Late rally falls short for Kentucky as Tide stays in winners' bracket
OKLAHOMA CITY -– The Alabama softball team beat Southeastern Conference foe Kentucky 2-0 on Day 2 of the Women’s College World Series at Hall of Fame Stadium.
The Crimson Tide goes to 52-11 on the year while the Wildcats drop to 50-18.
Senior All-American Jaclyn Traina picked up the win for Alabama in the circle, pushing her record to 25-3 on the season, while Kelsey Nunley took the loss for Kentucky, falling to 30-10.
Alabama produced all the scoring with its third home run in two games when sophomore Leona Lafaele sent the ball over the left-center field fence, scoring freshman Peyton Grantham who singled earlier in the inning.
Lafaele’s home run, Alabama’s seventh in NCAA tourney play this season, is also her seventh of the season and fourth with two outs.
Kentucky loaded the bases in the seventh inning after back-to-back-to-back singles from sophomore Nikki Sagermann, junior Griffin Joiner and senior Lauren Cumbess. UK could not cross the plate, however, striking out and grounding into a 6-4-3 double play to end the game.
The scoreless outing snaps a streak of five games where UK has scored four or more runs, including seven or more runs in three of those games.
Nunley retired 16 of the next 18 batters she faced after the home run. In nine NCAA Tournament games started this season, Nunley has limited opponents to two runs or less seven times. Nunley finished the game with five strikeouts, allowing two earned runs on three hits with two walks allowed.
Offensively, the Wildcats out-hit the Crimson Tide with four singles off Alabama ace Jaclyn Traina, who is a four-time National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-American and limited a high-powered Oklahoma offense to just one hit Thursday night in the tournament opener.
Alabama has Saturday off, returning to play on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. CT.