March 18, 2011
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - In a game that witnessed the nation's top-ranked programs match their ranking on the scoreboard, No. 2 Alabama edged No. 1 Georgia, 2-1, on Friday night at Rhoads Stadium in front of 2,922.
Touted to be a potentially high-scoring affair, Friday night's Southeastern Conference series opener between the Crimson Tide (27-1, 3-0 SEC) and Bulldogs (23-2, 5-1 SEC) wound up being a pitcher's duel to the very end.
Kelsi Dunne (12-1) earned the victory after carrying a no hitter into the sixth inning en route to limiting the Bulldogs to one run on two hits while striking out 11.
Dunne recorded a strikeout of the first batter of each of the first six innings and was pitching a perfect game until senior Laura Trout drew a one-out walk in the sixth. As that inning continued, senior Taylor Schlopy drew a two-out walk to bring senior Megan Wiggins to the plate. Wiggins then broke up the no-hit bid with a RBI single to right. The Bulldogs preceded to the load the bases but were unable to scratch across the tying run.
Opposite of Dunne in the circle, Georgia sophomore Alison Owen (8-1) also worked a complete game surrendering just two Crimson Tide runs on four hits while striking out eight. Alabama scored its first run in the third when Courtney Conley drew a leadoff walk and came around to score on an RBI double from Jennifer Fenton. In the fifth, Conley drove in what proved to be the game-winning run on a one-out, solo home run to left.
Georgia and Alabama return to Rhoads Stadium for game two in the three-game series on Saturday. First pitch is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET and the contest will air live on ESPNU with Mark Neely calling the play-by-play and Michele Smith providing color analysis. Live stats will also be available through www.rolltide.com.