Alabama third baseman Kenny Roberts had one of two three-run home runs in the bottom of the sixth that pushed Alabama’s offense to the win. (Photo courtesy of UA Athletics)
The Southeastern Louisiana Lions had put together five strong innings, outhitting the Crimson Tide five to three through five innings.
Then, for the first time since June of 2010, Alabama had multiple home runs in one inning, as third baseman Kenny Roberts and first baseman Austen Smith both turned on two-out three-run homers in the bottom of the sixth, pushing Alabama to a 9-1 win.
“I’ve got no problem with three-run homers,” Alabama baseball coach Mitch Gaspard said. “That was good to see and to especially have one that was a no-doubter.
“I’m happy for Kenny Roberts – not only tonight, but the way he has stayed with it and stuck with a plan and really had a consistent year for us both offensively and defensively and that was a big blow for him tonight to hit the three-run homer.”
Roberts and center fielder Georgie Salem both had multi-hit games, both going 2-4 and combining for four RBI and two runs.
The Tide used four relief pitchers after Tucker Hawley’s five-inning start in which he walked two batters and struck two out while giving up five hits. Mike Oczypok, Justin Kamplain, Mitch Greer and Ray Castillo all pitched one inning in the win.
Relief pitcher steadies softball Tide in mercy-rule win
Alabama pitcher Lauren Sewell left the circle in disappointment, having her start ended by coach Patrick Murphy after 3.1 innings, allowing five hits and striking out seven batters.
What ended her start five outs early with that kind of line? The seven free passes – four via the walk and three via hit batters.
“I think when your starting pitcher hits (a batter), walks, hits, walks and strikes out seven or eight, it just doesn’t make sense to me,” Murphy said. “If she can strike out seven or eight she doesn’t need to hit or walk a couple of them, so we need to work on that.”
It was Leslie Jury that entered and pitched 1.2 no-hit shutout innings and watched as Alabama scored 11 runs on 12 hits to earn the 11-3 win in five innings over Jacksonville State.
The Tide scored in bunches against the Gamecocks, scoring five in the bottom of the second then four more in the bottom of the fourth. It was first baseman Jadyn Spencer’s three-run home run in the bottom of the fourth that put Alabama in mercy-rule range before a two-out two RBI single from Jackie Traina ended the game two innings early.
Alabama center fielder Haylie McCleney went 4-4 from the plate with two RBI and three runs, including the game’s winning run. Senior left fielder Kayla Braud, batting behind McCleney in the No. 2 hole, went 2-2 with an RBI and two runs scored.