Softball Moves to Regional Championship with 7-1 Win Over Memphis

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM Kelsi Dunne struck out 12 batters in six innings Saturday.
Kelsi Dunne struck out 12 batters in six innings Saturday.

May 21, 2011

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Alabama softball team moved to the regional championship game with a 7-1 win over Memphis, Saturday afternoon at Rhoads Stadium. With the win the Crimson Tide improve to 48-8 overall and have now won 15 straight regional games and remain undefeated at home with a 22-0 record.

"It's really nice to see in a postseason game both seniors (Kelsi Dunne and Whitney Larsen) having great games," Alabama head coach Patrick Murphy said. "Whitney came through with five RBIs. I believe all five were with two outs, and then Kelsi comes up with a 12 strikeout game. I thought both of them were ready to play. It's great to see that in their senior year and that kind of set the tone for everybody."

Senior Kelsi Dunne (25-3) allowed one run on four hits and struck out 12 in six innings of work. The right-hander recorded the first eight outs of the ball game via strikeout to move her career punchout total to 1,172.

"I felt pretty good," Dunne said. "I was just trying to mix my low rise in with everything else. They were taking some good swings but just weren't laying off the low rise that I was throwing. I threw a good pitch for their girl to get a hit on. She made good contact and after that I started hitting the corners a little better. I got in the zone and mixed the ball a little better. We played some good defense in the last couple innings."

Senior Whitney Larsen paced Alabama at the plate, tying a career-high with five RBI while batting 3-for-3. Sophomore Kayla Braud collected two hits and scored two runs.

After Memphis started the scoring with a two-out, solo home run in the bottom of the first off the bat of Maddie McKinley, Alabama answered with a four-run second inning.

Freshman Kaila Hunt instantly gave the Tide the lead with a blast well over the wall in center to score junior Jazlyn Lunceford. Larsen later singled through the right side to score junior Kendall Dawson and Braud.

Alabama increased its lead to 5-1 when Larsen hit a single in the right-center field gap to score junior Jennifer Fenton. The junior started off the inning with a single through the left side and then promptly stole second.

Larsen struck again with a two-run single through the left side to increase the lead to 7-1 in the top of the sixth. The sharply hit grounder scored sophomore Courtney Conley from third and Braud was able to beat the throw all the way from second.

Alabama will move to the regional championship game which is slated to start on Sunday at 1 p.m. The yet to be determined opponent must defeat the Tide twice on the day to advance to the super regional.