CLEARWATER, Fla. – Alabama split its two games Friday at the St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational, posting a 9-1 run rule victory over South Florida before falling to second-ranked UCLA, 7-0.
Alabama (4-3) and USF (0-6) played a tightly-contested three innings to start the day before a three-run home run from junior Kaylee Tow kickstarted the Crimson Tide offense in the fourth, eventually scoring five runs and then three more in the fifth to complete the run-rule victory.
In the day’s second game against No. 2 UCLA (6-0), the Bruins built an early four-run lead after two innings and sophomore Megan Faraimo limited Alabama to just two hits, taking a no-hitter into the sixth inning in the 7-0 decision.
“I was really pleased by the bounce-back of Sarah Cornell against USF,” Alabama coach Patrick Murphy said. “She kept us in the game until Tow gave us some breathing room with her home run. We gave UCLA too many free opportunities early on and they took advantage of them. Whoever wins the battle of free passes usually comes away with the win.”
Six of Alabama’s seven walks drawn came with two out vs. USF
After hitting just one home run on opening weekend, the Tide has hit one in three of its four games at the St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational, each coming from a different player.
Senior Alexis Mack had a season-best three hits against the Bulls, giving her at least one hit in five of her eight games played at Alabama.
Of her 68 pitches thrown against USF, senior Cornell threw 46 strikes with just 22 balls.
Freshman Savannah Woodard broke up UCLA’s no-hit bid with a sixth-inning single, giving her at least one hit in six of her eight games this season including a streak of three straight.