TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – No. 14 Alabama hosted Ole Miss this weekend for a three-game series and came away with its first SEC series sweep of the season. After a statement shut-out win on Friday, the Tide continued to press on with back-to-back 5-1 victories on Saturday and Sunday.

“When you can hold a team to two runs across three games, it says a lot about your pitching. I don’t care what team you’re playing against, it’s a feat to get three wins in the SEC over a weekend,” said Alabama head coach Patrick Murphy.

This weekend, Alabama improved to 29-8 on the season and got back to .500 in conference play with an even 6-6 record. This was the first SEC series victory of the season for the Tide after dropping three in a row to Florida, Georgia and Kentucky.

The pitching was the strength for the Tide all weekend long with dominant starts from Kayla Beaver, in games one and three, and Jocelyn Briski in Game 2. After Beaver’s complete game shutout in Game 1, Briski responded in Game 2 by tossing a complete game of her own.

“Kudos to Lance McMahon and all our pitchers and catchers. Riley Valentine did a great job this weekend, especially since it’s the first time she’s caught all three games in a series,” said coach Murphy.

Alabama showed its ability to score quickly in Game 2 with four runs in the first inning to give Briski a nice cushion. Kali Heivilin scratched across a base hit with the bases loaded to bring in the first run. Then, Abby Duchscherer grounded out, bringing home two more runs on a Rebel defensive miscue. Lauren Johnson, a day after being removed due to a knee injury, drew a bases-loaded walk to extend the Tide lead to four.

One inning later, Bailey Dowling got the Tide back on the board with an RBI single to right, driving in Jenna Johnson. Dowling went 2-for-3 at the plate on Saturday, picking up her fifth multi-hit game of the season.

The only other run of the game came by way of an RBI single up the middle for Ole Miss. Jocelyn Briski was nails in the circle all game long. The freshman’s final line was: 7 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K.

Game 3 ended up being very similar to Game 2. Strong early offense capped by excellent pitching. Kendal Clark set the tone in the second inning with a monster three-run homer off the top of the scoreboard to put the Tide out in front. “Kendal got after that pitch for the home run. She told everyone in the dugout she was going for that first pitch and she almost cleared the scoreboard,” said coach Murphy.

One inning later, Kali Heivilin picked up her second RBI single in as many days. Then, Emma Broadfoot put the nail in the coffin with a loud solo shot to left, her third of the year.

“She has been making tremendous strides in practice and she is one of our best changeup hitters. We knew Ole Miss likes to throw a lot of those and we felt like we had a good game plan coming in,” said coach Murphy.

The Rebels were able to scratch across a run in the 6th off a run-scoring double to the gap in left-center. However, the Kayla Beaver-Alea Johnson combination worked again for the Tide as they closed off the sweep with relative ease. With this win, Beaver recorded her 13th win of the year and Alea Johnson collected her third save.

NEXT: The Crimson Tide is set for a non-conference midweek matchup Tuesday in Birmingham against the Samford Bulldogs before SEC play resumes against Texas A&M on Saturday.