May 12, 2011
OXFORD, Miss. - The Alabama softball team opened the Southeastern Conference tournament with a 5-1 win over Mississippi State, Thursday evening at the Ole Miss Softball Complex. With the win the Crimson Tide improve to 46-7 on the season.
Senior Kelsi Dunne allowed one run on two hits and struck out 10 to improve to 24-3 on the season. After allowing a hit in the third inning, the right-hander did not allow another until the seventh.
Senior Whitney Larsen paced the Tide at the plate with a 2-for-3 day. The shortstop added a three-run home run and scored twice.
The top of the lineup accounted for six of the nine hits as sophomore Kayla Braud and junior Jennifer Fenton tallied two hits apiece.
After Mississippi State scored on its first hit of the ballgame in the third, Alabama responded with a single run in the fourth to even the score. Junior Jazlyn Lunceford took advantage of a passed ball that moved Larsen to third and hit a sac fly to left for the first Tide run of the evening.
With two outs, two strikes and Braud and Fenton on base, Larsen sent a three-run home run over the wall in left-center to give Alabama a 4-1 lead. The home run was her 12th on the season and it moves her RBI total to 50.
Alabama extended its lead to 5-1 with a run in the sixth. Lunceford just missed a home run, hitting a triple off the top of the wall in left-center and then was promptly brought home on sac fly to right off the bat of freshman Kaila Hunt.
Alabama will advance to the semifinal round as it will face Georgia. The two teams will meet on Friday, May 12, with first pitch slated for 4:30 p.m. The game will air on ESPNU with Beth Mowins, Jessica Mendoza and Michele Smith calling the action.