Softball Closes out Easton Classic with Two Wins
March 2, 2013
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The top-ranked Alabama softball team secured it 13th straight tournament title as it won two games Saturday to claim the Easton Classic title. Alabama opened the day with a 12-4 win over St. John’s and then closed out the tournament with a 6-0 victory over Iowa State. With the pair of victories, the Crimson Tide improves to 22-0 on the season.
Jackie Traina hit a three-run home run and tallied five RBI as Alabama defeated St. John’s, 12-4, in the first game of the final day of the Easton Classic from Rhoads Stadium. Alabama improved to 21-0 behind the arm of Lauren Sewell, who improved to 5-0 on the year with the win.
Playing small ball, the Tide put up a first-inning run off an Andrea Hawkins infield single. She stole second, her ninth steal on the year, and scored on a wild pitch.
St. John’s answered in the bottom of the second when Dominique Marcelino sent the Sewell pitch over the right field wall to tie things up.
Alabama would raise St. John’s solo homer with a three-run shot of its own. Traina would send the 2-2 Tori Free offering over the right field fence in the top of the third to regain the lead. The Tide would then add its fourth run of the frame on an error that scored Danae Hays.
The Red Storm would not go away. They added another solo homerun in the bottom of the fourth, slashing the Tide lead to three at 5-2.
Alabama would add an insurance run in the top of fifth and then strike again one inning later when pinch-hitter Haylie McCleney would score Kayla Braud on a standup triple. Traina would add to her already masterful offensive performance in the sixth with a two-run single up the middle, putting the Tide up by seven, 9-2.
To add to Alabama’s big sixth inning, Chaunsey Bell would then come up to bat with the bases juiced and deliver a two-run single, extending the lead out to nine runs. All in all, the Tide rolled to a six-run sixth, with a total of seven hits that ultimately sealed the Red Storm’s fate with the game ending in six innings.
Jackie Traina once again led the Tide to victory in game two of the day, pitching a complete game shutout and hitting her second homerun on the day to beat the Iowa State Cyclones, 6-0. Iowa State’s Taylor Smith falls to 4-2 on the year with today’s loss.
With today’s sweep, Alabama has now won six games in four days, including four wins in the Easton Classic in which the Tide outscored opponents 40-9. Alabama improves to 22-0 on the year going into conference play next weekend.
The first run crossed the plate in the bottom of the first on an RBI groundout by Kaila Hunt. Traina stayed hot, belting a double to the right-center wall but was stranded at second to end the first frame.
Adding to the lead in the third inning, Traina annihilated a Taylor Smith pitch for a home run to center, marking the Naples, Fla., native’s fifth homerun on the season. She ends the Easton Classic with a .571 average (4-for-7), two home runs and six RBI.
Traina held the Cyclones hitless until the fourth, when she gave up a one-out single, but Iowa State could not parlay their two hits in the inning to plate anyone.
A fifth inning sac-fly by Danae Hayes plated Kallie Case to stretch the Crimson Tide lead out to three.
The exclamation point came in the bottom of the sixth when Danielle Richard belted a solo-shot off the left-center stadium light pole that sent the crowd home happy.
Richard was named the Easton Classic MVP after batting .800 (8-for-10) with a homerun, four runs scored, three RBI and three stolen bases.
Hunt doubled home two runs in the sixth to make the final score 6-0.
Iowa State would load the bases in the seventh with no outs, but Traina finished off the Cyclones in style – with three straight strikeouts. Traina finished her three-hit shutout with nine punch-outs, improving her record this season to 10-0.
With the win Alabama claims the Easton Classic title over Iowa State and St. John’s, finishing the weekend off undefeated.