TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - No. 5 seed Alabama, ranked No. 11 nationally, shut out LIU, 5-0, in its opening round game at the NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional Friday night at Rhoads Stadium.
Bailey Dowling drove in the first run of the game in the bottom of the first inning, scoring Ashley Prange from second with a two-out RBI single. Emma Broadfoot led off the bottom of the second with a walk, setting up Kali Heivilin for a two-run home run to make it 3-0.
Ally Shipman hit the second home run of the day for the Crimson Tide in the fifth, a two-run homer to stretch the lead to 5-0.
LIU threatened in the top of the sixth, putting runners on the corners with two outs before a groundout ended the threat. The Sharks got the leadoff on in the top of the seventh before three straight outs ended the game and preserved the shutout.
Shipman and Kristen White led the offense with 2-for-3 days at the plate, tying a season high for White and extending Shipman's current hitting streak to five games. Ashley Prange went 1-for-2 with a double and a walk, now owning a 13-game reached base streak.
Jaala Torrence (7-2) threw a complete-game shutout in the circle, just her second career 7.0 inning game, holding the Sharks to just four hits with no walks.
From Head Coach Patrick Murphy
"There are three keys to winning in postseason softball. You need a good start from your pitcher to give you a chance to win, and Jaala [Torrence] was great tonight. You need strong team defense and we made some plays out there with [Larissa] Preuitt, [Kenleigh] Cahalan and [Ashley] Prange. Thirdly, you need the key hit. It was nice to score in the first inning with two outs, we've been harping on that for months. Three of the five runs came with two outs. That was a good opening round win."
- Alabama improves to 66-11 all-time in NCAA Regional play and has won every opening round game since 2008.
- The shutout win was the Tide's 28th all-time in regional play Alabama is 33-9 this season when scoring first and 20-6 when scoring in first inning.
- The game was the Tide's 12 multi-home run game of the season.
- The complete-game effort was Jaala Torrence's second career seven-inning game and her fifth solo shutout.
- Heivilin's home run was her seventh of the season, Shipman her fifth.
- Shipman's 2-for-3 day extended her current hitting streak to five games.
- Ashley Prange has now reached base safely in 13 straight games, going 1-for-2 with a double and a walk Friday.
B1 | Bailey Dowling drove in Ashley Prange from second with an RBI single to left (1-0, Alabama)
B2 | Kali Heivilin hit a towering two-run home run to left field (3-0, Alabama)
B5 | Ally Shipman smacked a two-run home run to left (5-0, Alabama)
With the win Alabama (41-18) advances to Saturday's winners bracket game against Middle Tennessee at 12 p.m. CT while LIU (32-25) will play Central Arkansas in an elimination game at 2:30 p.m. CT. The loser of Saturday's first game will play the winner of the second game in another elimination game at 5 p.m. CT.