Leslie Jury's complete game shutout lifts Alabama past Ole Miss
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Celebrating Senior Day on Saturday, pitcher Leslie Jury helped guide Alabama to a 7-0 shutout win against Ole Miss, clinching the series for the Crimson Tide.
Alabama (17-4, 2-0 SEC) shut out Ole Miss (13-7, 0-2 SEC) for the second consecutive game, following a similar formula to Friday's win by scoring early and holding the Rebels at bay with strong pitching. Leslie Jury (4-2) earned the win for the Tide in the circle, throwing a complete game shutout with eight strikeouts and no walks.
"Her approach on the mound is a lot better than it has been in the past," said head coach Patrick Murphy. "Now, when she doesn't get those close calls on the edges, she knows to just move it over a bit and keep coming at them. In the past, she probably would have walked three or four but this year it's been a lot better."
The stellar performance was especially important to Jury Saturday, as she was celebrating her senior day with a large group of family and friends in attendance.
"It was incredible," Jury said. "It was great to play in front of my family [Saturday] and I even had some family in the crowd that had never seen me play before. I was glad to get the shutout because if the other team doesn't score, they won't win, but no walks was also very important to me because I don't want to walk anyone."
A big home run gave the Tide a significant early lead in Friday's game and it was the same story on Saturday, as a two-run homer by Jadyn Spencer capped a four-run first inning. Alabama would again tack on some late insurance in the seventh to swell the final score to 7-0. The top four in the Tide batting order each scored a run, while Marisa Runyon had another strong day at the plate with a 2-3 performance. Ole Miss starter Lauren Lindsey (3-1) went the distance but was hit hard to the tune of seven runs, five earned, on seven hits. The defense didn't do her any favors, committing three costly errors that ultimately led to the Tide's big first inning.
A bunt single and a fielding error on a sacrifice bunt attempt leading off the bottom of the first inning put runners at the corners for Alabama and a successful double steal put the first run on the board with Demi Turner advancing to third on the throw home. Turner attempted to steal home in the next at-bat and looked to be caught in a rundown but an errant throw allowed her to score off the second error of the inning for Ole Miss. Danielle Richard followed that with a single to left field and Jadyn Spencer doubled the lead with her first home run of the season, sending it over the center field fence to make it 4-0.
It remained a four-run game until the bottom of the sixth inning as Andrea Hawkins came through with another big sixth-inning hit for the second straight game, lacing a two-run double to the gap to swell the lead to 6-0. She advanced to third on a passed ball and then came home on a wild pitch to make it 7-0, which proved final as Ole Miss could not score in the top of the seventh.
Share the W! Leslie Jury throws a complete game shutout on her senior day to clinch the series vs Ole Miss pic.twitter.com/hdYwej6Gcy— Alabama Softball (@AlabamaSB) March 7, 2015