All good things must come to an end, and the Alabama softball team’s 18-game winning streak was the victim of a too-little-too-late rally in the Crimson Classic Saturday.
Coach Patrick Murphy’s Crimson Tide kept to its formula of run-rule wins in the opening game Saturday against DePaul, posting a 12-4 win. In the second game, however, the Tide fell to North Dakota State, 2-1. Trailing by two, Bama loaded the bases in the seventh inning of the game, but could get only one run across.
Alabama (19-2) attempts to start a new winning streak as Bama concludes its weekend in its Crimson Classic facing Louisiana-Monroe (12-7) at Rhoads Stadium at 1:30 p.m. CST Sunday.
Alabama scored 12 runs on 14 hits in the opener against DePaul (3-11), including home runs by Reagan Dykes and Peyton Grantham. Demi Turner hit a team-leading four hits between the two games, driving in two runs and scoring twice against the Blue Demons.
Here are the game recaps:
GAME ONE: ALABAMA 12, DEPAUL 4 (5 INNINGS)
DePaul scored the first run of the game on a solo home run in the first inning, but the Tide scored five in the bottom half and remained on top, eventually defeating the Blue Demons via run rule, 12-4, in five innings.
Freshman Madi Moore (6-0) earned the win to remain undefeated while the top three in the Tide batting order went a combined 8-9 with six RBIs, as Haylie McCleney, Turner, and Grantham each posted multi-hit performances.
After the Blue Demons pulled ahead 1-0 in the top of the first, a leadoff triple by McCleney and an RBI double by Turner quickly tied it at 1-1. An RBI single by Leona Lafaele and a two-run single by Dykes stretched it to 4-1 and an infield single by Andrea Hawkins added another as the Tide headed to the second inning leading 5-1.
An RBI single by Turner in the second made it 6-1 before DePaul rallied with three in the top of the fourth to draw within three, 6-3. Alabama pulled back ahead with a huge six-run fourth inning, started on a grand slam home run by Grantham with nobody out. Alabama’s second home run came later in the inning, as Dykes hit one to straightaway center, scoring two to stretch the lead to eight runs, 12-4. That set up Alabama for the run-rule victory, as DePaul could not score in the fifth.
GAME TWO: NORTH DAKOTA STATE 2, ALABAMA 1
Alabama fell short in the second game of the day, ending its 18-game winning streak with a 2-1 loss to North Dakota State. The Bison scored two before Alabama attempted to rally in the seventh with the bases loaded, scoring one but ultimately falling short. Sydney Littlejohn (7-2) took the loss, throwing 4 2/3 innings with just two runs on five hits while Jacquelyn Sertic (6-2) posted the complete-game win for North Dakota State.
A fielding error in the third inning gave the Bison an extra at-bat, and a sacrifice fly put them on top 1-0 early. With two runners in scoring position and two out in the fifth, a single to right field scored one but the trailing runner was tagged out at home, ending the inning with the Bison on top 2-0.
Trailing 2-0 in the seventh inning, Alabama would load the bases with one out to put the potential tying runs in scoring position. Following a popup, a bases-loaded walk to Marisa Runyon drew the Tide within one, but a flyout ended the rally as Alabama fell, 2-1.