GULF SHORES, Ala. - Alabama softball was dominant in all phases over two shutout wins Friday at the Sand Dollar Classic, defeating Penn State, 10-0, before junior Courtney Gettins threw a no-hitter in her Crimson Tide debut, defeating Lamar 13-0.
Alabama (3-0) found an offensive rhythm, scoring a combined 23 runs on 18 hits against Penn State (0-1) and Lamar (1-1). Sophomore Bailey Hemphill led the offense with three hits in five at-bats, scoring twice and driving in four. Sophomore Gabby Callaway also had four RBIs, three of which came on a bases-clearing triple against the Nittany Lions. Junior Merris Schroder scored three times and drove in three runs, tallying an inside-the-park home run against the Cardinals.
In the circle, freshman Madison Preston (1-0) allowed just one hit over 5.0 shutout innings against Penn State, while junior Courtney Gettins (1-0) threw a no-hitter in her Crimson Tide debut against Lamar.
GAME ONE: ALABAMA 10, PENN STATE 0 (5 INNINGS)
Penn State threatened early, loading the bases with two out in the top of the first, but a groundout to senior Sydney Booker got Alabama out of the jam to keep it scoreless.
The two teams remained scoreless until the bottom of the third when a Penn State fielding error on a popup allowed Booker to score from third and put the Tide ahead 1-0. Later with the bases loaded, Callaway roped a triple into the gap in right field, clearing the bases to push the lead to 4-0 as the Nittany Lions made a pitching change. An RBI single from freshman Kaylee Tow would extend the lead to 5-0 and the Tide would tack on another on a wild pitch before the trailing runner was caught trying to score on an errant throw to end the big inning, with the Tide now leading 6-0 through 3.0 innings.
Alabama led off the fourth with back-to-back singles and a sacrifice bunt from sophomore Elissa Brown moved the pair to scoring position. Junior Caroline Hardy, pinch-hitting, drove in one on an RBI groundout and Hemphill followed with an RBI single to make it 8-0. A double to left field from Callaway allowed the speedy pinch-runner senior Rachel Bobo to score all the way from first and push the lead to 9-0. Senior Carrigan Fain tacked on another run with a pinch-hit single to left field, making it 10-0, which ultimately proved final.
GAME TWO: ALABAMA 13, LAMAR 0 (5 INNINGS)
Alabama scored its first run on an RBI single from Hemphill in the first inning but opened the floodgates with a nine-run second inning. An RBI single from Booker started the scoring and, later with the bases loaded, Hemphill tacked on two more with a double down the left-field line to make it 4-0. A throw down to second in the next at-bat to try and catch Hemphill off the bag sailed wide, allowing Tow to score from third on the error. Later with two runners in scoring position, senior Peyton Grantham brought them both home with a single up the middle, advancing to second on the throw as the score was now 7-0. After a walk to Hardy, a hard shot from Schroder bounced around the corner in right field, allowing her to round the bases on the inside-the-park home run, adding three more runs to give Alabama a double-digit lead, 10-0.
After a scoreless third and a great catch to save a home run in the top of the fourth from Tow, the Tide added three more runs in the bottom-half of the inning. A two-run single from sophomore Claire Jenkins made it 12-0 and freshman Kyra Lockhart tallied her first hit and RBI to drive in Jenkins later in the inning with a single to left, pushing the score to 13-0. Looking to preserve the no-hitter in the top of the fifth, Gettins retired the side in order to complete the shutout.
Alabama concludes play at the Sand Dollar Classic Saturday, facing Virginia Tech at 10 a.m. CT and Florida A&M at Noon CT.