March 18, 2011
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The No. 2-ranked Alabama softball team (27-1, 3-0 SEC) narrowly defeated the No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs (23-2, 5-1 SEC), 2-1, Friday evening at Rhoads Stadium in front of a crowd of 2,922.
"It is great for us to get the momentum early in the series," UA head coach Patrick Murphy said. "Georgia is one of the best teams in the nation and it was big for us to take the first game of the series tonight."
Sophomore third baseman Courtney Conley provided both runs on the night for the Tide in the 2-1 victory.
Alabama opened the scoring in the third inning when junior Jennifer Fenton ripped a double off the wall in right-center to score Conley, who reached base on a walk, all the way from first.
Conley then increased the Tide lead to 2-0 when she hit a moon-shot off the scoreboard in left-center field in the bottom half of the fifth inning. The home run was her fifth of the season.
It took more than five innings before Georgia recorded its first hit. With two outs in the fifth, Dunne walked two Bulldog batters and then Megan Wiggins singled through the right side to score Laura Trout and pull the score to 2-1 in favor of the Tide.
Senior Kelsi Dunne (12-1) picked up the win for Alabama in the circle. Dunne, who was perfect through the first five, scattered just two hits in the complete game performance and struck out 11 of the 26 batters she faced.
Alison Owen was tagged with the loss for the Bulldogs. Owen allowed two earned runs on four hits and struck out eight in six innings.
The top-ranked showdown will continue Saturday evening at Rhoads Stadium with first pitch of game two slated for 7 p.m. CDT. The game will be nationally televised by ESPNU with Mark Neely and Michele Smith on the call.