No. 1 Softball Splits Day Two Games at Easton Challenge

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM Charlotte Morgan hit another home run for Alabama Saturday.
ROLLTIDEDOTCOM
Charlotte Morgan hit another home run for Alabama Saturday.
ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

March 7, 2009

Box Score Game 1 |  Box Score Game 2 |  Photo Gallery 

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The No. 1 ranked Alabama softball team splits its two contests Saturday afternoon at the UA Softball Complex. Washington avenged its Friday night loss by defeating Alabama 6-0 to open the day. The Crimson Tide responded by beating the Baylor Lady Bears in the night cap by the score of 4-0. After the day the Crimson Tide improves to 16-2.

Behind the arm of Danielle Lawrie the Huskies were able to split the battle of the number ones with the Tide. Lawrie struck out eight and allowed three hits and three walks. In game two, Dunne tallied her fifth shutout on the season by fanning 11 to help lead UA to the win over Baylor. Charlotte Morgan belted her fourth home run on the year. Alabama will round out Easton Challenge play against Baylor on Sunday.

Game One

The No. 1 ranked Alabama softball team suffered its first loss of the weekend, falling 6-0 on Saturday to the other No. 1 ranked team, Washington Saturday at the UA Softball Complex. The Crimson Tide was victorious in round one of the showdown by the same 6-0 score. With the win Washington moves to 20-1 on the season while Alabama falls to 15-2.

"I thought the key was the 11 runners left on base," head coach Patrick Murphy said. "We had bases loaded with the first and second hitters up and we didn't do anything. One to nothing isn't that bad, two to nothing isn't that bad but six to nothing is pretty out of reach with a pitcher like that."

Washington's Danielle Lawrie pitched the complete game shutout and only gave up four hits while striking out eight batters. Charlotte Morgan pitched all seven innings for the Tide and gave up six runs on 12 hits. Morgan struck out seven in the losing effort.

Alabama was led at the plate by one-hit performances from Amanda Locke, Cassie Reilly-Boccia, Kelly Eubanks and Morgan.

Senior Ashley Charters led the way for UW, just missing hitting for the cycle, notching a single, double and home run. She finished the game 3-for-4 with two runs and an RBI. No. 2 batter Kimi Pohlman went 2-for-3 with a run, a sacrifice and a triple while senior Ashlyn Watson went 2-for-3 with an RBI. Freshman Felecia Harris added two hits and three RBI for the Huskies.

After getting just two hits and getting shutout for the first time all season against the Tide in Friday's game, the Huskies came out swinging from the get-go, scoring a run in the first inning on a sacrifice fly by Watson. Charters led off with a single through the left side and was sacrificed to second by Pohlman. After a wild pitch moved Charters to third, Watson followed with a sac fly to give the Huskies the lead.

UW picked up a single run in the third when Charters blasted her fifth home run of the season over the right-center field fence. The Huskies then broke the game open with four runs in the fifth inning all with two outs, the big hit coming on a two-out, bases loaded double by freshman Felecia Harris which cleared the bases.

UW started the rally with three consecutive singles from Pohlman, Watson and Alicia Blake, the latter of which scored UW's third run of the game. After Morgan Stuart was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Harris ripped a shot down the third base line to score all three runners.

Lawrie did the rest, striking out eight and allowing three four and three walks. She now has 10 shutouts this season and 158 strikeouts in 100.1 innings pitched to go along with a 0.14 ERA.

She recorded career strikeout No. 1,000 with two on and one out in the sixth inning, becoming just the second active NCAA Division I pitcher to reach the milestone. She then escaped the jam with strikeout No. 1,001.

Game 2

After suffering its second loss of the season to No.1 Washington on Saturday at the UA Softball Complex, No. 1 Alabama rebounded nicely by defeating No. 24 Baylor 4-0. Sophomore pitcher Kelsi Dunne fanned 11 batters and scattered six hits in the shutout performance.

"We treated it like a do-or-die situation in the World Series where if you lose you are done," Murphy said of his team's mindset heading into the game against Baylor. "We had to come out and face a really good lefty in their kid. She's going to be very good down the road and she throws very hard right now. I think it's important that we came back, played well and battled to come away with the win because we definitely could have folded."

After playing the first three innings scoreless, Kelley Montalvo got things going for the Crimson Tide when she knocked a pitch from Baylor's Whitney Canion into left center for a double.

When Montalvo stole third, catcher Courtney Oberg attempted to gun her down but committed an error on the throw and Montalvo scored the Tide's first run of the day.

Alabama carried that momentum into the fifth inning with a Brittany Rogers double into left center that scored Kellie Eubanks and advanced Ashley Holcombe to third. Holcombe later scored on a wild pitch.

Charlotte Morgan blasted a solo homer in the sixth to give Alabama the 4-0 lead.

Alabama was led at the plate with 1-for-3 and one RBI performances by the All-American duo of Rogers and Morgan. Amanda Locke, Lauren Parker, Montalvo and Holcombe also added one hit each.

Baylor's Canion pitched all six innings for the Bears, gave up six hits and struck out seven. They were led offensively by left fielder Tiffany Wesley's 3-for-3 performance at the plate.

In the first game of day two action Washington defeated Georgia 2-0. Both runs came via solo homers by the Huskies' Ashlyn Watson. Following Alabama's double-header, Georgia defeated Baylor 9-0.

Alabama will wrap up Easton Challenge play with its second contest against Baylor at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday. Georgia will square off with Washington at 11 a.m.