TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - In her first career NCAA postseason start, Alabama sophomore Leslie Jury tossed a shutout to lead the Crimson Tide to a 4-0 win over Jacksonville State in the NCAA Softball Tuscaloosa Regional Friday night at Rhoads Stadium. With the win, Alabama improves to 43-13 overall while the Gamecocks move to 30-26 on the season.
After sitting through a more than two-hour weather delay that kept the game from starting until 8:15 p.m., Jury (17-7) scattered eight hits and struck out four en route to her sixth shutout on the season.
Senior Kayla Braud paced the Tide at the plate, going 3-for-4 to extend her hitting streak to 21 games. Senior Courtney Conley batted 2-for-3 while junior Kaila Hunt and sophomore Jadyn Spencer each hit homeruns during the contest.
Junior Molly Fichtner got the scoring started for the Tide as she lined a single to center that scored Braud and junior Ryan Iamurri. Braud started the third inning by extending her hitting streak on a leadoff bunt single. Iamurri promptly singled to left before the two moved over on a Haylie McCleney infield fly that was mishandled at short.
Alabama extended its lead to 4-0 when Hunt and Spencer hit back-to-back solo home runs. Hunt smashed her 14th homer on the season while Spencer connected on her fifth. Both home runs drilled the shed beyond the wall in left.
The win is the 20th in a row for the Tide in regional play. Alabama improves to 39-9 in regional action and 30-3 in regional games played at home. The Tide is now 65-29 all-time in the NCAA tournament.
Alabama will face Western Kentucky to open day two of the Tuscaloosa Regional on Saturday starting at 1 p.m. CT, at Rhoads Stadium.