Alabama softball’s hot hitting over the last week carried into game one of the weekend series against Texas A&M Friday night, with the Crimson Tide needing just 6.0 innings to dispatch the Aggies, 13-3.

Alabama (32-0, 4-0 SEC) scored in five of the six innings it came to bat against Texas A&M (17-12, 1-6 SEC), including home runs from senior Merris Schroder, freshman Skylar Wallace and juniors Bailey Hemphill and Claire Jenkins. Hemphill’s home run pushes her season total to a team-leading 14 while Jenkins now has a home run in all four SEC games. Alabama has hit four or more home runs in three of its last eight games.

Every hitter in the Tide’s starting lineup got a hit and scored a run, with two-hit performances from sophomore KB Sides and Maddie Morgan. Sophomore Kaylee Tow earned a hit and drew two walks, extending her reached-base streak to 13 games. In the circle, freshman Montana Fouts (12-0) held the Aggies hitless through 3.1 innings, earning the win with 10 strikeouts over 5.0 innings pitched.

Tow and Sides led off the top of the first with a walk and infield single, setting up junior Bailey Hemphill for a towering three-run home run to give Alabama the early 3-0 lead. In the top of the second, Wallace and junior Elissa Brown were in scoring position with one out as it turned back to the top of the order. Tow poked a single over the second baseman’s head, scoring both to stretch the lead to 5-0.

In the top of the third inning, Jenkins pulled a high fly ball down the left field line, clearing the fence just to the right of the foul pole for a solo home run to make it a 6-0 game. With two on and one out, Texas A&M made a pitching change and the Tide eventually loaded the bases with two out but a force out got the Aggies out of the jam though Alabama now led by six.

With a runner on base and one out in the bottom of the fourth, Texas A&M sophomore Dani Elder broke up Fouts’ no-hit bid with a single through the left side. A walk would load the bases before an RBI groundout scratched a run across, erasing the shutout. A strikeout stranded a pair in scoring position, limiting the damage to one run as Alabama took a 6-1 lead to the fifth.

The Tide wasted no time responding in the top of the fifth, with Schroder blasting a solo home run to right field on the first pitch to make it 7-1. Later in the inning with one out, Morgan dropped a ball into shallow center that got past the diving outfielder, allowing her to hustle all the way to third on a triple. She came home on a sacrifice fly from Wallace to increase the lead to 8-1.

The Aggies led off the home half of the fifth with a single and a double, scoring a run to cut the Tide’s lead to 8-2. Fouts bounced back with three-straight swinging strikeouts to end the inning. In the top of the sixth, a pair of walks and a single loaded the bases for Alabama with one out and Morgan dropped a single into shallow right, driving in two as the Tide took an eight-run lead. Wallace added some insurance in the next at-bat with a three-run home run to make it 13-2.

Texas A&M didn’t go out quietly in the bottom of the sixth, staring off the half-inning with a solo home run. The Aggies would put two more on base but could not rally, ultimately losing 13-3 in six innings.

The series continues Saturday, March 23 with first pitch set for 2 p.m. CT.

For the latest information on the team, follow @AlabamaSB on Twitter, BamaSB on Instagram and Alabama Softball on Facebook. General athletic news can also be found at UA_Athletics on Twitter and Instagram and AlabamaAthletics on Facebook.

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