OXFORD, MS??For Alabama senior pitcher Stephanie VanBrakle it’s been a fairly good career and how appropriate that she recorded her 1,000th career strikeout on her go to pitch, the drop ball, as the Crimson Tide swept the series with the Ole Miss Rebels with an 8-0, five-inning victory.
VanBrakle (20-2) continued her mastery over SEC batters as she recorded her sixth shutout in conference play while lowering her ERA in SEC games to 0.36. She threw four innings of shutout ball while striking out eight batters and allowing only two hits en route to the victory.
For the second straight game, Alabama (35-4, 15-0 SEC) jumped on top of Ole Miss mistakes in the field to claim an early advantage.
Staci Ramsey started the rally with a two-out single and came around to score from first when Rebel centerfielder Stacy McCommon mishandled Dani Woods’ single to centerfield for a 1-0 lead. Dominique Accetturo then hit a grounder that got through the legs of shortstop Lisa Conchos scoring Woods for a 2-0 Bama lead.
The Tide plated two more runs in the third inning, once again taking advantage of an Ole Miss error. With runners on second and third, Staci Ramsey hit a grounder that went through the legs of third baseman Rebecca McIntire allowing Mandy Burford and Brittany Rogers to score pushing the Tide’s lead to 4-0.
Alabama made it a run-rule affair in the fourth inning scoring four more runs highlighted by two-run singles from Jordan Praytor and Ramsey giving Bama an 8-0 cushion.
Blair Potter came on in relief of VanBrakle in the fifth inning and retired the side in order to complete the run-rule victory.
The Tide will take another break from conference play on Tuesday when the team hosts in-state rival Troy in a 6:30 p.m. CT single game. Alabama gets back into league when the team hosts 11th ranked LSU in a big three-game series on Easter weekend beginning with a 5:00 p.m. doubleheader on Friday.
--Rebecca McIntire was the first Ole Miss base runner to reach third base in the series, doing so in the first inning.
--Stephanie VanBrakle recorded her 1,000th career strikeout, fanning Rebecca McIntire for the first out in the bottom of the third inning.
--Jordan Praytor extended her hitting streak to 15 games, the 3rd longest streak in school history. She is two games shy of the second longest streak in program history which is Jackie McClain’s 17-game streak in 2004.
--Alabama recorded its fourth run-rule victory in SEC play this season.
--Alabama has not allowed a run in league play in the last 40.2 innings.