South Carolina Comes Up Short in 7-5 Loss at No. 2/2 Alabama
April 14, 2012
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - A hard-fought contest by both teams, No. 2/2 Alabama (39-2, 16-2 SEC) came through in the end to take a 7-5 win over South Carolina (23-22, 3-15 SEC) on Saturday afternoon in front of a record-high crowd at Rhoads Stadium of 3,940 fans.
The Gamecocks, for the second-straight day, owned an early 1-0 lead. Redshirt senior designated player Kaela Jackson posted her second homer of the season in the second inning to hand South Carolina the advantage.
Alabama answered in the bottom of the third, with the one-out rally starting on a Gamecock error that allowed Jennifer Fenton to reach second. Kayla Braud followed with a single to score Fenton, tying the game. A walk to Jazlyn Lunceford set up Kaila Hunt's three-run blast to left, giving the Crimson Tide the 4-1 advantage.
South Carolina responded in the fourth, retaking the lead with a four-run inning. Sophomores Dana Hathorn and Chelsea Hawkins reached on a single and a double, respectively, chasing Alabama starter Amanda Locke while setting up senior Evan Childs' RBI single. Jackson followed with an RBI single, plating Hawkins and making it a one-run game. An error by the Alabama second baseman let Childs cross home to tie the game. Tide reliever Leslie Jury got a foul out before walking junior Samie Garcia to load the bases. Senior Lauren Lackey lined one into shallow left that hit off the Alabama leftfielder's glove and bounced away, allowing senior pinch runner Jackie Slawson to score from third. Alabama's Jackie Traina came on and got a ground out to end the frame.
The score held until the sixth, when Alabama loaded the bases without a hit. Two four-pitch walks to Hunt and Cassie Riley-Boccia followed by a hit by pitch to Locke loaded the bags. An 11-pitch battle between Gamecock redshirt junior hurler Audrey Broyles and Tide second baseman Danae Hays went to Hays as she walked to force in the tying run. A strikeout followed, while Garcia threw out the lead runner at home on Courtney Conley's grounder to record the first two outs. Fenton flied out to left to end the threat and keep the game tied 5-5.
In the bottom of the seventh, Broyles recorded two outs in the infield around a walk to Lunceford. With a 1-1 count, Reilly-Boccia hit one over the wall in left, ending the contest in favor of the Crimson Tide.
Traina (25-0) picked up the win in relief, fanning five, walking two and giving up two hits in 3.1 innings of scoreless relief. Broyles (7-7) was charged with the loss, allowing seven runs, six earned, on four hits and seven walks. She struck out three.
Jackson led the Gamecocks with a 3-for-4 outing, adding the homer and two RBI. Lackey went 2-for-4, and Childs went 1-for-3 with an RBI. Reilly-Boccia led Alabama with a 2-for-3 day, while Hunt scored twice and had the three-run homer. Lunceford didn't record a hit but scored twice. South Carolina stranded eight runners on base in the game.
South Carolina will try to salvage game three on Sunday, with first pitch scheduled for 1:30 p.m. CDT at Rhoads Stadium.