Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Nine-run first inning propels No. 14 Alabama to Super Regionals

Courtesy of UA Athletics
Alabama softball player Jenna Johnson hits the ball against Southeastern Louisiana at Rhoads Stadium Sunday.

After Alabama’s win Saturday against the Southeastern Louisiana Lions, the two teams found themselves in a rematch in the regional final. The Crimson Tide won 12-2 in only five innings due to the run-ahead rule, advancing the team to the Super Regionals.

Jocelyn Briski got the start Sunday for Alabama. In her regional debut, she threw 6.1 shutout innings.

After being involved in two pitchers’ duels to start the tournament, the offense reigned supreme Sunday. 

After Southeastern Louisiana scored a run in the top of the first with a right-field single, it didn’t take long for Alabama to take a commanding lead.

After the Crimson Tide started the inning with back-to-back singles from Kristen White and Larissa Preuitt, Kenleigh Cahalan singled to right field to drive home the team’s first run. Two pitches later, Jenna Johnson singled to right field and gave Alabama a 2-1 lead.

The bats were just getting started. Bailey Dowling extended the lead with a double to left field, bringing home two more runs. Kali Heivilin and Riley Valentine then added two more RBI singles to break the game wide open. The lead was 6-1 before the Crimson Tide got out once. 

“We’ve been working so hard on our hitting. We wanted to come out this weekend and show everybody we can hit and we finally got it done,” Dowling said in a postgame interview with ESPN.

Alabama added three more runs via a Cahalan walk and a Johnson two-RBI single. Johnson went 2-2 at the plate with three RBIs in the first inning. 

“It’s just a sigh of relief. We knew we had it in us,” head coach Patrick Murphy said to ESPN during an in-game interview.

The Crimson Tide put up 10 hits and nine runs before the first inning ended.

Alabama continued to pour on the offense in the bottom of the third inning. Cahalan drove in two more runs off a triple to deep center field. Marlie Giles then singled to bring Cahalan home and increase the lead to 12-2.

Briski pitched four innings, giving up five hits and two runs while striking out three batters. Jaala Torrence came into the game for the fifth-inning save. The senior got all three batters out.

Due to the run-ahead rule, which is used by umpires to end the game in cases where one team is up by eight or more runs after five or more equal innings, the game ended after the top of the fifth inning.

Next, Alabama heads to the Super Regional round. The Crimson Tide will face the winner of the Knoxville Regional between No. 3 Tennessee and Virginia. Super Regionals begin Thursday and run through Sunday.

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