Explosive Offense Leads Alabama Softball to 13-1 Win Over Ole Miss Friday
The Alabama softball offense was explosive in its SEC home opener Friday against Ole Miss, defeating the Rebels 13-1 in five innings.
“It started with Bailey [Hemphill] coming back after they scored in the first with a home run in the bottom half,” UA head coach Patrick Murphy said. “It kind of snowballed from there. Everybody in the starting lineup got at least one hit. I was really pleased with everyone. You can go up and down the lineup; everyone did well.”
The 13 runs scored ties a season high for Alabama (21-7, 2-2 SEC) and the run total is the most scored by the Crimson Tide in an SEC game since scoring 16 vs. Missouri on March 28, 2016. Ole Miss (15-11, 1-6 SEC) took the first lead of the game in the top of the first but a solo home run by sophomore Bailey Hemphill in the bottom-half of the inning tied it before a four-run third and eight-run fourth put the game away. Sophomore Elissa Brown set the tone at the leadoff spot, going 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Senior Demi Turner and junior Reagan Dykes each had multi-hit efforts, combining to drive in three runs, and senior Sydney Booker blasted her first home run of the season, a three-run shot in the fourth inning. In the circle, junior Courtney Gettins (9-2) allowed just the one run on four hits over 5.0 innings.
Ole Miss started the top of the first with back-to-back hits and a walk to quickly load the bases. A fly ball to right field was dropped, allowing everyone to move up with the score now 1-0 after the error. Gettins and the Tide defense bounced back with a trio of popups to limit the damage and get out of the half-inning facing a one-run deficit.
Hemphill tied the game up in the bottom of the first with a two-out solo home run. After an eight-pitch top of the second, Alabama would put two on with one out in the bottom half but ultimately could not break the 1-1 tie.
With sophomore Claire Jenkins on first base after a throwing error to lead off the bottom of the third, Brown laid down a bunt single but a wild throw ended up in the outfield, allowing Jenkins and Brown both to score on the error and give Alabama a 3-1 lead. A hit from freshman Kaylee Tow and a walk to Hemphill put two on and, with senior Rachel Bobo pinch-running at second, sophomore Gabby Callaway drove her home on an RBI single up the middle to stretch the lead to 4-1. That ended Tillmann’s start in the circle as junior Brittany Finney entered with two in scoring position and nobody out. A fly ball in foul territory allowed Hemphill to tag up and score from third on a sacrifice fly to extend it to 5-1 before a groundout ended the inning.
Jenkins led off the bottom of the fourth with a double and Brown followed that with an RBI triple in the gap to make it 6-1. Later with two on and one out, an unsuccessful throw home on a groundout allowed Tow to score from third and make it 7-1 before a double from junior Merris Schroder added another to stretch it to 8-1 as Ole Miss made another pitching change. Turner welcomed her to the game with an RBI single through the left side as Alabama improved its lead to 9-1. Dykes tacked on another with an RBI single and Booker blew the game wide open with a three-run home run to increase the lead to 13-1 with still just one out. A pair of fly balls finally ended the big inning with the Tide taking a 12-run lead to the fifth inning.
After two quick outs to start the bottom of the fifth, Ole Miss loaded the bases on a pair of hits and an error. A strikeout looking ended the game as the Rebels stranded the bases loaded with the Tide claiming the 13-1 win in five innings.
The three-game series continues tomorrow, set for a 2 p.m. CT first pitch.
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