March 11, 2014
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Alabama softball earned a convincing win in its midweek matchup against Mississippi Valley State, shutting out the Devilettes 12-0 Tuesday night at Rhoads Stadium.
Alabama (21-4) earned eight hits, with Kaila Hunt going 3-3 to extend her current reached-base streak to 19 games. Chandler Dare drove in a team-leading three RBI, including a two-run triple in the second inning. Leslie Jury (9-2) went the distance in the circle, throwing her sixth shutout of the season with a season-high nine strikeouts.
Mississippi Valley State (2-18) earned one hit in the first inning and drew three walks, which accounted for their entire offensive effort. Starter Tenna Patterson (1-7) lasted three innings in the circle, allowing eight runs, six earned, in the loss.
Freshman Marisa Runyon put Alabama on the board with two outs in the first inning, launching a high triple to the right-field wall to drive in two and make the score 2-0. Another triple in the second inning, this time by Dare, doubled the Tide's lead to 4-0 and an Andrea Hawkins sacrifice fly pushed the lead to 5-0.
Alabama added three more in the bottom of the third, as a hit and two errors pushed Alabama's lead to 8-0, putting the Tide in position for the run-rule victory. The Tide added some serious insurance in the bottom of the fourth, plating four runs off a pair of hits, a bases-loaded walk and a bases-loaded groundout to move ahead 12-0. Jury struck out two, walked one and then struck out the final batter in the top of the fifth to secure the dominant victory.
This weekend, Alabama hits the road to take on the Ole Miss Rebels (15-9, 1-2 SEC) in Oxford, Miss., for a three-game series. Game one is set for 6 p.m. CT on Friday, March 14, with game two at 2 p.m. on Saturday and game three at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Head Coach Patrick Murphy:
"We don't get too many opportunities to mix up the lineup and with Leslie Jury on the mound, she really did her job. We had seven kids with RBIs and two triples by two freshmen. That shows that we respect [MVSU]. The way you respect an opponent is coming out and playing your hardest, then burying them. I always say it doesn't matter who is playing. Everyone should come ready to play, regardless of their year. You need to play the game the way you know how, you are on the team and we expect the best out of you. That is the way Chandler Dare played and the way Marissa Runyon played."
Senior Utility Jordan Patterson:
"We try to approach every game the same. The coaches always say that they expect anyone they place out there to do well. They have faith that we can get the job done and get the win. It is a great feeling, especially when SEC play starts, the line up gets kind of solidified so these midweek games are a great opportunity for the people who are not getting regular at-bats to see some live pitching and get some experience. The freshman did a great job tonight."
Freshman Outfielder Chandler Dare:
"As a freshman in high school, when I saw Jordan Patterson come to Alabama, that's when I decided that Alabama was what I wanted to go. It was my dream to come here and get to play with her again. It is surreal. Our coaches expect us to go out there and play the game like we love it. I was just going out there to have fun and play the game I have always played."