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Softball remains undefeated after Saturday games

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Softball remains undefeated after Saturday games

By David Jones

By David Jones

By David Jones

By David Jones

James Benedetto, Staff Writer

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Over the right center field wall, a flagpole stands. On a normal gameday, an American flag and the 2012 National Championship flag wave above Alexis Osorio’s picture and number.

On Courtney Gettins’ senior day, a different flag appeared as both teams were lined up along the first and third base lines. The New Zealand flag replaced the American flag and the New Zealand national anthem began to play.

“I believe in the power of moments,” coach Patrick Murphy said. “Awards and trophies gather dust in a closet but [Courtney] is going to have that moment for the rest of her life as is her mom and her teammates. I think it really did surprise her if you saw her face. She is going to have a moment for the rest and that’s what we like to do here is provide a memory for people.”

The touching moment that began on Saturday ended with two victories for Alabama.

In game one against Saint Francis, Alabama found its offense late in the game as it scored all three runs in the fifth inning or later. After the Red flash tied the game in the top of the sixth, the Crimson Tide responded with two solo home runs by Merris Schroder and Skylar Wallace. The two-run lead would hold to be the final score of 3-1. In the past 10 games, Wallace found her swing after struggling in the beginning of the season. She raised her batting average from .304 to .381 and belted three home runs in that span.

“Obviously I have been on the struggle bus just not being myself lately,” Wallace said. “I have really thought about keeping my front shoulder toward left field and just watching the ball come in and not trying to overthink and say, ‘oh she is going to pitch me inside here’ or ‘oh she is now going to pitch me outside here’ so I’m just trying to see ball hit ball.”

Defense and pitching continued to be strong for Alabama. Gettins had a strong pitching outing. The Hastings, New Zealand native pitched 5 and 2/3 innings giving up one earned run on four hits. After giving up back-to-back hits in the first, Gettins found her groove as she retired 13 straight batters. Junior Sarah Cornell came in relief in the sixth and shut the door on the Red Flash.

In game two, Alabama won another close game defeating Southern Miss, 3-1. Kaylee Tow went 1-for-2 with an RBI and Elissa Brown went 2-for-2 with two stolen bases. Alabama found some offense scoring three runs on six hits but once again pitching and defense was key to the victory. Montana Fouts (8-0) threw a complete game and gave up three hits with one unearned run as she struck out 11.

“Its good for us to have one run games, tie games in the fifth, sixth, seventh innings because that’s what is going to happen in the SEC,” Murphy said. “Its going to be a bigger crowd with more people cheering against us instead of for us so we got to get used to all of that. I think today was more about pitch selection than anything. We were picking the wrong pitch to hit, coming out of the zone with two strikes, its uncharacteristic really of where they have been.”

Alabama is back in action tomorrow when the Crimson Tide face Michigan State in the last game of the Easton Crimson Classic.

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Softball remains undefeated after Saturday games