No. 1 Softball Splits with No. 11 Tennessee
March 21, 2012
TUSCALOOSA, Ala.- The top-ranked Alabama softball team won in dramatic fashion in the first game and dropped its first contest of the season in the nightcap. The Tide won an 11-inning, 3-2, thriller and then fell, 5-2, to move to 26-1 overall and 7-1 in Southeastern Conference play.
After throwing nearly 200 pitches in the contest sophomore Jackie Trainatook matters into her own hands as she belted a two-out, walk-off home run to lead Alabama to a thrilling, 3-2, 11-inning victory over rival Tennessee.
Traina (16-0) muscled her way to the complete game victory, allowing two runs - one earned on nine hits while tying a career-high with 15 strikeouts. The extra inning win is the second of the season for Traina and the Tide as she went all nine innings in the win at Kentucky.
After having her streak of 22 straight batters retired broken in the fourth inning, Tennessee was able to strike first against Traina with a single run atop the frame. Raven Chavanne scored when the Lady Vols loaded the bases and Cheyanne Tarango singled a flare to second.
Alabama rallied with two runs in the bottom of the fifth to seize the lead. Jennifer Fenton, the reigning SEC Player of the Week, doubled to center to score senior Jazlyn Lunceford and then senior Cassie Reilly-Boccia hit a sac-fly to left to plate junior Kayla Braud.
Tennessee then knotted the game at two after loading the bases once again and scoring on an infield hit. The score would stay that way for another four innings, until the 11th inning heroics by Traina. The 11-inning game tied for the longest ever by the Tide at Rhoads Stadium.
Tennessee pitcher Ivy Renfroe (5-6) threw a career-high 10 2/3 innings and struck out a career-best 14 batters. She allowed three runs on five hits and walked four.
After giving up a three-run home run in the top of the second, the Tide got two back with a homer of its own. Sophomore Kaila Hunthit her team-leading ninth home run of the season to pull Alabama within one in the fourth inning.
That is all the Tide could muster though as it was held to a season-low three hits. Hunt paced the Tide with two of the three tallies.
Ellen Renfroe (15-1) went the distance for the Lady Vols, allowing two runs on three hits while striking out seven.
The SEC loss was the first for the Tide at home since March 28, 2010. The 26-game winning streak to start the season is the second longest in school history.
Alabama will take a break from conference play to host DePaul and Longwood in Tuscaloosa for the Easton Alabama Challenge, held from March 23-25 at Rhoads Stadium.