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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The top-ranked Alabama softball team bounced back in a big way as it downed No. 8 Tennessee, 7-1, Sunday afternoon from Lee Stadium. With the win the Crimson Tide improves to 23-3 on the season and 1-2 in Southeastern Conference play.
The Alabama bats came alive as the Tide banged out 12 hits on the afternoon. Freshman Haylie McCleney paced UA at the plate with a 3-for-4 day. The rookie added two runs and a walk. Sophomore Danielle Richard added two hits and two RBI while freshman Andrea Hawkins had her third multi-hit game of the series, going 2-for-4 with a RBI. Hawkins finished 6-for-10 in the series.
Jackie Traina (11-2) returned to her All-American form, allowing one run on two hits while striking out four. The right-hander did not allow a hit until one out in the sixth inning.
Alabama took its first lead of the series as it plated one run in the first inning. Richard ripped a double off the wall in left-center to score McCleney from second. McCleney started the inning with her first hit of league play, a sharp single to left, before moving over to second on a Traina single.
A five-run third inning broke the game open for the Tide. A bases loaded walk to Traina started the scoring and it continued when Richard hit a sac-fly to center to plate McCleney. Freshman Leona Lafaele then drove in two on a hit up the middle, before Hawkins ripped a double off the wall to end the scoring in the frame, plating sophomore Danae Hays.
Alabama added one more in the fifth inning to increase its lead to 7-0 when pinch-hitter Lauren Sewell ripped a single through the left side to score pinch-runner Kallie Case from second.
Alabama will continue SEC play on the road as the Tide will head to Columbia, S.C., to take on the Gamecocks. Game one of the three-game set is scheduled for Friday, March 15, with first pitch slated for 6 p.m. CT.
Christopher Walsh covers Alabama football for BamaOnline, 247Sports, and is the author of 18 books.
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