Alabama Softball Earns A Split

Kayla Braud

Kentucky added insult to injury in the first game of a doubleheader at Rhoads Stadium Saturday, but the Alabama softball team proved it still had plenty of life in it with a second game outburst.



Alabama was coming off three losses to LSU when the Crimson Tide hosted Kentucky for two games Saturday. (The doubleheader was the result of Friday's game being postponed by rain.) When the Wildcats took a 5-0 win in the opener, it marked the fist time since 2004 Bama had lost four consecutive losses.

The losing streak was ended in major league fashion Saturday afternoon as the Crimson Tide rebounded with a 14-0 victory. Alabama scored 10 runs in the bottom of the first inning to assure the split.

The teams will wrap up the series Sunday with a scheduled start time of 1:30 p.m. CDT.

Sunday's game will end regular season play. Alabama will head to Lexington next week for the start of the Southeastern Conference Tournament at Kentucky. Alabama is now 31-11 overall and 13-10 in SEC games.

In the second game Saturday, Alabama scored four runs before the Wildcats could get a Bama out. The game finished in five innings by the mercy rule.

Jackie Traina pitched three innings and then gave way to Lauren Sewell to finish up the rout. Traina, now 18-6, allowed just two hits and struck out four in her three innings of work.

The first inning was highlighted by back-to-back home runs by junior Molly Fichtner and freshman Leona Lafaele and then four bases loaded walks.

The Tide added four more in the second to increase the lead to 14-0. Braud hit a bases loaded RBI single and then Fichtner added another with a sac-fly to left. Lafaele brought home two -- one on an error -- to end the scoring.

Braud paced the Tide at the plate with a 3-for-4 effort, scoring three runs and driving in two. Fichtner scored twice and had four RBI while senior Keima Davis and junior Ryan Iamurri had two hits piece.

The first game shutout loss was Alabama's first since 2011, and the first blanking at home since 2010.

Kelsey Nunley (23-7) went the distance for the Wildcats, striking out five while allowing just four hits. UA sophomore Leslie Jury (15-5) was tagged with the loss after allowing all five runs on five hits in five innings. Senior Lauren Sewell pitched two innings of shutout relief.

Christian Stokes batted 2-for-3 with two runs and a two-run homer to provide the punch for Kentucky. The home run came after an Ansley Smith sac-fly for a three-run second inning. The Wildcats added two more in the fifth when Griffin Joiner hit a two-run single to left.

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