Feb. 12, 2012
MOBILE, Ala. - Alabama sophomore pitcher Jackie Traina allowed just one hit and struck out a career-high 15 batters as the Crimson Tide finished the Mardi Gras Invitational with a 3-0 win over Jacksonville State, Sunday afternoon at Jaguar Field. After the weekend UA starts the season 4-0.
Traina baffled the Gamecock (0-4) hitters all game long and had a no-hitter intact until a leadoff single in the seventh inning broke the no-hit bid. The All-American finished the tournament 3-0 with an unblemished 0.00 ERA. She allowed just four hits in 16 innings and struck out 30.
The two teams were locked into a pitcher's duel as JSU hurler Hilary Phillips struck out 10 and kept the potent Alabama bats at bay until the bottom of the fifth.
Junior Keima Davis crushed a solo shot down the line in left and then freshman Danielle Richard promptly belted her first career home run with a shot over the wall in center to break the scoreless tie and quickly give the Tide a 2-0 lead.
Senior Jennifer Fenton then capped off the scoring on the day when she stole home by being part of a double-steal with senior Amanda Locke.
Locke led all Tide hitters over the weekend with a .636 (7-for-11) average and also smacked two home runs and tallied a team-high seven RBI. Sophomore Kaila Hunt smashed three home runs and drove in five with a .385 (5-for-13) average.
Alabama has had Jacksonville State's number as it improved to 15-0 all-time against the instate program. The Gamecocks had not gotten a hit against the Tide in 28 innings before the seventh inning knock, as former UA All-American Kelsi Dunne threw three straight no-hitters, dating back to 2009.
Alabama will continue tournament play on the road when it heads to Auburn to participate in the SEC/ACC/Big XII Challenge. UA will open play on Friday, Feb. 17, against No. 23 Georgia Tech. The Tide will also play Virginia Tech and 2011 WCWS participants Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.