April 1, 2011
COLUMBIA, S.C. - The No. 1 ranked Alabama softball team used a grand slam from senior Whitney Larsen and a pair of home runs from freshman Kaila Hunt to down South Carolina, 7-0 in the series opener, Friday night at Beckham Field. With the win, the Crimson Tide improves to 35-2 on the season and 10-1 in Southeastern Conference play.
Senior Kelsi Dunne held the Gamecock (17-16, 3-11 SEC) bats at bay as the right-hander struck out 12 and allowed just two hits to move to 17-1 on the year.
Hunt batted 3-for-4 with two home runs and two RBI. The pair of homers moves her season total to eight on the year. Larsen collected two hits and drove in four on the strength of her grand slam, which moves her home run total to nine on the season.
Freshman Jackie Traina and junior Jazlyn Lunceford both collected two hits while Traina drove in a run. The rookie now has 42 RBI on the season.
After some missed opportunities early in the contest Alabama was finally able to break through. With two outs in the fifth inning, Traina laced a liner down the left field line to score junior Jennifer Fenton from second.
Alabama broke the game open with a five-run sixth inning. Hunt got the scoring going when she lined a solo shot over the wall in left to give the Tide a 2-0. Then, with two outs in the inning, Larsen blasted a grand slam in left-center to increase the Alabama lead to 6-0.
In the seventh the freshman struck again. This time Hunt hit a prodigious blast to left-center for her second home run of the contest. The home run sailed all the way into the infield of the South Carolina track to move the Tide lead to 7-0.
Alabama will look to secure the series with a Saturday afternoon contest. The two teams will meet at Beckham Field at 1 p.m. CT.