A stout defense and solid pitching led No. 3 Alabama to its first SEC series victory of the season, defeating No. 8 Kentucky 3-2, in Rhoads Stadium on Saturday.

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“Any time you can get a series win… it’s huge,” said Alabama head coach Patrick Murphy. “You’ve got to protect your home turf.”

The Wildcats jumped on the board in the top of the first inning as Lauren Johnson hit a solo shot out to right center field, putting the Wildcats up early 1-0.

The Tide responded in the bottom of the first as Jenna Johnson earned a leadoff single and Ashley Prange followed that up with a home-run of her own to center field, putting the Tide in front 2-1.

Alabama saw a chance to add to its lead in the bottom of the fifth as the bases were loaded with no outs. Jenna Johnson hit a sacrifice fly out to left field scoring Jordan Stephens to put the Tide up 3-1, but that is all that the Crimson Tide would get in the frame.

The Wildcats responded in the top of the sixth with a sacrifice groundout, cutting the lead to 3-2, but Lexi Kilfoyl responded with her seventh strike out of the day, tying her season-high.

A walk in the top of the seventh was all that the Wildcats would get as Kilfoyl retired the final batters, securing the 3-2 victory.

Kilfoyl earned her fifth complete game and now improves to 4-2 on the season.

“Kentucky has been one of the hardest teams that we’ve ever played… you really have to be locked in mentally and physically so [this series win is] definitely a confidence booster,” said Kilfoyl.

The Tide looks to complete the series sweep on Sunday.

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