Alabama wins SEC matchup after close battle against Texas A&M
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- With a full count and two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, Alabama sophomore Danielle Richard smoked a walk-off triple down the line in left to hand the Crimson Tide a thrilling 10-9 victory against Texas A&M on Wednesday at John Cropp Stadium. The victory sent Alabama to the quarterfinal round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament and moved its record to 42-12 on the season.
Trailing 9-8 in the seventh inning, the Tide got its first two runners on base. After two quick outs, Richard supplied the points, driving in freshman Haylie McCleney from second and junior Molly Fichtner all the way from first for the win.
McCleney led the Tide at the plate with a 4-for-4 effort. Senior Kayla Braud batted 2-for-3 while junior Kaila Hunt and freshman Leona Lafaele combined to drive in seven.
Alabama carried an 8-3 lead into the sixth inning, but Texas A&M started its charge, down to its final six outs of the contest.
Amber Garza hit a two-out grand slam over the wall in center to pull the Aggies within one in the sixth inning. Texas A&M then completed the comeback in the seventh as Cassie Tysarczyk hit a two-run home run to give the Aggies the 9-8 lead.
After Texas A&M took an early 2-0 lead in the first, Alabama answered with four runs in the bottom half. Back-to-back walks to Braud and Ryan Iamurri set the tone as McCleney snuck a hit up the middle to score Braud from second. Hunt then smashed her 13th home run on the year, a three-run shot that drilled the batting cage beyond the wall in left to give the Tide a 4-2 lead.
After the Aggies cut the Tide lead to one, Alabama answered in a big way in the bottom of the fifth. Lafaele lined her second career grand slam over the wall in left to give the Tide an 8-3 advantage.
Alabama sophomore Leslie Jury (16-6) earned the win in relief. Jury allowed one hit and walked one in just under an inning of work. Junior Jackie Traina allowed nine runs – eight earned – on nine hits. She struck out 10 and walked four in 6.1 innings.