COLLEGE SOFTBALL

Sides rejoins No. 4 Tide after injury

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Alabama's KB Sides made a big return after a long break from injury and contributed in the Crimson Tide's three-game sweep of the Auburn Tigers to open SEC play.

The former Sumiton Christian standout wasted little time in making an impact, singling on her first at-bat on Friday and scoring the first run of the day after being driven-in by Bailey Hemphill.

Her biggest contribution during the series came on Sunday in Alabama's 4-2, come-from-behind victory. With Auburn on top 2-0 entering the top of the fifth inning, Bailey Downing hit a three-run homerun to the Crimson Tide a 3-2 lead, then Sides delivered a clutch RBI single to drive in fellow outfielder Elissa Brown, allowing Alabama to gain an additional insurance run that held to the 4-2 final.

For the weekend series, Sides went 3 for 12 with a run scored and an RBI.

Prior to the start of the series, Alabama head coach Patrick Murphy stated his happiness in Sides' return in a pregame interview.

"When we do pregame batting practice, she's always the first in line even though she hasn't been playing as she can still hit. It shows her enthusiasm and drive," Murphy said. 

Teammate Brown also expressed her pleasure at Sides' return, describing her as a "triple threat" and saying her return would be a big addition to the lineup.

“KB has always been a spark for our team and run producer in the lineup,” Brown said. “Her experience, determination and confidence will really bring a new presence to the lineup.”

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Auburn's Horton produces against Alabama

Kaylee Horton saw significant playing time for the Auburn Tigers against the Crimson Tide as both a pinch hitter and a designated player.

In Game 1, Horton singled as a pinch hitter, one of eight hits recorded by the Tigers on the day.