Alabama Softball Opens With Big Win

In what was expected to be a pitchers' tournament, Alabama broke out the bats in a big way Friday in the first round of the NCAA Softball Tuscaloosa Regional at Rhoads Stadium.

Alabama moved into the second round in the winner's bracket as the Crimson Tide clubbed the Southern Illinois-Edwardsville Cougars, 13-3, in the second game of the tournament Friday. South Carolina Upstate defeated South Alabama, 5-3, in the tournament-opener.

Alabama returns to action Saturday at 1 p.m. against USC Upstate while SIUE faces South Alabama in the regional's first elimination game Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

The Crimson Tide opened the game with three runs in the first inning and finished it with Leona Lafaele's three-run home run in the fifth inning that gave Bama it's final margin of 10 runs and ended the game with the mercy rule. The biggest surprise about the Bama offense was that it did not score in the fourth inning.

Jadyn Spencer, who went four-for-four, had the big blow in the three-run first inning for the Tide with her 11th home run of the year.

In the second, Bama's first two batters were out, but that didn't stop the offense. Haylie McCleney, who would finish two-for-three with three runs scored, got it started with a single. Then Kallie Case tripled, Kaila Hunt doubled, and three consecutive singles around a base on balls made it 7-0 after two.

Hunt and Spener delivered RBI singles in the third to make it 9-0.

SIUE got the mercy rule off the books with two runs in the fourth and one in the top of the fifth before the Tide put it away in the bottom of the fifth on Lafaele's sixth homer of the year.

Leslie Jury improved her record to 16-6 as she went 4 2/3 innings, allowing six hits and three runs. Jury struck out one and didn't walk a batter. Sydney Littlejohn finished up with a strikeout of the only batter she faced.

Alabama, the number two seed in the NCAA Tournament, improved its record to 46-11. SIUE fell to 30-22.