May 26, 2011
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Alabama softball team dropped the opening game of the NCAA Tuscaloosa Super Regional to Stanford, 5-2, Thursday night at Rhoads Stadium. The loss is the first at home for the Crimson Tide this season as it moves to 49-9 on the year.
"I thought that it was a very abnormal performance for us," UA head coach Patrick Murphy said. "It was one of the first bad games we have played all year. We just picked a bad time to do it. I have no doubt that we will play two games tomorrow and bounce back. You will see a totally different team."
Stanford (42-15) took advantage of a trio of Alabama errors and got a solid pitching performance from Teagan Gerhart. The sophomore allowed two runs on five hits while fanning eight to improve to 26-11 on the season.
"It really hinges on one or two plays, whether it is softball, football, or baseball, there are two plays that are probably the key," Murphy said. "Give credit to Stanford; (Teagan) Gerhart pitched well, and they played good defense."
Junior Sarah Hassman led the Cardinal at the plate with two hits, driving in two runs. Alabama senior Whitney Larsen and freshman Kaila Hunt accounted for the Tide scoring with a home run and a double, respectively.
Alabama senior Kelsi Dunne (26-4) allowed five runs - three earned on seven hits while striking out 10.
Stanford started the scoring by plating three runs in the top of the second. After a groundout that scored Melisa Koutz, Hassman tallied a two-run single to right that scored Maya Burns and Jenna Becerra.
The Cardinal extended its lead to 5-0 in the third inning on an error by Kayla Braud that scored Koutz and Danielle Miller. The misplay was Braud's first of the season.
Alabama got on the board on its first hit of the night against Gerhart. Larsen continued her hot hitting, drilling a solo shot off the shed in left field. The homer was her 13th of the season and made the score 5-1 in the fourth.
The Tide tried to mount a comeback in the final frame when Hunt hit a double off the wall in left to score pinch-runner Keima Davis all the way from first.
The second game of the Super Regional will begin at 3:30 p.m. on Friday. The contest will air on ESPNU. The "if necessary" game is slated for a 6 p.m. start and will be shown on ESPN2.