AUBURN, ALIt was a milestone game for the fourth-ranked Crimson Tide (42-8, 20-4 SEC) as they defeated the No. 19 Auburn Tigers (32-15, 13-11) 9-0 in six innings to claim the series victory.
Jordan Praytor got the milestone ball rolling as she extended her hitting streak to 25 games which is tied for the third longest hitting streak in SEC history and is 10 games shy of Kelly Kretschman’s school and conference record of 35 straight games. Stephanie VanBrakle then tied the all-time school record strikeouts with her 1,045th. And head coach Patrick Murphy notched his 400th career win at Alabama.
The Crimson Tide jumped on top in the first taking advantage of a couple Auburn fielding miscues to claim a 1-0 lead. Brittany Rogers led off the game with a single but was forced at second on a fielder’s choice by Jordan Praytor. Staci Ramsey then hit a pop fly to shallow right field that was dropped by right fielder Sara Ghezzi allowing Praytor to advance to third. Dani Woods hit a chopper to second that bounced under the glove of Ashley Arcuri allowing Praytor to score and Alabama was on top 1-0.
Once again, Auburn errors led to an Alabama run in the top of the second inning. Dominique Accetturo led off with a walk. Allison Moore then hit a grounder to Ashley Griffin at shortstop who threw wildly to second putting runners on first and second for the Tide. Back-to-back fielders choices put runners on first and third for Rogers who beat out an infield single that scored Moore from third for a 2-0 Bama lead.
Jordan Praytor gave Alabama some much needed insurance in the fifth inning when she extended her hitting streak to 25 games with a two-run home run to center field pushing the Alabama lead to 4-0.
The Crimson Tide added five more runs in the sixth highlighted by two-run singles from Praytor and Dani Woods which extended the Bama lead to 9-0.
Stephanie VanBrakle (24-4) picked up the win, throwing a one-hit shutout while striking out seven batters and issuing just one walk.
Bama continues its SEC road action this weekend as the team heads to Starkville for a three-game series with the Mississippi State Bulldogs.
--Jordan Praytor extended her hitting streak to 25 games with a home run in the fifth inning. It’s tied for the third longest streak in SEC history with Iyhia McMichael (MSU, 2003).
--Stephanie VanBrakle tied the all-time school record for strikeouts with her 1,045th tying Shelley Laird’s (1998-02) total.
--Praytor recorded a career high four RBI.
--Patrick Murphy won his 400th career game at Alabama.
--Alabama’s two run-rule victories marked the first time in the history of the rivalry that a team recorded two run-rule wins in the same series. It was also only the fourth run-rule victory in the entire series.