COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Alabama softball posted another dominant performance Saturday against Texas A&M, winning 11-1 in 5.0 innings to clinch the weekend series.
Alabama (33-0, 5-0 SEC) scored four runs in the opening inning over Texas A&M (17-13, 1-7 SEC) and never trailed for the remainder of the game, scoring six in the third before trading runs in the bottom of the fourth and top of the fifth. Alabama has scored 10 or more runs in four of its five SEC games this season.
Five of the 11 runs came on home runs from senior Merris Schroder and junior Bailey Hemphill, giving the Tide 15 games this season with two or more home runs, including four SEC games. Schroder's home run was part of a 2-for-4 day at the plate, driving in three RBIs and extending her hitting streak to six games. Hemphill's home run was a grand slam, pushing her season total to 15 home runs and 51 RBIs. Sophomore Kaylee Tow reached base safely three times from the leadoff spot, pushing her reached base streak to 14 games.
Junior Sarah Cornell (11-0) threw 4.1 innings to earn the win in the circle, allowing just one run on four hits with four strikeouts while fellow junior Krystal Goodman secured the final two outs in the bottom of the fifth, inducing a game-ending double play.
Alabama loaded the bases with one out in the top of the first, setting up Schroder for a two-run single through the left side to give the Tide the first lead of the game. A walk to senior Reagan Dykes loaded the bases again for Alabama and the A&M pitcher fielded a ground ball in the next at-bat, throwing to home for a force out but the subsequent throw to first sailed into right field, allowing two runs to score on the error and make it 4-0.
Schroder led off the top of the third with a solo home run, her second of the weekend to make it 5-0. The Tide would go on to load the bases with two out and another walk to sophomore KB Sides moved everyone up 60 feet to increase the lead to 6-0. Texas A&M made a pitching change and Hemphill welcomed her to the game with a grand slam, making it a 10-0 game.
With one out in the top of the fourth, Dykes hit a standup double, forcing another pitching change for the Aggies. Texas A&M kept the Tide out of the run column with a groundout and fly ball. The Aggies erased the shutout in the bottom of the fourth, with a double and single scratching a run across. Junior Elissa Brown drew a walk to lead off the top of the fifth, stole second and moved to third on a throwing error before coming home on an RBI groundout to put the lead back at double digits. Leading 11-1 heading to the bottom of the fifth, Alabama held on for the 10-run win.
The final game of the weekend series is set for a 1 p.m. CT first pitch on Sunday, March 24.