All but one of the nine batters in the Alabama (27-8) starting lineup reached base safely in the game, including four multi-hit performances. Demi Turner had her fourth straight multi-hit game, going 2-4 out of the leadoff spot with a pair of RBI. Danae Hays went 2-3 with three RBI while Chaunsey Bell drove in three on one swing, launching her third homer of the year in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Starter Sydney Littlejohn (11-1) allowed just one run, a second inning solo home run, on four hits, facing just 20 batters on 68 pitches over 5.0 innings.
Southern Miss (16-19) trailed by four runs before the big fourth inning, as they allowed eight runs off five hits and a pair of errors in the half-inning. Starter Shelbee Rodgers (4-8) was charged with nine of Alabama’s 12 runs, while reliever Danielle Block threw one inning with three runs allowed.
With runners at the corners and one away, Haylie McCleney would steal second and an error in the field would allow Chandler Dare to score from third for the Tide’s first run of the game. A single to right field by Hays would drive in McCleney to make it 2-0 and, after a passed ball advanced Hays to second, an RBI single by Marisa Runyon would make it 3-0.
With two outs in the top of the second, Mallory Stringer put Southern Miss on the board with a solo home run to left field. Alabama regained a three-run lead in the bottom of the third as Runyon hit a deep RBI double to center field to score McCleney from first.
A two-run triple by Turner in the bottom of the fourth added a pair of runs and she was later driven home on an RBI single by Chandler Dare to make it 7-1. A two-run single by Hays made it 9-1 and, after a walk, Bell cleared the bases with a towering home run to left-center, stretching the lead to 12-1.
A flyout and a strikeout finally ended the big inning, but Alabama was now just three outs away from the run-rule victory. Littlejohn made quick work of the Golden Eagles, striking out the first batter and forcing two groundouts to end the game.
This weekend, Alabama hits the road for a three-game conference series in Lexington against the No. 13 Kentucky Wildcats. Game one is at 4:30 p.m. CDT Friday, game two at 11 a.m. Saturday, and game three at 2:30 Sunday. Game two will be on ESPNU and game three on the SEC Network.