By (Kelly Ward)

It was instinct for junior centerfielder Haylie McCleney to catch a fly ball in full stride in left field. It was smart for sophomore left fielder Chandler Dare to get out of the way.

Plays like this are routine for the All-American outfielder. She makes makes plays on balls that ordinarily are doubles like the one in No. 6 Alabama softball’s 11-1 win over Washington.

“Maybe in another park, not in ours,” McCleney said.

Multiple home runs in a game aren’t routine for McCleney, who came into the weekend with three home runs on the season. Four home runs in a weekend isn’t ordinary.

“I would be lying if I told you I wasn’t seeing it big,” McCleney said. “But again, it’s just a testament to the hard work we put in every single week to prepare for what team we’re going to face that weekend.”

Alabama hit nine home runs over the weekend after coming in with 49, which was third among Tuscaloosa Regional teams. The Crimson Tide hit four in Sunday’s game alone. McCleney hit two, senior catcher Chaunsey Bell hit a three-run home run and senior designated player Danielle Richard hit a two-run shot in the seventh.

Bell went 3-for-3 with the home run and two singles. She hit a sac fly in the seventh. She hit .625 (5-for-8) over the weekend.

“As Murph [Alabama coach Patrick Murphy] says, it’s not about getting the hit, it’s about hitting it hard every single time and the rest will take care of itself if you can hit it hard every time,” Bell said. “I just go up there trying to hit it hard.”

Freshman right-hander Alexis Osorio (19-7, 1.52 ERA) worked seven innings. She allowed two hits, walked one and struck out five. Washington’s lone run was unearned.

“Lexi was on today again,” Murphy said. “It’s just really tough to beat her when she’s on.”

Alabama gave up five hits all weekend in the regional sweep. The Crimson Tide (45-12) will host the winner of the Norman Regional in the Tuscaloosa Super Regional later.

Source:: The Crimson White Sports