March 9, 2013
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - For the second straight game the top-ranked Alabama softball team found itself on the wrong end of a closely contested ballgame, this time falling to No. 8 Tennessee, 2-1, Saturday afternoon at Lee Stadium. After the day, the Crimson Tide moves to 22-3 overall and 0-2 in Southeastern Conference play.
Tennessee (21-3, 2-0 SEC) secured the win on a tough play in center that could have ended the sixth inning. With two outs, pinch-hitter Rainey Gaffin drove a deep fly to Haylie McCleney to center, after catching the ball, it trickled out of the glove after the freshman crashed into the wall to enable Melissa Davin to score.
Sophomore pitcher Leslie Jury (7-1) tossed a good game, allowing the two runs on eight hits while striking out six. The loss is the third in a row for Alabama, a first for the Tide since they were swept in Baton Rouge by LSU in 2011.
Once again the 9-1 duo of senior Kayla Braud and freshman Andrea Hawkins paced the Tide at the plate. Braud batted 2-for-4 while Hawkins added a 2-for-3 performance.
A first inning run gave Tennessee the early lead but Alabama promptly evened the score with a single run in the second. Hawkins came through once again for the Tide, this time blooping a single down the line in right that scored sophomore Danae Hays, who started the inning by getting hit by her eighth pitch on the year.
The two teams will close out the series tomorrow afternoon with first pitch slated for 12:30 p.m., CT.