TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Western Illinois softball was swept in opening day play of the Bama Bash Friday (Feb. 22). The squad fell 2-1 in extra innings to Winthrop and was defeated 21-0 by No. 1/2 Alabama in the afternoon.
Game #1 Friday, Feb. 22 at 11 a.m.
Winthrop 2, Western Illinois 1
An extra inning was needed to decide the victor in the opening game of the Bama Bash tournament between Western Illinois and Winthrop on Friday (Feb. 22).
After seven innings of scoreless ball, in which the Leathernecks stranded nine and the Eagles left five on base, the international tie rule was put in effect. Briana Williams began the top of the eighth at second base with no outs and was moved up to third via the Lia Romeo sacrifice bunt. Monica Rondon singled to right field to plate Williams and give Western a 1-0 lead. Alex Pflieger followed it up with an infield single, marking her first hit of the 2013 season, but the inning was ended with a double play.
In the bottom half of the inning, Winthrop started its at bats with a runner at second and put another on base with a single. Starting pitcher Kelsey Michelini fired back with a strikeout, but the Eagles used a trio of singles to tie and ultimately win the pitchers' duel 2-1 on a walk off hit to right field.
The Leathernecks stranded a total of 11 baserunners in the contest, including two bases loaded, one-out opportunities in the fifth and the eighth innings that ended with double play balls.
The loss brings Western to an overall record of 2-1, while Winthrop moves to 3-4. Michelini was tagged with the loss in the circle evening her record 1-1 on the young season. She notched four strikeouts and allowed two runs, one earned, in her 7.1 innings of work.
Teagan Walsh led the Leathernecks offensively with a 2-for-4 performance at the plate. It marks her second multiple hit game of the season, the first occurring against Belmont on Feb. 9. Emma Jarrell, Sammy Marshall and Rondon each recorded one hit apiece.
Stealing her first base of the season in a pinch running situation was freshman Julie Mayernich and Williams added a steal of her own, bringing her season total up to three.
Game #2 Friday, Feb. 22 at 4 p.m.
Alabama 21, Western Illinois 0
No. 1/2 ranked Alabama established a dominant first inning lead and never faltered notching a 21-0, five inning win on Friday (Feb. 22) afternoon over the Leathernecks. The loss evens Western's record 2-2 and moves the Crimson Tide to a 12-0 mark on the season.
A pair of three-run home runs and a two-run home run spurred on a 9-0 Alabama scoring drive in the top of the first and chased starting pitcher Kacyee Hart from the mound early. Kelsey Michelini came in to close the inning out.
In the bottom half of the first, Briana Williams picked up the first hit of the game for Western with a single left. She moved in to scoring position with her fourth stolen base of the 2013 season, but was stranded there.
The Crimson Tide added four more runs on four hits in the second, but were held at bay in the third and fourth as the Leatherneck defense retired six in a row.
In the bottom of the third, Western had its second runner in scoring position as Sammy Marshall recorded a one-out single and moved to second on an errant throw. A groundout would move her up to third where she would remain as a strikeout put the inning in the books.
In the fifth, Alabama heated back up scoring eight runs on five hits and two errors, then retired the Leathernecks in order to solidify the five inning, run rule victory.
Hart was tagged with the loss bringing her record to 1-1 on the season. She pitched 1.1 innings, while Michelini tossed the remaining 3.2 innings. Fourteen of the 21 runs scored were earned as Western committed four errors.
Williams and Marshall each picked up a hit apiece going 1-for-2 and 1-for-3 at the plate, respectively.
The Leathernecks are back on the dirt on Saturday (Feb. 23) as they have rematch opportunities against both Alabama and Winthrop. Western will face the Crimson Tide at 4 p.m. and the Eagles at 6 p.m.