South Carolina Comes Up Short in 7-5 Loss at No. 2/2 Alabama
Redshirt senior Kaela Jackson went 3-for-4 with a homer and two RBI in the setback
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.
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.
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.
(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.