May 21, 2010

Tuscaloosa, Ala. - The Alabama softball team (49-9) opened NCAA postseason play with a convincing 9-0 victory over Alcorn State (24-25) Friday evening in game two of the Tuscaloosa Regional at the Alabama Softball Complex. With the win the Crimson Tide has run off 25 straight victories, tying the third longest winning streak in school history.

"We talked about whoever we play, you play your best and respect the opponent by coming out and playing a great game," UA head coach Pat Murphy said. "I think we did just that. Lauren Sewell did a really good job and Amanda Locke was awesome in the three batters she faced. We scored in every inning and that's what we do."

Freshman Kayla Braud batted 3-for-3 from the leadoff spot and drove in four runs while sophomore Jazlyn Lunceford added two hits and drove in two to lead the Tide at the plate. Freshman Lauren Sewell (10-1) earned the win, after allowing just two hits in four shutout innings.

Alabama opened the scoring in the first inning by quickly loading the bases. Braud led off the frame with a walk and then two straight walks got them full. Junior Whitney Larsen pushed the first run across by hitting a sac-fly to center that plated Braud from third.

Lunceford continued the scoring in the inning by knocking a two-out single up the middle to score senior Charlotte Morgan from second, giving the Tide a 2-0 lead after one.

Alabama plated three runs on one swing of the bat in the second inning. Back-to-back singles by sophomores Kendall Dawson and Jennifer Fenton were rewarded with a line-drive shot over the right field wall by Braud - her third home run of the season.

"It was in inside pitch," Braud said of her home run shot. "I got the middle of it and hoped it had enough height to get out of the park. In that situation I was just looking to hit the ball to the outfield and drive some runs in."

The Tide added three more runs in the third, starting when Lunceford was brought home on a sac-fly off the bat of Fenton. Freshman Courtney Conley then scored when Braud reached on an infield single. The freshman was promptly brought home when sophomore Cassie Reilly-Boccia doubled to the wall in left to give UA an 8-0 advantage.

Alabama capped off the game with Lunceford knocking in her third RBI of the game, bringing Larsen home from third on a sac-fly to center. Larsen started the inning with a triple off the right-centerfield wall.

Alabama plays Lipscomb in the winner's bracket Saturday at 1:30 p.m. The Lady Braves downed the UAB Blazers 4-1 to open regional action.