No. 7 Alabama Takes Game Two from No. 19 Softball
May 4, 2013
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Behind a strong offensive showing, the No. 7 University of Alabama softball team took game two of the doubleheader over the No. 19 University of Kentucky softball team 14-0 on Saturday at Rhoads Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
The series will conclude Sunday with a 2:30 p.m. ET first pitch. Live stats and live video (subscription required) will be available through the links provided below.
Kentucky (37-17, 12-11 Southeastern Conference) won game one of the series 5-0 earlier on Saturday, marking its third all-time win against the perennial national power. UK’s last win against Alabama was in 2004, while Saturday’s win was the first time UK had ever defeated the Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa. The win marked UK’s eighth win over a ranked foe this season and 39th all-time under sixth-year head coach Rachel Lawson, including the 23rd in Lawson’s tenure against a top-10 team. Freshman pitcher Kelsey Nunley threw a complete-game shutout in the game, become the first pitcher this season to shutout the Crimson Tide offense.
Junior Lauren Cumbess started game two in the circle for Kentucky before being relieved in the top of the first by junior Ellen Weaver. Freshman Katie Henderson finished the first inning and the game for UK in the circle, going 3.1 innings, allowing four runs – three earned – on five hits with one strikeout. Cumbess got the loss.
Offensively, UK posted four hits in the game, getting singles from Cumbess, junior Emily Gaines, senior Kara Dill and freshman Christian Stokes. Alabama started junior All-American Jackie Traina in the circle, who went three scoreless innings, allowing two hits with four strikeouts. She was relieved in the top of the fourth by senior Lauren Sewell, who pitched the final two innings, allowing no runs on two hits with two strikeouts.
Alabama (41-11, 13-10) posted 10 runs in the opening inning to take control of game two. The rally started with a double off the wall in centerfield by Haylie McCleney, who advanced to third on the bunt single by Kayla Braud. Molly Fichtner then delivered the big hit with a three-run homer to leftfield before Leona Lafaele made it back-to-back homers with a solo shot to center. After a fly out for the first out and a walk, Cumbess was replaced in the circle by Weaver, who would allow five more runs before Henderson got out of the jam.
The Crimson Tide added four runs in the second inning to increase its lead to 14-0.
Alabama leads the all-time series against Kentucky 39-3, including a 19-1 record in Tuscaloosa, Ala. UK’s first win against the Tide came in game one of a doubleheader in 2004. Alabama leads the series 2-19 in Lexington and 1-0 at neutral sites. Alabama swept Kentucky last season in Lexington. The two teams have met every year UK has had a team except 2011.
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. Ticket information is available at www.UKathletics.com/secsoftball.
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Kentucky 37-17, 12-11 SEC
Alabama 41-11, 13-10 SEC
Kentucky – No. 19 in ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25; No. 20 in USA Today/NFCA Top 25
Alabama – No. 8 in ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25; No. 7 in USA Today/NFCA Top 25