Sunday, March 07, 2004
» Box Score
FAYETTEVILLE, AR - What initially looked like a pitching fan's dream turned into a lopsided affair as the eighth-ranked University of Alabama softball team (19-3, 3-0 in the SEC) scored seven runs in the final three innings en route to a 7-1 victory over the Arkansas Lady Razorbacks (8-8, 0-3) to sweep the weekend series.
The two pitchers were locked in a duel through the first four innings allowing only a combined three hits and 11 strikeouts. Jennifer Wright for Alabama allowed only two hits, both infield singles, while striking out seven batters through the first four while Heather Schlichtman for Arkansas allowed just one hit and struck out four Bama hitters.
Alabama finally broke through in the top of the fifth inning, taking advantage of an Arkansas error. Staci Ramsey led off and reached on an error by Lady Razorback second baseman Mindy O'Malley. Deasy Phillips came on to pinch run for Ramsey and stole second. Capper Reed then advanced Phillips to third with a ground out to the right side. VanBrakle drew a walk and was pinch run for by Mandy Burford. Jackie Wilkins drove a soft grounder to the right side of the infield with Phillips breaking for home on the play. O'Malley's throw home was not in time to get Phillips and the Tide had a 1-0 lead. Leah White sacrificed the runners to second and third and Ashley Courtney drove both runners in with a double off the top of the fence in right centerfield for a 3-0 Alabama lead.
The Crimson Tide added two insurance runs in the sixth inning. Dominique Accetturo drew a one-out walk and came all the way around from first to score on a two-out double from Capper Reed. VanBrakle then hit a bloop-single to left field scoring Reed from second and the Tide had opened up a 5-0 lead.
Alabama tacked on two more runs in the top of the seventh inning for a 7-0 lead. The inning was highlighted by a two-out solo home run over the left centerfield fence by Angela Johnson, her first of the season and the fifth of her career.
Jennifer Wright (6-0) collected the win improving upon her career best start. Wright went the distance for the sixth time allowing just three hits while tying a career high in strikeouts with 10. Her double-digit strikeout game marked the third time in the series an Alabama pitcher recorded 10 or more strikeouts. VanBrakle recorded 13 in the first game and Erin Wright struck out 11 batters in Game 2 of the series.
Alabama will take a break from conference action on Wednesday evening when they host the Jacksonville State Gamecocks. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.