March 2, 2014
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Alabama softball dropped its weekend finale at the Easton Crimson Classic Sunday, falling to ninth-ranked Florida State, 5-1.
Alabama (17-4) played uncharacteristically sloppy defense, committing three errors in the fourth inning that dug them into a 4-0 hole which proved too far to climb out of. Danielle Richard accounted for the Tide's lone run, blasting a fifth-inning solo homer, her first of the season. Leslie Jury (8-2) lasted 3.2 innings in the loss and allowed four runs, though only one of them was earned. Florida State starter Lacy Waldrop (10-2) earned the win while Jessica Nori earned the three-inning save, her fourth of the season.
Both teams were scoreless until the top of the third, when a throwing error allowed the runner at first to come all the way home, making it 1-0 Florida State. After a bases-loaded walk in the top of the fourth made it 2-0, three Tide fielding errors allowed two unearned runs to cross the plate as the Seminoles moved ahead 4-0.
A Florida State solo homer in the top of the fifth made it 5-0, but Alabama prevented the shutout with a homer of its own in the bottom of the fifth, as Richard ripped a high solo homer over the left-field fence to make it 5-1. Alabama would get one baserunner on in each of the final two innings but could not sustain a rally, eventually falling 5-1.
Alabama's previously scheduled game for Tuesday at Samford has been postponed with both teams agreeing to find a later date to play. The Tide will continue its season this weekend, opening SEC play against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Rhoads Stadium. The three-game series begins on Friday, March 7 at 6:30 p.m. CT.
2014 Easton Crimson Classic All-Tournament Team
Mary Gooding - IF - Purdue
Lilly Fecho - P - Purdue
Katie St. Pierre - OF - Houston
Tiffany McKnight - OF - Houston
Lacey Waldrop - P - Florida State
Jessica Nori - P - Florida State
Kaila Hunt - IF - Alabama
Jaclyn Traina - P - Alabama
Head Coach Patrick Murphy:
"If we are not going to match them offensively, then we have to match them defensively. We can't have 10 walks or three errors. We need to put the ball in play and throw more strikes. We were planning on using both pitchers today anyway. It didn't matter when we put [Traina] in, we were going to play her today. The goal of the reliever is to leave the score exactly the same way she found it. I thought she pitched OK, even though she gave up a home run. We need to do more offensively. There was just a lack of focus."
Junior Infielder Danielle Richard:
"Errors are a part of the game, they happen. It is a game of failure, you are going to make mistakes. The thing you have to take from it is making sure you come back better the next time and wanting the ball even though you just made a mistake. We just have to get better at that. We are going to get so much better from those mistakes."