HONOLULU, Hawaii – Alabama softball secured a program-record 28-0 start with a pair of wins Thursday at the Rainbow Wahine Classic, defeating Niagara, 9-3, and SIUE, 8-3.

Alabama’s 28-0 start is a program record, beating the previous best of 27-0 set in 2001. The Crimson Tide tied the record with a win over Niagara (0-10) in the day’s opener before downing SIUE (8-9) in the nightcap.

A big second inning gave Alabama plenty of cushion in its eventual six-run victory over Niagara. The Tide put up a seven-spot in the bottom of the second, highlighted by a grand slam from junior Bailey Hemphill, part of a 2-for-3 day at the plate. Sophomore Kaylee Tow also had a pair of hits at the leadoff position, including a fifth-inning solo home run. Sophomore Madison Preston threw 3.1 innings in the start but junior Krystal Goodman (5-0) ultimately picked up the win with 3.2 shutout relief innings behind her.

An early 2-0 lead for Alabama was erased when SIUE tied it up in the bottom of the fourth. The Tide responded immediately in the top of the fifth, taking a two-run lead before the Cougars cut it to one with a solo home run in the sixth. Alabama added some key insurance in the top of the seventh, scoring four to bring the tally to its eventual final of 8-3. Batting back-to-back in the middle of the order, Schroder and senior Reagan Dykes each earned a pair of hits and drove in two RBIs, including a two-run home run from Dykes in the seventh. Senior Courtney Gettins (3-0) threw 5.0 innings to earn the win while freshman Montana Fouts pitched 2.0 shutout relief innings for her third save.

Alabama continues play in Hawaii with a pair of games Friday, facing Niagara at 8:30 p.m. CT and Hawaii at 11 p.m. CT

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