Alabama softball scored early and often Tuesday night against Samford, as a pair of home runs in the first two innings gave the Crimson Tide a sizeable lead in the eventual 8-1 road victory.

Alabama (38-11) scored eight runs on eight hits, with six coming off a pair of three-run home runs by Reagan Dykes and Bailey Hemphill. Hemphill was 2-3 batting third in the order, as were Elissa Brown and Chandler Dare in the one and two spots, giving the top three in the order a combined 6-9 day at the plate with six runs scored. Madi Moore (6-1) earned the complete-game win in the circle, holding Samford (21-30) to just one run on two hits.

Brown led off the top of the first with a four-pitch walk before stealing second and then advancing to third on a sacrifice bunt. Hemphill drove her in with an RBI single to left field and a walk to Peyton Grantham put two on base. After a quick meeting in the circle, a groundout went for out number two before Dykes brought everyone home with a towering home run to left field, swelling the early lead to 4-0.

A pair of singles in the top of the second by Brown and Dare set up Hemphill for a towering three-run home run to extend the Tide’s lead to 7-0. Samford tallied its first hit of the day in the bottom of the third, a one-out single by Kathryn Jackson, and a fielding error allowed the following batter to reach base safely and put two on base for the Bulldogs. A fly ball to left and a popup to third ended the threat as Alabama held on to its 7-0 lead.

Alabama could not increase its lead in the top of the fifth, leaving one on base as it remained a seven-run game. In the bottom half of the inning, Samford’s Lexie Higgins erased the shutout with an RBI double into right field to make it a 7-1 game. With two out in the top of the sixth, Brown singled up the middle, stole second and advanced to third on a single by Dare and an errant throw allowed Brown to move up 60 additional feet to score, stretching Alabama’s lead to 8-1.

With the score the same in the bottom of the seventh, Samford drew a leadoff walk but a heads-up 1-3 lineout double play quickly brought the Bulldogs down to its final out and a popup ended the game as Alabama held on to win, 8-1.

Next up, Alabama continues SEC play with a three-game series against No. 20/21 Ole Miss (31-16, 6-12 SEC) in Oxford, Miss., starting Saturday, April 29 at 2 p.m. CT. Sunday and Monday’s contests, both scheduled for 6 p.m. CT starts, will air live on the SEC Network.

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