Bama Wins SEC Softball Tournament, 5-4

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Bama Wins SEC Softball Tournament, 5-4

Post  Carolina Kat on Fri May 14, 2010 1:14 am

SEC Tournament - Championship Game

Posted: May 16, 2010 | Last updated: May 15, 2010 at 11:42 PM

– The Alabama softball team secured its fourth Southeastern Conference tournament title by downing LSU, 5-4 Saturday night at Bogle Park. Tournament MVP Kelsi Dunne struck out nine and Jennifer Fenton and Jazlyn Lunceford each went deep to extend the Crimson Tide’s winning streak to 24 games. The regular season title and tournament championship in the same year is the first in program history for Alabama. After the win the Tide improves to 48-9 on the season.

"I thought the story today was Kelsi Dunne," Alabama head coach Patrick Murphy said. "What she did all week was phenomenal. We have never given the ball to a pitcher in three straight tournament games. We just decided to go with Kelsi because she was on a roll. She earned the MVP."

Dunne struck out nine and allowed four runs on five hits to earn her third win of the tournament and 13th in as many starts. She struck out 30 in 19 innings and posted a 1.84 ERA on the tournament.

Freshman Kayla Braud, who earned all-tournament team honors, set the tone atop the lineup by batting 3 for 4 with three stolen bases and a run scored. Alabama banged out eight hits in the winning effort.

"We played three really great teams this weekend," Braud said. "We faced a lot of adversity but never let up, never backed down and came back to win."

Alabama opened the scoring quickly on LSU by plating three runs in the first inning. Braud got the Tide going by scoring on a wild pitch after bunting her way on, stealing second and moving to third on a wild pitch.

Senior Alex Blewitt, getting the starting nod for the first time in the tournament came through with a two-out bloop single right above the bag at second to score pinch-runner Catherine Dozier and Whitney Larsen.

Alabama added another in the fourth in very familiar fashion. Fenton blasted a long home run onto the hill in right-center to hand the Tide a 4-0 lead. Fenton hit a walk-off homer to right-center in the nightcap of a doubleheader against LSU earlier this season.

LSU answered in a big way by evening the score in the top of the fifth. After nearly a 30 minute delay due to an injury to the home plate umpire, the game resumed and the Tigers took advantage.

Jessica Mouse got LSU on the board with a RBI single to center and then Rachel Mitchell doubled in two runs with a shot to left-center. Juliana Santos capped off the top half by plating a run with the bases loaded on a fielder’s choice to short.

Alabama had an answer of its own as sophomore Jazlyn Lunceford took a 3-2 pitch and sent it well over the wall in straightaway center to seize the lead back and make it the eventual final of 5-4.

On top of Dunne and Braud, Fenton and Larsen earned all-tournament honors. Fenton led the team over the course of the tournament with a .625 average. Braud batted .556 while Larsen belted two home runs and added .400 average.

The Tide will now learn its fate for the postseason on Sunday, May 16 when the NCAA announces its tournament selections. The field will be announced at 9:00 p.m. on ESPNU.

LSU Head Coach Yvette Girouard
On the game:

"Congratulations to Alabama. They played a great game. I thought we showed a lot of heart during the whole tournament. We never gave up, we scratched, we clawed, we fought. It didn't happen for us. I told the team that we went through two fabulous programs in Florida and Alabama so hopefully this will prepare us for hopefully the next three weeks of competition.

During delay for umpire:

We kind of took the mentality that delays are good for us. It was good against Kentucky and now it was kind of a joke on the team to have a delay during the game so maybe we can have a come back. It worked twice for us.

I thought we really had a shot to beat them. Dunne has gotten better and we weren't real successful in our at bats and our approach. Trahan threw great the first two games but didn't quite have it today. I thought we had them on the ropes and had a good chance to beat them.

On being prepared for the postseason:

That is the very positive out of this weekend. We were very successful against Florida, we came back against Kentucky, we never showed quit and I think this has prepared us for a regional because we played two very great programs in Florida and Alabama.

P Rachel Mitchell
On the game today:

Alabama is a great team. They are never a team that backs down or gives up and we fought really and unfortunately, luck wasn't on our side tonight. Mouse had a great at bat. She worked really hard. With Kirsten on base, it was really important to get base hits whenever we have runners in scoring position which is something we have kind of been lacking this year. Coach always tells us to crush the mistake so, I was just waiting for her to throw me a decent pitch that I could put into play and help score my teammates.

Jessica Mouse
On the game:

Like they said before, we came out with the same mentality as we did in previous games. We were pumped up and knew we were taking on a good ball club. We fought hard but like Mitchell said, we didn't have the luck go our way. I think this is going to bring a lot of momentum coming into this upcoming weekend. I am proud of my teammates and I am hoping that we go the next three or four weeks.

I was trying to approach the at bat and get on base for the top of the lineup. I have an All-American behind me in Kirsten Shortridge so I am just trying to do whatever I can to get on base. I was trying to see a lot of pitches and I did that and tried to get on base. That is all I can do for my team.

All-Tournament Team

Megan Bush, SS, Florida

Corrie Brooks, 3B, Florida

Kelly Grieve, CF, Tennessee

Ivy Renfroe, P, Tennessee

Cody Trahan, P, LSU

Jessica Mouse, 3B, LSU

Kirsten Shortridge, CF, LSU

Jennifer Fenton, CF, Alabama

Whitney Larsen, SS, Alabama

Kayla Braud, 2B, Alabama

Kelsi Dunne, P, Alabama

MVP: Kelsi Dunne, Alabama

Carolina Kat

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