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    Softball Drops Crimson Classic Finale to Alabama, 6-0

    TUSCALOOSA, ALA. – No. 22 NC State fell to No. 5 Alabama, 6-0, in the 2007 Hampton Inn Crimson Classic championship game on Sunday, Feb. 25, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The Pack collected seven hits throughout the game, but failed to put any runs on the board. With the loss, the Pack moves to 10-5 on the year, while the Roll Tide climbs to 16-0.

    Abbie Sims struggled with her control from the circle in the bottom of the first and Alabama took advantage. Brittany Rogers walked and stole second, Jordan Praytor followed with another walk, and both runners moved up a bag on sac-bunt by Mandy Burford. Sims then loaded the bases by walking Charlotte Morgan, only to send Rogers across the plate by hitting Lauren Parker. Dani Woods then singled to center, scoring Praytor. Sims finished the inning strong, however, catching both Kellie Eubanks and Ashley Holcombe looking.

    In the top of the second Allison Presnell blooped a single into left then took second on a wild pitch. Shanna Smith followed by reaching first when Parker dropped a pop-up at second, but Presnell stayed put. Megan Dalthorp then sent another pop-up to Parker, who dropped the ball again. But Dalthorp was ruled out via the infield fly rule, and Presnell was thrown out trying to advance to third.

    Heather Gelbard drew a walk and was pushed to second on a Blair Harkey sac-bunt in the top of the third, but Jen Chamberlin grounded out to short to end the inning.

    Montalvo drew a walk to start the bottom of the fourth for the Crimson Tide, and Rogers pushed her to second with her second sac-bunt of the game. A Praytor grounder to Smith at short put Montalvo at third before she scored on a single from Burford. Burford, however, was then caught attempting to steal second when Jennifer Patterson gunned her down with a throw to Smith at the bag. The play marked the third time that Patterson had nailed attempted base stealers over the course of the weekend.

    Smith and Dalthorp placed back-to-back singles for the Pack to begin the top of the fifth before Nentwig struck out looking. Gelbard then sent a fielder’s choice to Montalvo at third, where she tagged the bag to record an out on Smith. With Harkey at the plate, Holcombe picked off Dalthorp at second with a throw to Parker from behind home plate.

    In the bottom of the fifth Morgan walked and was replaced on the base path by Mallory Benak, who quickly stole second. Parker then doubled to center, sending Benak to third. Woods followed with a sac-fly to center, scoring Benak and pushing Parker to third. Eubanks dropped a bunt in the next at-bat, reaching first and scoring Parker to put Bama up 5-0.

    The Pack threatened in the top of the sixth as Chamberlin and Sims both singled. Presnell then sent a two-out single to left, but Chamberlin was thrown out at the plate trying to score. The Roll Tide added an insurance run in the bottom of the inning, moving their lead to 6-0.

    Chrissy Owens (8-0) gave Alabama another solid performance, shutting out the Pack for the second time in three days. Sims (5-3) took the loss with seven walks, six earned runs, and two strikeouts.

    Gelbard and Shaina Ervin were both named to the 2007 Hampton Inn Crimson Classic All-Tournament Team for their performances across the three-day event.

    NC State will return to the field next Thursday, March 1, hosting Elon at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. in Raleigh, N.C. The games will be played at the Walnut Creek Softball complex



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