Senior Alisa Goler hit two home runs on Sunday.
March 20, 2011
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The No. 2-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide held off No. 1 Georgia on Sunday to post an 9-5 victory and complete a series sweep of the Bulldogs at Rhoads Stadium in front of a crowd of 3,089.
With the Southeastern Conference series sweep, Alabama improved to 29-1 overall and 5-0 in league play while Georgia dropped to 23-4 on the year and 5-3 in conference action.
Alabama earned Sunday's victory despite Georgia senior Alisa Goler's 3-for-4 performance from the plate that included two home runs and three RBI and saw her match the school record for total bases in a game with 10. It also marked the seventh time Goler had homered twice in a game, it raised her season home run total to a team-best eight and it makes her the first Bulldog to reach 50 career home runs.
Goler's first RBI came in the opening inning on a double down the left field line to score junior Ashley Pauly, who reached on a fielding error.
The Crimson Tide quickly erased Georgia's only lead of the weekend in the bottom of the first on a grand slam from Jackie Traina. The bases became full of Alabama players on a leadoff double from Kayla Braud and a pair of walks to Whitney Larson and Cassie Reilly-Boccia.
The Bulldogs bounced back to tie the game 4-4 by the third inning. In the second, junior Kristyn Sandberg leadoff of with an infield single and two wild pitches from Alabama starter Kelsi Dunne later in the inning allowed pinch runner Maya Branch to score a run. In the third, Goler leadoff with the first of her two home runs by taking the ball out of the park in straight-away center. Later in that frame, Sandberg added a two-out solo home run, also to center. It was the fourth home run of the year for Sandberg.
In the fourth, Alabama regained the momentum and built its advantage to three runs at 7-4. Jazlyn Lunceford hit a one-out, solo home run while Jennifer Fenton added an RBI single and eventually scored a run of her own on a Georgia throwing error.
Goler's second home run of the game then came with one out in the fifth to pull Georgia back to within two at 7-5, and the long ball ended the game for Dunne. It marked the first time Dunne has not pitched a complete game this season when getting the start as she had gone the distance in all 12 of her starts prior to Sunday. Despite turning the game over to Traina in relief, Dunne earned the win to improve to 13-1 on the year.
In the bottom of the fifth, Alabama added two more runs to its advantage to stretch the score to 9-5. Traina leadoff with a double and Keima Davis entered as a pinch runner, and Courtney Conley followed by providing an RBI single to center. The Crimson Tide then proceeded to load the bases and pick up a run on a groundout from Braud.
With the lead built back to four runs, Traina worked the rest of the game from the circle for the Crimson Tide to earn her first save of the season.
Georgia utilized four pitchers in the contest. Senior starter Sarah McCloud gave way to sophomore Alison Owen in the first, and Owen pitched into fourth before Georgia turned to junior Erin Arevalo. Arevalo would only go two-third of an inning surrendering three runs, two of which were earned, and take the loss to fall to 1-1. Freshman Morgan Montemayor relieved Arevalo in the fifth worked the remainder of the game for the Bulldogs.
Up next, Georgia makes a brief return home to play a single game against USC Update on Wednesday before returning to the road for a three-game SEC series at Florida, March 25-27.