March 30, 2014
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Alabama secured its third conference sweep of the season Sunday at Rhoads Stadium, holding off a late rally to defeat LSU, 5-1.
Alabama (31-5, 11-1 SEC) scored all five of its runs in the bottom of the third, as Jaclyn Traina (13-2) and the defense did their part as well, limiting LSU (19-14, 2-7 SEC) to just one run off four hits. Andrea Hawkins and Peyton Grantham each earned a pair of hits, with Hawkins driving in a team-leading three RBI off a third-inning double. Saturday starter Ashley Czechner (6-8) got the nod for the Tigers again Sunday, though she was chased after just 2.0 innings pitched, allowing four earned runs in the loss.
Both teams were held scoreless until the bottom of the third, when Alabama took a sizeable 5-0 lead. Grantham, Danae Hays and Haylie McCleney started the inning with three-straight singles, and Hawkins drove them all in with a deep double to the centerfield wall as the Tide jumped ahead 3-0. Friday starter Baylee Corbello entered to pitch in relief for LSU and immediately walked Kaila Hunt in the next at-bat. Jadyn Spencer sacrificed the pair into scoring position and, after a popup, Leona Lafaele drove them both in with a single to right field, stretching the lead to 5-0. After a single by Traina, a strikeout stopped the bleeding with the Tide holding a sizeable five-run lead.
Traina and the defense kept all but one of the LSU batters off the basepaths in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, setting Alabama up for a sweep, leading 5-0 in the seventh. A leadoff walk and a single put two on to start the half-inning, and Bianka Bell avoided the shutout with an RBI single to center field, drawing the Tigers within four, trailing 5-1. A force-out at second on the next at-bat put runners at the corners with one away and the Tide defense ended it by going around the horn for a 5-4-3 double play to end the game, securing the series sweep with the 5-1 win.
On Wednesday, April 2, Alabama hosts in-state rival No. 12/13 South Alabama (29-3) for a midweek game. First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m. CT.