Traina leads Bama to Game 1 win
Sophomore tosses three-hitter, strikes out 10 Michigan hitters
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- No. 2 seed Alabama used a three-hit pitching gem from Jackie Traina and some clutch hitting to win Game 1 of the Tuscaloosa Super Regional against Michigan 4-1 in front of 2,475 fans at Rhoads Stadium.
With the win, Alabama improved to 54-7 on the year, while Michigan fell to 42-16. The victory also moved the Tide to 12-5 in Super Regional games.
"Overall, I was very pleased with the win," Alabama head coach Patrick Murphy said. "It's nice to get the first one in a two-out-of-three."
Traina recorded a three hitter to improve to 36-2 on the season. Traina, a sophomore righthander, pitched a complete game and struck out 10 batters. Michigan pitcher Haylie Wagner (32-6) took the loss, giving up four runs on six hits in addition to striking out two batters.
Traina's 10 strikeouts give her 311, putting her in fifth place in Alabama's single-season annals. She has struck out 10 in all three starts in the NCAA postseason.
Alabama cranked out six hits, including three by senior Jennifer Fenton. Sophomore Kaila Hunt added two more RBI, giving her 72 on the season. Fenton has now tallied 15 hits since the start of the SEC tournament.
Alabama got the scoring started in the bottom of the second inning. Senior Cassie Reilly-Boccia drew a walk and moved to second on a wild pitch. Junior Courtney Conley laced a double down the left field line to score Reilly-Boccia and make it 1-0.
The Crimson Tide added insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Junior Kayla Braud reached on an error and Fenton was able to get on base with an infield single. Both came around to score on Hunt's two-run double, putting the Tide up 3-0. Senior Jazlyn Lunceford followed with a RBI single up the middle to increase the lead to 4-0.
Michigan added a run in the top of the sixth inning and threatened in the top of the seventh, but Traina ended each threat with a strikeout.
"That was the key, I think," Murphy said. "Jackie gutted it out a little bit."