Feb. 27, 2009
COLUMBUS, Ga. - The No. 1 ranked Alabama softball team belted three home runs to power its way to an 8-0 win over No. 19/22 ranked Southern Illinois Friday afternoon at the South Commons Softball Complex. The Crimson Tide was once again efficient at the plate, scoring eight runs on nine hits to hand the Salukis (11-1) their first loss of the season. Alabama improves to 13-1 on the year and 21-5 in Leadoff Classic play.
"I was happy to see Cassie [Reilly-Boccia] hit her first home run," head coach Patrick Murphy said. "I was pleased that Charlotte [Morgan] was able to battle despite not having her best stuff to earn the shutout. So far we have been one of the best teams coming through with clutch hits and we just need to keep it up."
After scoring a run to open play in the first the Crimson Tide exploded for five runs behind three home runs in the second to pull away from Southern Illinois. Alabama got on the board first for the 12th time this season on a sacrifice fly to right off the bat of freshman Amanda Locke that scored senior Brittany Rogers.
The onslaught came in the second when freshman Cassandra Reilly-Boccia hit her first career home run to lead off the inning. Senior Kelley Montalvo then belted a two-run shot to left-center that scored Rogers for her third round-tripper on the season. Junior Charlotte Morgan followed suit in the frame, also belting her third of the season, a solo shot that cleared the left field wall.
Alabama capped off the scoring in the fifth by plating two runs. Senior Ashley Holcombe came through with a single over the shortstop to score senior Lauren Parker. Freshman Olivia Gibson then delivered a pinch-hit single through the left side with the bases loaded to bring home Reilly-Boccia.
Morgan also went the distance in the circle, improving to 5-1 on the season. The left hander tossed a complete game, five inning shutout behind three strikeouts and two hits. The shutout is her third on the season and fourth complete game of the year. Alabama now has eight shutouts to its credit on the season, including five by the way of the mercy rule.
UA was unable to play its final contest of the day as the game against Virginia Tech was cancelled due to inclement weather. The Crimson Tide will try and return to the field for the Saturday slate that features a 1:30 p.m. ET contest against Houston and a 4:00 p.m. ET tilt against No. 6 Michigan.