April 4, 2009

Courtesy of Georgia

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Sixth-ranked Georgia dropped both games of a Southeastern Conference double header against the fourth-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide, 9-1 in five innings and 3-2 in eight innings, on Saturday at the University of Alabama Softball Complex in front of a crowd of 2,685.

Alabama improved to 30-6 overall and 9-4 in SEC action with the two wins while Georgia dropped to 25-6 overall and 7-4 in league play. The Bulldogs and Crimson Tide will meet again on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET for the series finale.

The Crimson Tide's Kelsi Dunne earned the victory in both contests on Saturday to improve to 15-1. In game one, Dunne tossed a complete game allowing one run on two hits while striking out one. In game two, Dunne earned the win after pitching a scoreless eighth inning in relief of starter Charlotte Morgan, who worked the first seven innings allowing two runs on six hits while striking out six. Georgia sophomore Sarah McCloud (10-2) took the loss in game one after allowing nine runs on seven hits and six walks while striking out four, and senior Christie Hamilton (12-4) fell in game two after pitching a season-high 7.2 innings allowing three runs, two earned, on six hits and six walks. Hamilton also struck out six batters.

In game one, Alabama broke open a run-one contest with seven runs in the fifth. The score was 2-1 Alabama heading into that frame after both teams scored on home runs in the second. Sophomore Brianna Hesson hit a solo home run in the top have to give Georgia a 1-0 lead, but Alabama's Ashley Holcombe answered with a two-run long ball in the bottom of the second.

The contest remained at a 2-1 pitchers duel until the Crimson Tide's fifth. That inning was highlighted by a pair of home runs including one of a three-run variety to right from Morgan and a two-run homer to center from Amanda Locke. Following Locke's home run and a walk, McCloud turned the game over to freshman Erin Arevalo. Another walk and two hit-by-pitches in the inning pushed across the ninth Crimson Tide run ending the game by run-rule at 9-1. Jazlyn Lunceford was the latest player to be hit by a pitch to pick up the game-ending RBI. Lunceford also drove in the first run of the frame on a single to right.

In game two, Alabama received another two-run home run in the second inning from Cassandra Reilly-Boccia that gave the Crimson Tide a 2-0 lead. Locke was aboard for the home run after singling to left to start the frame.

The score remained at 2-0 until the sixth, when back-to-back solo home runs from Hesson and freshman Kristyn Sandberg tied it at 2-2. For Hesson, it was her second home run of day and sixth of the season, and for Sandberg, it was her fourth long ball of the year.

The game remained tied after the regulation seven innings marking the first time this season that the Bulldogs would play extra frames. Georgia put two runners on in the top of the eight but was unable to score after one runner was picked off and the other was caught stealing. In the bottom of the extra inning, Kellie Eubanks drew a leadoff walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from Holcombe. Holcombe would move up to third on a passed ball, and two batters later Whitney Larson provided the Crimson Tide with the game-winning single to left.