SEC softball: Alabama survives Texas A&M in slamming opener, 10-9

mmaloney@herald-leader.comMay 9, 2013 

  • THURSDAY

    What: SEC quarterfinals

    When: Beginning at 11 a.m.

    TV: ESPNU/ESPN

    Where: UK's John Cropp Stadium

    Tournament bracket, Page C3

After waiting out a 3:21 weather delay at John Cropp Stadium, Alabama and Texas A&M struck like lightning in one inning. Alabama brought the final roll of thunder in the seventh, though.

Danielle Richard's two-out, full-count triple down the left-field line drove in two runs to give the Crimson Tide a 10-9 victory in the opening game of the Southeastern Conference Softball Tournament.

The win vaulted the defending national champions, seeded eighth, into Thursday's quarterfinals against top-seeded Florida.

Because of the delay, Wednesday's second game between Kentucky and South Carolina ended too late for this edition.

"It was a very entertaining game," Crimson Tide Coach Patrick Murphy said. "I thought everybody got their money's worth. I think TV got their money's worth."

Alabama (42-12) took an 8-3 lead when Leona Lafaele launched a fifth-inning grand slam.

Ninth-seeded A&M (39-15) rallied with a slam of its own, by Amber Garza, to make it 8-7 in the sixth.

An inning later, Cassie Tysarczyk's two-run blast gave the Aggies a 9-8 lead.

That set the stage for Alabama's last-inning rally.

Haylie McLeney started things with a single, reaching second when shortstop Taran Tyler booted Molly Fichtner's potential double-play ball.

Two outs later, Richard ripped her game-winner down the line. "I was just going in there trying to look for a strike, maybe something in," Richard said. "And she threw it in. I just hit it."

A&M scored twice in the first, on Garza's sacrifice fly and Mel Dumezich's run-scoring single.

The Crimson Tide answered with four in the first, highlighted by Kaila Hunt's three-run homer.

The Aggies pulled to within 4-3 in the fifth on Cali Lanphear's RBI single.

"I thought our ballclub fought really hard tonight," A&M Coach Jo Evans said. "We gave ourselves a chance to win and come from behind. I'm really proud of the way our kids fought, and the way they wanted it."

Alabama 10, Texas A&M 9

Texas A&M 200 014 2— 9 10 1

Alabama 400 040 2—10 10 1

Dumezich and May; Traina, Jury (7) and Fichtner. HR — Hunt (Ala.) 13, Lafaele (Ala.) 5, Garza (A&M) 10, Tysarczyk (A&M) 11.


THURSDAY

What: SEC quarterfinals

When: Beginning at 11 a.m.

TV: ESPNU/ESPN

Where: UK's John Cropp Stadium

Tournament bracket, Page C3

Mark Maloney: (859) 231-3229 Twitter: @MarkMaloneyHL Blog: markmaloney.bloginky.com

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