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

Alabama loses Sunday slugfest

The No. 7 Alabama softball team dropped to a 24-9 overall record after a tough 11-9 loss against sixth-ranked Florida on Sunday. Florida’s win gave the Gators the 2-1 edge in a three-game series held over the weekend. Head coach Patrick Murphy felt the outcome of Sunday’s game were due to a few mistakes on the Crimson Tide’s part.

“The freebies, the walks and errors,” Murphy said. “We let a team continue an inning. Something bad is going to happen. You just can’t continually give people free bases. Somebody is going to come up with a hit, and that’s what happened.”

Alabama started the game impressively as junior pitcher Kelsi Dunne struck out three of the four batters she faced in the first inning. Left fielder Francesca Enea scored the only run for Florida in the first inning with a solo home run.

The Tide’s offense responded behind freshman leadoff hitter Kayla Braud’s double. Sophomore Jazyln Lunceford homered in the bottom of the first, driving in two runners and giving Alabama a 4-1 lead going into the top of the second.

“I think ‘fight’ describes our team this year,” Lunceford said. “The majority of our losses, it seems like we come back from behind and there’s never a point in the game where we don’t know that we’re going to come back. Two outs, two strikes, it doesn’t matter, we know that we can come back.”

The Gators began to battle at the plate, forcing Dunne to walk in three runs as Florida brought the score to an even 4-4. Alabama’s batters were retired quickly as Florida allowed no hits or runs in the bottom of the second.

Things did not get easier for Alabama in the third inning. Florida’s Corey Brooks hit a grand slam home run off senior relief pitcher Charlotte Morgan to give Florida an 8-4 lead.

Alabama showed resilience late in the game behind freshman sensation Kayla Braud. With the Tide trailing 9-6 in the sixth inning, Braud hit a three-run home run to tie it up 9-9. The freshman’s play is no surprise to Murphy.

“She’s definitely a gamer,” Murphy said. “You learn a lot about a kid in those situations, and we learned a lot about her today. I think she’s definitely a leader by example. That was as excited as I have seen her, and I think that rubbed off on everybody.”

Alabama’s comeback was short-lived in the seventh as Florida’s Samantha Holle and Corrie Brooks hit back to back home runs giving the Gators breathing room at 11-9.

Despite the loss, Murphy said playing such a strong opponent will benefit the team in the long run.

“Make them fight even harder,” Murphy said. “You came to Alabama to play against Florida, UCLA and Arizona State.  We want to play the best teams, and that is the prime example of why they came here and want to play in those types of games and atmosphere. If they didn’t want to do that, they would be playing intramurals.”

Alabama will have no midweek games as they rest up for a three-game series with SEC rival Auburn starting Friday at the Alabama Softball Complex.

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