grounded out to the shortstop, who threw home for the force out and gave the Tide one last chance in regulation. Fichtner hit a high fly ball into shallow center, which looked like the end of the inning but the UCF center fielder dropped the ball, which allowed Iamurri to come home for the game-winning run.
The Tide wraps up its weekend on Sunday, Feb. 23 against McNeese (8-7) at 1:30 p.m. CT.
No. 23 LSU Rallies To Defeat No. 13 Stanford, 5-3
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. – Down to its final three outs and trailing No. 13 Stanford 3-2 in its final game of the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic, the No. 23 LSU softball team rallied to score three runs in the top of the seventh inning on three hits to score a combined four unanswered runs in the sixth and final inning to hold on and defeat the Cardinal 5-3 Saturday afternoon.
After taking an early 1-0 lead over the Cardinal (13-2), the Tigers (12-5) watched as the Pac 12 school scored a run in the very next inning to tie and then get two more in the fifth to put LSU on the ropes with two turns at bat left. Instead, LSU sparked to life in the sixth with Allison Falcon’s fourth home run of the season to pull the Tigers within one, before consecutive hits by Simone Heyward, A.J. Andrews and Jacee Blades jumpstarted the LSU rally in the seventh to break through the Stanford wall to earn the win.
“It’s nice to know we have the capability to not only do all of the little things right, but fight and have some guts and come back on a team late in a game,” head coach Beth Torina said. “I think that is a key thing to our season and will carry us a long way.”
The Tigers outhit the Cardinal 10-7, and had multiple chances throughout the game to plate runs leaving nine on base to Stanford’s four. All ten hits came from only four LSU players, led by Andrews and Blades who each went 3-for-4 with an RBI for Blades and a run scored by each. Falcon and Heyward had two each, as Falcon drove in two RBI, as Heyward scored once.
“This was a statement weekend for us,” Torina said. “It’s going to give our team a whole lot of confidence, and hopefully it’s going to turn some heads with what we’re capable of doing, but in the long run our kids are going to benefit from the success they had out here.”
Earning her fourth win of the tournament and sixth of the season, Baylee Corbello went the distance and allowed three runs on seven hits with four strikeouts and two walks with 108 pitches thrown. Corbello only gave up consecutive hits once in the game, that coming in the two-run fifth for Stanford, as she closed the game by retiring the last six batters in order.
With no outs in the second, Kellsi Kloss got on base after batting one back to the pitcher, but on the subsequent throw launched it over the head of the first baseman allowing her to reach second. After a groundout by Sahvanna Jaquish to advance to third, Falcon hit a deep fly to left to score and give the Tigers a 1-0 lead.
LSU came back in the third and got singles from Heyward and Andrews to put two on with no outs. Heyward got caught trying to steal third base as Andrews advanced to second for the first out. A groundout by Blades gave the Tigers two outs, but Sandra Simmons walked to put two back on before a swinging strikeout ended the inning.
Stanford tied the game with one swing of the bat, getting a solo home run in the first at bat in their half of the third inning to tie the game at 1 apiece. The Cardinal returned in the fourth and used a walk and bunt single to put two on, with a fielder’s choice advancing the runners to second and third. Fortunately, a grounder to the circle and another to Wray ended the inning.
After seeing Stanford produce and threaten for two straight innings, Andrews doubled down the left field line with out on the board in the fifth. Blades followed that up with a slap single to first to put runners at the corners. Simmons hit a chopper to third and reached on the fielder’s choice to advance Blades as Andrews got put out at home for the second out. Looking to score, a grounder back to the pitcher ended the inning.
With one out in the bottom of the fifth, an infield single put one on with a wild pitch advancing the runner to second. Stanford connected with an RBI double to give the Cardinal a 2-1 advantage. After a grounder to Bianka Bell at short for the second out, an infield single plated another run to give Stanford a 3-1 lead, with the runner getting caught trying to steal second to end the inning.
With two outs, Falcon went to double-digit pitches in her at-bat and then unloaded on a pitch, sending it over the fence in left to make it 3-2 for the only run of the inning for LSU.
Down to their final outs, Heyward led off with a single through the left side, as Andrews reached with a bunt single as Heyward moved to second and then third to put runners at the corners. Blades followed that up with another single as Heyward beat the tag in to tie the game at 3-3. A walk to Simmons and Bell brought in another run to give LSU the lead back at 4-3. Jaquish took one in the back to score another to make it 5-3, as Falcon and Tammy Wray each flew out to end the inning.
“We’re still improving, and that’s the best part about this team,” Torina said. “I can honestly say we’re getting better every time we take the field. I think we started a little bit slower than what we wanted, but we are truly getting better and if we can keep that up through the end of the season then we will be in a good position going forward.
The Tigers will be back in action next weekend, hosting their final tournament of the season in the Purple and Gold Challenge at Tiger Park Feb. 28-March 2.
Ole Miss Defeats Buffalo, Northern Colorado
OXFORD, Miss. – The Ole Miss softball team posted a pair of shutouts Saturday at the Ole Miss Softball Complex in wins over Buffalo and Northern Colorado, and moved to 3-0 in the Red and Blue Classic.
The Rebels (9-6) opened the day with an 8-0 (6) win over Buffalo, highlighted by a complete game from Carly Hummel and RBI from five different players. Ole Miss then defeated Northern Colorado 2-0 thanks to a two-RBI single by Allison Brown, and a combined shutout in the circle from Lauren Lindsey and Madi Osias.
The Ole Miss defense rose to the occasion to begin the game against Northern Colorado. After the Bears loaded the bases with no outs in the first inning, Ole Miss senior center fielder RT Cantillo caught a fly ball and threw out UNC’s Erica Dick, who had tagged up from third base attempting to score. Sophomore shortstop Haley Culley then fielded a grounder and gunned it over to first base to end the inning with no runners crossing the plate.
The Bears’ defense answered in the third inning when Ole Miss put runners on second and third with two outs, but a phenomenal catch by the Northern Colorado center fielder prevented any runs from going on the board for Ole Miss.
Brown, who entered the game 13-23 (.565) with six runs, six RBI, two doubles, a stolen base and just two strikeouts in the past seven games combined, came through in the clutch for Ole Miss with what would prove to be the game-winning hit in the fifth inning. With the bases loaded and no outs on the board, junior third baseman Allison Brown hit a two-RBI single up the middle to score Cantillo and Jamie Morgan and give the Rebels a 2-0 lead that would prove to be the final score.
It was the third straight game that Ole Miss has shut out its opponent. The Rebels are currently on a five-game winning streak.
Ole Miss will close out the tournament Sunday with games against Saint Louis (1:30 p.m.) and UT Martin (3:45 p.m.). The complete tournament schedule can be found at the Red and Blue Classic Tournament Central page.
Rebels Defeat Buffalo 8-0
Behind a balanced attack in which seven Rebels recorded hits, the Ole Miss softball team defeated visiting Buffalo 8-0 in six innings. Senior pitcher Carly Hummel went the entire game for the Rebels, striking out six batters and allowing three hits.
Ole Miss outhit Buffalo 9-3 in the game and left just four runners on base throughout the game.
The Bulls’ first real opportunity of the game came in the third with runners on first and second and two outs. The Bulls hit a tough grounder just past Brown at third base, but Culley backed her up, fielded the grounder and got the force out to end the inning and the Buffalo threat.
Ole Miss got on the board in the bottom-half of the inning with an RBI single to center field by Culley that brought in junior right fielder Jamie Morgan from second.
The Rebels scored three more runs the next inning thanks to a two-RBI double by freshman second baseman Alyssa Invergo that scored freshman left fielder Miranda Strother and senior catcher Marina Parra. Morgan then brought Invergo home on an RBI single to put the Rebels up 4-0.
Ole Miss took a 5-0 lead in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI single by Strother through the left side. Parra followed Strother with an RBI bunt single down the first-base line. With runners on the corners, Parra and Strother then worked a double steal to perfection to put the Rebels up 7-0.
Ole Miss completed the game with a run-rule victory in the sixth inning with its eighth run. The Rebels loaded the bases with no outs and scored the winning run on a wild pitch by the Bulls.
Storms Cancel Second Day of Citrus Classic
Rain and thundestorms have cancelled the second day of the Citrus Classic. Georgia was scheduled to take on Delaware at 3:30 p.m., and East Carolina at 5:45 p.m. No make up games been announced yet, but any information will be posted as soon as it becomes available.
The Bulldogs return to action tomorrow, Feb. 23, at noon when it takes on No. 20/20 South Alabama at the ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Fla.
Georgia is 2-0 this weekend after sweeping Marshall and NC State on Friday. The Bulldogs outscored their opponents 25-0, handing Marshall a 17-0 loss before defeating NC State 8-0. Both victories came in five innings.
Tigers Beat Jacksonville State for Second Time
AUBURN, Ala. – Senior pitcher Hilary Mavromat got the call to start Saturday’s game for the Auburn softball team against Jacksonville State and got plenty of run support in the 13-3 victory. The win is Mavromat’s first of the year and is the team’s ninth-straight victory since defeating Tennessee Tech on the final day of the Plainsman Invite. The Tigers have won three-straight games in the Wilson/DeMarini Classic and will look to finish the tournament perfect tomorrow when they face Purdue at 11:30 a.m. at Jane B. Moore Field.
The Tigers had 11 hits, with junior Branndi Melero and sophomore Jade Rhodes batting in five runs each. The RBI total for Melero tied a career-high, while Rhodes set a new career-high with the five runs batted in. Melero was perfect at the plate going 3-for-3 with a three-run home run, but Rhodes also hit her first long ball of the year in the third, driving in three also.
In the circle, Mavromat pitched a complete five innings, scattering three runs on eight hits, but Auburn helped its pitcher out in a big way on the offensive end six of its runs coming off home runs. Along with Melero and Rhodes, junior McKenzie Kilpatrick hit her fourth home run of the year and her first since hitting one against Tennessee Tech on Feb. 9.
Auburn got on the board early and quick as they scored five runs in the bottom half of the first. Sophomore Emily Carosone led off the game reaching first on a hit by pitch. That led to a walk by redshirt junior Morgan Estell to put two runners on and nobody out. Freshman Kasey Cooper delivered in the next at-bat with a double, bringing around Carosone for the game’s first run.
Melero brought everyone around in her first at-bat of the game as her homer drove in three of the inning’s five runs and gives her four for the year to tie for the team lead. Kilpatrick’s home run followed in back-to-back fashion, a solo shot down the left field line to give Auburn the 5-0 lead after one inning of play.
Jacksonville State answered back slightly in the top of the second, scoring one run off a Cadi Oliver double and an RBI single by Hayden Crawford to make it 5-1 Auburn. Oliver finished Saturday’s game 2-for-3 with two doubles.
The Tigers touched the plate three more time in the bottom of the third with all three runs coming off the bat of Rhodes. Melero singled with one out to be Auburn’s first base-runner of the inning, followed by Kilpatrick’s second hit of the game to put two runners on. Rhodes then unleashed a towering home run that landed well over the scoreboard in left-center field to push Auburn’s lead to 8-1 after three innings.
The Orange and Blue capped the night with five more runs in the fourth inning, getting hits from Carosone, Estell, Melero and Rhodes. Melero, Kilpatrick and Rhodes were the only Tiger players to have more than one hit in Saturday’s win over the Gamecocks.
JSU did score two more in the top of the fifth inning to make it 13-3, but it was not enough as Mavromat closed the door to any comeback earning her first win of the season in the circle.
Auburn returns to the field Sunday as it will take on Purdue with first pitch slated for 11:30 a.m. at Jane B. Moore Field. The first game of day three of the Wilson/DeMarini Classic will feature Mississippi Valley State and Purdue, starting at 9:30 a.m.
The Auburn games can be heard locally on WEGL 91.1 or online at AuburnTigers.com. Live video will also be available for the Auburn games and live stats will also be available on AuburnTigers.com throughout the weekend for all games.
All home games at Jane B. Moore Field this year will require a purchased ticket unless otherwise specified. All ticket information can be found here on AuburnTigers.com.
For more information on Auburn softball, visit AuburnTigers.com, follow the team on Twitter @AuburnTigersSB or follow them on Facebook at Facebook.com/AuburnSB.
NO. 2/3 TENNESSEE TAKES 2; UT DEFEATS NO. 11/13 NEBRASKA AND OREGON STATE
CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. – No. 2/3 Tennessee battled through a pair of hard-fought games at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic on Saturday to improve to 11-0 on the year.
UT (11-0) defeated No. 11/13 Nebraska (8-4), 5-3, in its first game of the tournament. The Lady Vols then took a 5-1 win over Oregon State late Saturday night.
NO. 2/3 TENNESSEE 5, OREGON STATE 1
CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. -- RBI hits by Madison Shipman and Annie Aldrete gave No. 2/3 Tennessee control in the first inning and a three-run surge in the seventh helped the Lady Vols pull away late in a 5-1 win over Oregon State late on Saturday at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic.
Tennessee (11-0) scored two in the first and three in the seventh to remain undefeated on the season. Oregon State (5-11) drew to within 2-1 in the sixth inning on a solo home run by Dani Gilmore.
Megan Geer was outstanding as the leadoff hitter, going 3-for-3 with two runs and a walk. Aldrete was 2-for-3 with one RBI and one run. Shipman, Cheyanne Tarango, Taylor Koenig and Hannah Akamine each drove in a run.
Erin Gabriel (3-0) was sharp in the circle, starting and throwing 4.2 scoreless frames of two-hit ball while racking up seven strikeouts. Ellen Renfroe earned the save after striking out five and allowing one earned run in 2.1 relief innings.
Melanie Dembinski (0-2) took the loss and allowed two runs in 1.2 frames, starting the game, exiting in the second inning and re-entering later in the seventh. Amanda Najdek tossed 5.1 relief frames, giving up three runs. Sarah Shadinger walked two batters in the seventh without recording an out.
UT jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Geer opened the game with a double to right field and Shipman drove her in with an RBI double down the right field line. Two batters later, Aldrete ripped an RBI single up the middle to plate Shipman.
Tennessee left a pair stranded in the second, Aldrete on second base in the third and two on in the fourth inning.
Renfroe entered in relief in the bottom of the fifth and in the bottom of the sixth, Gilmore slugged a one-out solo homer to center to pull Oregon State to within 2-1.
Tennessee answered in the top of the seventh. With one out and the bases loaded, Tarango drew a 3-2 walk to plate Geer. Koenig followed with a walk on a full count to score Melissa Davin. Two batters later, Akamine recorded a bases-loaded walk with two outs to stretch UT's lead to 5-1.
Renfroe induced a pop up and had a pair of strikeouts to close out the game.
Tennessee will next face No. 13/11 Stanford on Sunday at 2 p.m. PT/5 p.m. ET before closing its play in the Mary Nutter Classic vs. Fresno State at 4:30 p.m. PT/7:30 p.m. ET.
NO. 2/3 TENNNSSEE 5, NO. 11/13 NEBRASKA 3
CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. -- No. 2/3 Tennessee extended its season-opening win streak to 10 games on Saturday, beating No. 11/12 Nebraska, 5-3, at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Cathedral City, Calif.
Tennessee (10-0) and Nebraska (7-3) both pushed across runs in the first inning. The Lady Vols added two more in the top of the second but the Huskers tied it up with two runs of their own in the bottom of the third. Tennessee took the lead with two more runs in the top of the fifth inning and held the Huskers in check for the remainder of the game.
Senior Ellen Renfroe (5-0) pitched a complete game and held the Huskers to three runs and only one earned run on four hits while striking out nine. Her first strikeout of the game marked the 800th strikeout of her career. She became the second Lady Vol to reach that mark along with Tennessee legend and NCAA record holder, Monica Abbot (2,440 Ks)t.
Leading the way offensively for the Lady Vols were freshmen Megan Geer who went 1-for-5 with a two-RBI, ground-rule double to put Tennessee ahead late in the game and freshman Annie Aldrete who added two hits and an RBI. Sophomore Rainey Gaffin had a solo home run, her first of the year.
Tennessee came out with a bang as Aldrete singled home Madison Shipman with two outs in the first, giving Tennessee the early upper hand, 1-0.
Nebraska threatened in the bottom of the inning and Renfroe almost managed to get out of the jam but a wild pitch with the bases loaded and two outs allowed a run, knotting the game at 1-1.
Tennessee reclaimed the league quickly in the top of the second. Gaffin stroked a solo home run with one out in the inning, putting the Lady Vols back on top, 2-1. Two batters later, Melissa Davin drove in Shipman extending their lead to two - a quick start for Tennessee's offense.
Nebraska wouldn't lay down though. A hit batter and an error gave the Huskers runners on first and second with one out in the bottom of the third. Nebraska's Tatum Edwards singled to center field, plating one run and leaving runners on the corners for the Huskers - cutting the Tennessee lead to 3-2. The tying run crossed the plate after a Hannah Akamine attempt to throw out a stealing runner went wide.
The Lady Vols tried to answer back in the top of the fourth but were unable to capitalize with two outs and the bases loaded.
Tennessee finally found an answer when Geer made big on an opportunity for the Lady Vols in the top of the fifth, hitting a bases-loaded ground rule double that scored two runs and put Tennessee back up 5-3.
From there Renfroe hit her stride, blanking Nebraska for the rest of the game. The win was Tennessee's first victory over a ranked opponent on the year.