Bama Softball Sweeps Northern Iowa in Easton T-Town Showdown
Head coach Patrick Murphy and his team add two more wins to their record (19-0) with a two-game sweep against his alma mater the University of Northern Iowa.
Game 2: 8-0 win vs. Northern Iowa
Freshman Jaala Torrence got the start in the circle for Crimson Tide in game two. The Dothan, Alabama native recorded her first career win and first career shutout in one game.
Torrence struck out three of the 18 batters that she faced and allowed no hits and no walks in five innings.
Sophomore Savannah Woodard was the reason for Torrence’s five inning outing. In game two for Alabama Woodard recorded her first career walk off grand slam.
At the bottom of the fifth Northern Iowa replaced their starting pitcher Kailyn Packard, with freshman Hailey Sanders.
After Maddie Morgan and Bailey Hemphill drew back-to-back walks, Kaylee Tow singled to right field, sending pinch-runner Sarah Cornell across the plate and Hemphill to third. A ground out moved Tow to second base.
Claire Jenkins was patient at the plate and drew a walk in five pitches filling the bases for Alabama. Taylor Clark popped up to short for the second out of the inning.
Savannah Woodard was in the box with a 2-2 count with two outs.
After seeing five pitches and fouling off three, Woodard hit the ball deep over the right field wall sending all the runners home run ruling Northern Iowa for the 8-0 shutout.
Game 1: 5-3 win vs. Northern Iowa
Consistency is key and Bailey Hemphill has certainly shown that with her RBI total this season and today in game one against Northern Iowa’s starting pitcher Erica Oler.
In back-to-back innings Hemphill added two RBIs to her career total of 195. She now has 197 career RBIs. With a RBI-single in the bottom of the fifth Hemphill passed Whitney Larsen’s (2008-2011) 196 career RBIs to take the third spot in the Alabama record book.
"[Consistency] definitely describes Bailey," said head coach Patrick Murphy after Alabama's game against Troy. "You're going to be good if you can do that and I know it's easier said than done."
Hemphill was the first to put a run on the board for Alabama with a solo home run to center field in the bottom of the fourth. Her home run puts her eight away from tying Kelly Kretschman’s career record of 60. This record has stood untouched since 1998; her first year in the program.
Following Hemphill’s home run, Alabama picked up its momentum and sent two more across the plate to push its lead to 3-0.
A two-run home run from Northern Iowa’s Sammey Bunch in the top of the fifth cut the Crimson Tide’s lead to one. The home run did not phase starting pitcher Sarah Cornell as she was able to get out of the inning with a strikeout.
Cornell tied her career high of nine strikeouts in a game, the last time she reached that number was two years ago.
Hemphill’s bat came alive again following her home run; she recorded her second RBI of the game in the bottom of the fifth by sending leadoff hitter Alexis Mack home.
Alabama scored one more run in the inning to bring its lead to 5-2.
Northern Iowa scored their final run in the sixth due to a throwing error shortly before Jaala Torrence entered the circle to close out the game.
No. 2 Alabama plays South Alabama on Sunday, March 6 at 4 p.m. CT.
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