Alabama Softball: Alabama Wins NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional, Crushes Western Kentucky 13-1 In 5 Innings


Alabama Crimson Tide softball wasted no time in Game 6 of the Tuscaloosa Regional, as they warmed up the bats right from the start and ended up defeating the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers 13-1 by mercy rule in 5 innings. With the victory, Alabama wins the NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional Championship and advances to the NCAA Super Regional starting next week. It’s the Crimson Tide’s 11th regional title in its history and it’s 9th consecutive title going back to 2005.

Junior pitcher Jackie Traina will get the win for her record, taking it to 19-6 on the season and giving her the eightieth win in her career at Alabama. She finished the day with two strikeouts in the four innings she played.  sophomore Leslie Jury finished the game for the Crimson Tide in the 5th inning, where she allowed the only run in the game. The loss for the Hilltoppers will end senior WKU Mallorie Sulaski’s career with a 13-9 mark on the season.

Things got hot early in the top of the first as senior Kayla Braud and Freshman Haylie McCleney both singled, while junior Kaila Hunt hit a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners. Junior Molly Fichtner then hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score Braud and make it 1-0 Alabama.

Then, in the top of the 2nd, sophomore Danielle Richard hit a 1-2 leadoff solo home run to begin the inning to make it 2-0 Crimson Tide. After a walk, a single and two bunts -one of which was a sacrifice to advance the runners- the bases were loaded. Hunt gave it her all and knocked a grand slam ball deep left field off the scoreboard, giving the Crimson Tide at 7-0 opening. It was Hunt’s 16th home run on the season. She would finish 2 for 3 with 4 RBI.

The bleeding by the Western Kentucky defense would not end there. In the top of the 4th, Fichtner hit a single to send McCleney home, followed by sacrifice bunt by sophomore Jadyn Spencer to bring it to 9-0 Crimson Tide. Then, in the top of the 5th, the Crimson Tide put the final touches on the game by scoring 4 more runs, scored by freshman Andrea Hawkins and Junior Ryan Iamurri, along with Braud and McCleney.

Western Kentucky could not get their offensive game moving at all against Alabama as they were shutout for 4 innings. They eventually did get on the board in the bottom of the 5th inning, off a Shawna Sadler single that sent Sulaski in to score one. But it would be too little, too late as the final out was recorded at home by Fichtner off of Sadler to give the Crimson Tide the 13-1 victory.

Alabama will now advance the NCAA Super Regional against the winners of the Knoxville regional, which would be either No. 7 seeded Tennessee or NC State. The score is currently 2-0 Tennessee at the time of posting in the top of the 2nd. If Tennessee were to win the regional, they would likely host the Super Regional in Knoxville. If NC State were to win -which they would need to win twice against Tennessee to do so- then Alabama would likely host the Super Regional in Tuscaloosa. You can track the game’s action here. The Super Regional is a best-of-three series between the two teams, the winner of which will move on the Women’s College World Series tournament in Oklahoma City, OK.

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