Sunday, May 18, 2003
TUSCALOOSA, ALA – After getting washed out Saturday due to severe weather and steady rain, the NCAA Region 8 Softball Tournament returned to action Sunday morning here at the Alabama Softball Complex.
In a game that was suppose to be the 2:30 p.m. game yesterday, no. 1 seed Alabama beat No. 6 seed Southern Illinois 7-4 to advance to the championship game.
“I really think that our hitters came out ready to play,” Alabama coach Patrick Murphy said. “We had some players contribute a lot in this game that have not had the opportunity to in the past two games. Dominique Accetturo had a great game and that big inning (fourth) really helped us. We had great defense all the way around. We did not have any errors and the plays were made.”
Alabama awaits the winner of the second game between No. 3 seed UMass and Southern Illinois which gets underway just after 1 p.m.
Freshman Stephanie VanBrakle (18-5) got the win for Alabama while junior Erin Wright picked up her second save of the season. Sophomore Amy Harre (21-10) took the loss for Southern Illinois. Alabama posted runs in three different innings and scattered 10 hits into play, but it was a four-run fourth inning that broke the game open for the Tide. Three of Alabama’s five doubles in the game came in the fourth along with an Ashley Courtney home run.
The Salukis came right back, scoring two runs in the bottom of the fourth and then two more in the sixth. Wright came in with two runners on base and no outs and proceeded to shut down SIU with two strikeouts and a routine fly out.
In the seventh, with Wright still on the mound, the Salukis managed only a walk before succumbing to the Tide.