Alabama Softball Caps Opening Weekend With 9-3 Win Over Coastal Carolina
Alabama softball wrapped up its season-opening weekend at the Kickin’ Chicken Classic with a 9-3 win over Coastal Carolina, moving to 5-0 on the young season.
Alabama (5-0) scored nine runs on 16 hits, overcoming an early 2-0 lead by Coastal Carolina (3-2). Demi Turner tied a career high with four hits, going 4-5 at the plate, while freshmen Bailey Hemphill and Gabby Callaway were each a perfect 3-3. Hemphill slugged a two-run home run in the fifth inning, already her third long ball of the season, and Sydney Booker hit her own two-run homer three batters later, her second of the season.
In the circle, Madi Moore (1-0) earned the win with a complete-game effort, striking out a career-high seven batters. Chanticleer starter Taylor Rahach (1-1) took the loss, going 3.0 innings with four runs allowed on eight hits.
Alabama had four hits over the first three innings but could not capitalize on its scoring opportunities. In the bottom of the third with a runner on second and one out, the Tide tried to get the runner out heading to third but the ball kicked out of the defender’s glove, allowing Coastal Carolina to get two runners into scoring position on the error. With two outs in the inning, the Chanticleers took the first lead of the game with a two-run single up the middle.
The Tide answered right back the next half-inning, leading off the top of the fourth with four-straight singles to score one run and load the bases before Coastal Carolina made a pitching change in the circle. Booker then pulled a ball to the left side which was booted by the Chanticleer third baseman, allowing two runs to score on the error and give Alabama a 3-2 lead. Turner added one to the Tide’s lead with an RBI single but was caught stealing in the next at-bat to end the inning with Alabama now on top 4-2.
Hemphill added another pair of runs in the top of the fifth with a two-run home run to center field. Callaway followed with a first-pitch single which forced the Chanticleers to make another pitching change and Booker welcomed her to the game two batters later with a two-run home run to make it 8-2.
With the bases loaded and two out in the top of the sixth, Callaway beat out an infield single as everyone moved up 60 feet to stretch the lead to 9-2. The lead remained the same heading into the final half-inning but Coastal Carolina didn’t go down quietly, loading the bases with nobody out. A sacrifice fly would give them one late run but a double play ended the game as Alabama held on to win 9-3.
Next up, Alabama returns to Tuscaloosa for its 2017 home opener, welcoming South Alabama (4-0) to Rhoads Stadium for a 5 p.m. CT game on Wednesday, Feb. 15.