TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The No. 4 ranked Alabama softball team evened the series with an 11-3 victory over Mississippi State, Saturday afternoon in front of a Rhoads Stadium record crowd of 4,002. With the win the Crimson Tide improves to 39-7 overall and 11-6 in Southeastern Conference play.
Alabama banged out 11 hits and used a seven-run fifth inning to close out Mississippi State (29-15, 7-10 SEC). The top of the order paced the Tide at the plate as senior Kayla Braud, freshman Haylie McCleney and junior Kaila Hunt tallied two hits apiece.
Sophomore pitcher Leslie Jury (14-3) earned the win, allowing three runs – no earned on just two hits with three strikes outs in five innings.
After Mississippi State scored three in the first inning, Alabama chipped away, scoring a run in each of the first two innings. Braud scored on an error in the first and then on her senior day, Courtney Conley ripped a solo shot over the wall in center to pull the Tide to within one.
UA then took its first lead of the series when it plated two runs in the fourth. Junior Jackie Traina smacked a double to right-center that scored Hunt all the way from first and then sophomore Jadyn Spencer drove in freshman pinch-runner Kallie Case on a single to right.
Alabama extended its lead in the fifth inning when Hunt connected on her 12th home run of the season, this time a three-run shot to give the Tide a 7-3 lead. The Tide put three more on the board, drawing three bases loaded walks, opening the lead to 10-3. McCleney ended the game with a single up the middle.
The two teams will wrap up the series on Sunday at 1 p.m. The series finale will be televised by SportSouth.