TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The No. 4 ranked Alabama softball team closed out the series in a big way, downing No. 7 Missouri, 14-6, Sunday afternoon from Rhoads Stadium. With the win the Crimson Tide improves to 35-6 overall and 10-5 in Southeastern Conference play.
Alabama tagged All-American Chelsea Thomas (14-3) for all 14 runs - 11 earned on 11 hits, taking advantage of eight walks.
Junior Molly Fichtner batted 3-for-3 with two runs and four RBI while senior Kayla Braud and freshman Haylie McCleney added two hits apiece. Junior Jackie Traina (17-3) allowed six runs - five earned while striking out five.
After Missouri took the early lead in the top of the first, Alabama answered in the bottom half with four runs. Traina got the Tide on the board as her grounder to deep short plated Braud from first. Fichtner then opened the lead to 4-1 with her first home run on the season - a three-run shot to left that scored junior Kaila Hunt and Traina.
A one out triple by senior Keima Davis sparked another four-run frame for the Tide as UA expanded its lead to 8-2 in the second inning. After the triple the Tide loaded the bases and got a two-run single from Hunt and then scored another on an error before Fichtner came through with another RBI, a single through the left side.
Alabama made it 10-2 in the third when McCleney drove in a pair on a single up the middle. Missouri followed with a four-run fourth inning, cutting the lead to 10-6. Alabama had a single run in the fifth before opening up the lead in the sixth.
The Tide closed out the Tigers in the sixth with three runs to earn the run-rule victory. The Tide scored one run on an error and then after a Davis sac-fly to center, McCleney walked with the bases loaded to end the contest.
Alabama will remain at home as it will host two midweek games next week. The Tide will welcome Mississippi Valley State on Tuesday, April 9, and then play UAB on Wednesday, April 10. Both games are slated for 6 p.m., start times.
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