The Alabama softball team continued its winning streak against Mississippi State Thursday in the Southeastern Conference tournament.
The Tide beat the Bulldogs 5-2 and advanced to the next day, where it will face the Georgia Bulldogs in the semi-finals. Sophomore pitcher Jackie Traina pitched all seven innings in Thursday’s game to improve to 32-2 on the year. She gave up two runs on five hits and struck out eight batters.
“We’re starting to peak at the right time,” left fielder Kayla Braud said. “We have been working really hard and are starting to gel.”
Alabama started scoring early in the game, plating three runs in the third inning. The Tide started off with Kayla Braud reaching second base on an error, followed by Jennifer Fenton with a bunt, which advanced Braud to third. Amanda Locke hit an RBI to the pitcher, scoring Braud and advancing Fenton to third base. Kaila Hunt lined a single up the middle scoring Fenton and Locke making the score 3-0 Tide.
But Courtney Conley struck out with the bases loaded, keeping Alabama from scoring even more.
“I thought we had a lot of opportunities early that we didn’t take advantage of,” head coach Patrick Murphy said.
The scoring continued in the bottom of the fourth, with Braud starting off the inning by beating out a bunt to first base. Fenton singled to right field, advancing Braud to third and herself to second on the throw. Hunt hit a sacrifice fly ball scoring Braud. Reilly-Boccia then kept it going with a single to right field line and scoring Fenton to make it 5-0 Tide.
But again the Tide had the bases loaded, and Jordan Patterson struck out swinging to keep the Bulldogs within reach.
“Just put people away,” Murphy said. “You put it in play and good things are gonna happen. We didn’t do it enough.”
In the top of the sixth inning, Mississippi State started its rally. Heidi Shape tripled to right field, and Sam Lenahan doubled to score Shape. Jessica Cooley had an RBI bunt single to make it 5-2.
However, that would be all the scoring that the Bulldogs did and came up short in the end.
Alabama will face the No. 4 seed Georgia Bulldogs in the semi-finals at 4:30 on Friday. The game will be televised on ESPNU.
Scores from earlier in the tournamnet:
No. 3 Florida beat No. 6 LSU 1-0
No. 2 Tennessee beat No. 7 Auburn 2-1
No. 4 Georgia beat No. 5 Kentucky 8-6
Filed Under: Softball