March 15, 2014
OXFORD, Miss. - Alabama softball remains undefeated in SEC play, as they shut out the Ole Miss Rebels, 7-0, on Saturday to secure the series win.
Alabama (23-4, 5-0 SEC) had another well-rounded performance, plating seven runs off nine hits, including a perfect 3-3 day from Haylie McCleney with three RBI which extends her hitting streak to 13-straight games. The bottom third of Alabama's lineup was very productive, as Leona Lafaele, Danae Hays and Andrea Hawkins combined for three hits, three walks and two RBI. Leslie Jury (10-2) went the distance in the circle, earning her seventh shutout of the season with three hits, as she has allowed three or fewer hits in four of her last five starts.
Ole Miss (16-12, 1-4 SEC) could not get the bats rolling, tallying just three hits, two of which came from Madi Osias who entered to pitch in the fifth inning. Starter Emily Gaitan (3-2) takes the loss, allowing five earned runs in 5.1 innings pitched after re-entering in the final inning.
Alabama got off to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning, as Molly Fichtner hit a sacrifice fly into deep right field and Jadyn Spencer followed that up with an RBI single up the middle. Ole Miss would draw a two-out walk in the bottom half of the inning but a groundout ended it as the Tide led 2-0 after the opening inning.
The score remained 2-0 until the top of the fourth inning, as Haylie McCleney poked a two-out single into left field to score Leona Lafaele from third and stretch the lead to 3-0. With two Tide runners on base in the fifth inning, Madi Osias entered to pitch for the Rebels. Back-to-back RBI singles by Lafaele and Danae Hays stretched Alabama's lead to 5-0 and a clutch two-run single up the middle by McCleney stretched the lead to 7-0.
Alabama couldn't add to its lead in the top of the sixth, as the Tide stranded the bases loaded, and failed to score in the top of the seventh as they took a 7-0 lead into the bottom of the seventh. Ole Miss would get a runner on in the final frame but a 6-4-3 double play ended the ballgame as Alabama preserved the shutout and secured the series win.
The series finale is set for a 1 p.m. CT first pitch on Sunday, March 16.