TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – After scoring the game’s first run on Kellsi Kloss’ seventh home run of the season in the second inning, the seventh-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide scored nine unanswered runs in three of the next four innings, including a five-run sixth on the back of three home runs, to defeat the LSU softball team 9-1 in six innings in the series opener Friday at Rhoads Stadium in Tuscaloosa.
LSU (19-13, 2-5 SEC) was held to just four hits on the day, as Alabama (29-6, 9-1) pounded out all nine runs on 10 hits, closing out the game in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI single to right center with just one out on the board and a runner on base in the inning.
Starter Baylee Corbello suffered the loss and fell to 9-5 on the season after giving up nine runs, eight earned, with six strikeouts and seven walks in five innings. Kelsee Selman came in relief in the sixth inning and got the first out, but allowed two hits in her 0.1 innings of work as she faced just three batters.
The top four hitters for the Crimson Tide came through for Alabama as three of the four finished with two hits led by Jadyn Spencer who went 2-for-3 with three RBI and two runs scored, as she, along with Haylie McCleney and Kaila Hunt had the home runs for the Crimson Tide in the sixth. Hunt had a two run shot for her two RBI and scored once, while McCleney had an RBI and two runs scored.
Outside of the home run by Kloss, Alabama’s Jaclyn Traina earned the complete-game victory after striking out five and walking none on just 88 pitches. Traina improved to 12-2 on the season, as she retired 11-of-13 batters from the third inning on, getting some solid play out of the defense as well.
After going down in order in the opening frame, the Tigers had one out in the second with no score between the two. With a 2-2 count, Kloss roped one high in the air that looked foul dancing down the line and stayed fair, clearing the fence for the solo shot to put LSU up 1-0 on the only run and hit of the inning for the squad.
In the bottom of the third, Corbello got her third strikeout of the game to open the inning, but a hit batter, walk and infield single loaded the bases for the Crimson Tide as the Tigers were still up 1-0 and looking to maintain its lead. A hard liner to Tammy Wray at third put Alabama on the brink, but a single up the middle plated two runs and put the Crimson Tide up 2-1, as Falcon made a diving stop at second for the third and final out of the frame.
With a slim, one-run lead over the Tigers, Alabama came back in the bottom of the fifth and led off with a single and the Crimson Tide would go on to score two runs as an error at short allowed a run to cross, with another run scoring via a bases loaded walk to put Alabama up 4-1 after five.
McCleney homered to open the sixth for Alabama, as a walk put one on before Hunt drilled one over the fence to make it 7-1. Spencer made it back-to-back shots to make it 8-1, as Selman came on in relief after a walk. A shot that bounced off of the plate and stayed fair allowed Kloss to throw out the batter at first, with the runner advancing to second. A single put runners at the corners, with another to short right center plating the run and ending the game.
First pitch for game two of the series against Alabama is set for 2 p.m. at Rhoads Stadium in Tuscaloosa.