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April 1, 2011

Box Score

COLUMBIA, S.C. – A tight battle in the early going, No. 1 Alabama (35-2, 10-1 SEC) came on with six runs in the final two frames to capture a 7-0 win over South Carolina (17-16, 3-11 SEC) on Friday night at Beckham Field.

A scoreless game through four innings, the Crimson Tide got on the board in the fifth on Jackie Traina’s RBI single down the left field line. That scored Jennifer Fenton, who drew a two-out walk. Five more came across in the sixth thanks to a leadoff home run by Kaila Hunt and a grand slam by Whitney Larsen. The three runners who scored on Larsen’s shot to left all reached on a walk. Alabama closed the scoring in the seventh on Hunt’s second-straight leadoff blast, both going out to left.

South Carolina hung tight in the early going, getting out of a bases-loaded, nobody-out jam in the first. After Kayla Braud singled and Fenton doubled, Larsen took a walk to put Gamecock starter Audrey Broyles in the tough spot. But the redshirt sophomore got a strikeout and a pitcher’s best friend to escape the jam. Freshman second baseman Dana Hathorn got the second out tagging Larsen as she ran past and threw out Cassie Reilly-Boccia at first to complete the double play that ended the frame.

Alabama’s Kelsi Dunne (17-1) posted a brilliant effort in the two-hit shutout win. She walked three and struck out 12, including six in a row at one point, while going the distance. Only two Gamecock runners reached second. Gamecock senior April Borchardt (4-3) got the tough loss, allowing one run in three innings of relief work. She gave up three hits and a walk while striking out two.

Hunt led the top-ranked Crimson Tide at the plate with a 3-for-4 day and the two home runs. Larsen, Traina and Jazlyn Lunceford also added two-hit outings.

South Carolina and Alabama continue the three-game series on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Beckham Field.