VanBrakle Leads Tide to Doubleheader Sweep of #13 Tennessee


Coach Patrick Murphy Claims 300th Win
Saturday, March 13, 2004

Stephanie VanBrakle
Stephanie VanBrakle

» Game 1 Box Score
» Game 2 Box Score

TUSCALOOSA, AL — University of Alabama sophomore Stephanie VanBrakle did it with her arm first then with her bat later as she helped the sixth-ranked Alabama softball team (22-3, 5-0) to a doubleheader sweep of the 13th ranked Tennessee Lady Volunteers (22-7, 4-3) 4-3 and 5-4.

VanBrakle (7-2) scattered three hits and struck out 11 batters through seven innings en route to the win.  Then with Alabama trailing 3-1 with two on and two out in the bottom of the seventh inning, VanBrakle hit a walk-off home run that bounced off the top of the right field fence for the final 4-3 margin.

In Game 1, the two pitchers combined to tie a stadium record 25 total strikeouts in the game.  Tennessee’s Monica Abbott struck out 14 Alabama hitters while VanBrakle fanned 11 Lady Vols.

The Tide drew first blood in the bottom of the third inning.  Angela Johnson reached on a hit-by-pitch, Abbott’s stadium record, fourth of the day.  Johnson then stole second and reached third on a passed ball.  Capper Reed then drove a 3-2 pitch in the right centerfield gap scoring Johnson and Alabama had a 1-0 lead.

The Lady Vols answered in the top of the fifth inning taking advantage of a two-out error by Bama shortstop Dominique Accetturo.  Tennessee put three runs on the board to take a 3-1 lead. 

In the nightcap VanBrakle was at it again putting Alabama on top 1-0 in the bottom of the second inning with a solo-home run. 

The Lady Vols tied the game in the top of the third, but Alabama responded in the bottom of the inning with four runs highlighted by a two-run scoring single up the middle by Accetturo. 

The Lady Vols responded with three runs in the top of the fourth inning but Erin Wright came on in relief of starter Jennifer Wright and shut the Tennessee offense down over the next four innings.

Erin Wright (9-1) recorded her ninth win of the season and her second in conference play throwing four innings of three-hit ball and striking out six batters. 

The win was Alabama Head Coach Patrick Murphy’s 300th career victory.  He has a career winning percentage of .721 which is the eighth highest percentage in NCAA history.  He currently has 272 victories as head coach at Alabama.

The Crimson Tide will go for the series sweep in the final game of the series on Sunday.  First pitch is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.  Fans can follow all the action at where national-award winner Jarrod Shadrick will call all the balls and strikes along with broadcast partner Chad Anderson.  The broadcast will also air in Tuscaloosa on New Rock 90.7 FM, WVUA.  Live stats will also be available at