TROY, Ala. - After three hitless innings, a seven-run fourth helped lift Alabama to an eventual 8-0 victory over Troy Sunday afternoon.
Alabama's (5-0) first hit of the day against Troy (3-2) came in the top of the fourth, an RBI double from junior Bailey Hemphill. That sparked a seven-run rally, with a solo home run from sophomore Kaylee Tow in the sixth giving the Crimson Tide an eight-run lead for the final margin of victory after a scoreless bottom half of the inning.
Six Tide batters tallied a hit in the winning effort, led by a 2-for-4 day from junior Elissa Brown at the top of the order. Hemphill's RBI was the 100th of her career and freshman Skylar Wallace drove in a pair on her second career hit, a fifth-inning single. Freshman Montana Fouts (2-0) went the distance in the circle, shutting out the Trojans with just three hits allowed and four strikeouts.
The two teams quickly cruised through the first three innings, with Troy tallying the only hit between the two teams. In the top of the fourth, sophomore Kaylee Tow drew a one-out walk and Hemphill followed with a double that banged off the wall in left field, driving in Tow to put Alabama ahead 1-0 on the Tide's first hit of the day. Senior Reagan Dykes followed that with an RBI single up the middle before shuffling all the way to third in the next at-bat after a bunt single from sophomore Claire Jenkins and a fielding error.
A hard fly ball to center allowed Dykes to tag up and score on the sacrifice fly from sophomore Maddie Morgan, pushing the lead to 3-0. Later with two in scoring position, Wallace flared a single over the shortstop's head, scoring a pair to make it a 7-0 lead and advancing to second on a fielding error. An infield single from Brown put runners at the corners and the speedy leadoff hitter attempted a steal in the next at-bat, forcing a bad throw that allowed Brown and Wallace to score on the error as the lead swelled to 7-0. With the bases loaded, a fly ball to center finally ended the big half-inning.
A looping fly ball from Tow in the top of the sixth pinged off the right-field foul pole for a solo home run, setting up Alabama for the potential run-rule victory with an 8-0 lead heading to the bottom of the sixth. Troy got its leadoff runner on base, but Dykes fired down to second to catch her stealing with Wallace covering second for the first out of the inning. A pair of groundouts ended it as the Tide capped its undefeated weekend with an 8-0 run-rule victory.
Next weekend, Alabama heads to Tucson, Ariz., for the Hillenbrand Invitational, playing five games over three days starting Friday, Feb. 15 against USF at 12:15 p.m. CT.