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Alabama Softball Update: #1 Crimson Tide visits South Carolina

Alabama Softball
Alabama Softball

Another solid week for the Bama softball team, defending their first #1 ranking of the season with a sweep of Arkansas and a mid-week win over the College of Charleston.

vs Arkansas

Game One: Final 3.25.11 - 10-1 (5) | Box Score - Recap

Game Two: Final 3.26.11 - 12-3 (5) | Box Score - Recap

Game Three: Final 3.27.11 - 9-0 (5) | Box Score - Recap

The Crimson Tide took out their frustration over splitting the double header in Knoxville on the visiting Razorbacks, sweeping Arkansas in only fifteen innings with a combined score of 31-4.  The run rule sweep wasn't just impressive, it earned the team an extra 6 innings worth of much needed rest:

"With all the games we have been playing it can be really nerve racking," Alabama head coach Patrick Murphy said. "We have done a great job thus far in not losing our concentration and focus. We need to keep our drive and stay in it mentally as we go forward."

Sunday's 9-0 victory not only secured the sweep, it gave Kelsi Dunne her 100th career win and gave her sole possession of 2nd in career strikesouts:

Alabama senior pitcher Kelsi Dunne took sole possession of second in total career strikeouts with 1,046 on Saturday in the Tide’s 12-3 victory over Arkansas. The senior struck out Chloe Oprzedek in the fifth inning to take over second and finished the series with 1,053 strikeouts. Next on the list for the right-hander is record-holder Stephanie VanBrakle (1,113). Dunne also earned her 100th career victory on Sunday, which is second place in the Alabama annals. Dunne tossed four innings on Sunday and did not allow a run while striking out seven and walking none Shelly Laird holds the record with 115.

Dunne isn't the only member of the Crimson Tide looking to rewrite the record books, either.  Whitney Larsen's solo shot homer on Saturday gave her 42 career home runs, good for third behind Charlotte Morgan, with 58 homers, and Kelly Kretschman, who holds the top spot with 60.  Larsen has drilled eight so far this season, with 36 RBIs.

at College of Charleston

Final 3.31.11 - 7-1 | Box Score - Recap

The Tide began a two week road trip yesterday evening at the College of Charleston, handing the Cougars a 7-1 loss and improving to 34-2 on the season. Sophomore pitcher Lauren Sewell improved to 5-0 on the season allowing only three hits and striking out four in four innings. Freshman Jackie Traina tossed three innings of relief and allowed one run on one hit while fanning seven.

at South Carolina

The Crimson Tide will remain in the Palmetto state this weekend to take on conference foe South Carolina in Columbia.  The Gamecocks are sporting a 3-6 conference record, though they have been playing tough against good competition:

South Carolina had a tough weekend as they were swept by No. 11 Tennessee. Another strong effort by South Carolina came up short on Friday as Tennessee came through with a 4-2 win in eight innings on Friday night. On Saturday afternoon, Tennessee came out on fire in the first and captured a 10-3 lead over South Carolina. Gamecock junior centerfielder Lauren Lackey led the Gamecocks with a 2-for-3 day, driving in a run, while senior catcher P.J. Fulmer had one of South Carolina's two doubles, stretching her team lead to eight. A hard-fought game by South Carolina on Sunday slipped away at the end, as Tennessee captured its second walk-off win of the weekend with a 5-4 final in seven. The Gamecocks took the initial 4-0 lead in the first thanks to sophomore right fielder Hannah Milks' grand slam. Lauren Lackey leads the team with a .377 batting average, has 18 runs, 40 total bases and 11 stolen bases. Dana Hathorn is hitting a .353 average with 19 runs and 23 RBI. The Gamecocks will host USC Upstate at home this Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. EDT.

No. 1 Alabama (34-2, 9-1) vs. South Carolina (21-12, 3-6)
 Game One 4.1.11 - 5:00pm CST
 Game Two 4.2.11 - 1:00pm CST
 Game Three 4.3.11 - 11:00am CST
  Location Columbia, SC | Beckham Field
  Radio WVUA-FM 90.7 | Listen Live
  Live Stats Game One | Game Two | Game Three
  All-Time Series Alabama leads, 26-16