Although one might not have known it from Sunday’s final result, Alabama softball started the Southeastern Conference portion of its season with a good match, playing at LSU. The Tigers exploded for five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and made it look easier than it was with an 8-1 win Sunday to take the series two games to one.
The teams went to Sunday’s game with the same record and matched in the national polls. Alabama fell to 22-4 and, of course, 1-2 in SEC games, while LSU improved to 23-3 and 2-1.
Next up, Alabama will get a break from conference play and will travel to Fullerton, Calif., for the Easton Tournament. The Tide will play five games in three days beginning Thursday against tournament host Cal State Fullerton at 7:30 p.m. CDT.
The Crimson Tide fell behind by 3-0 before breaking through with a single run in the third inning on a double by Marisa Runyon. Bama would finish with only four hits – one each by Runyon, Leona Lafaele, Sydney Booker, and Andrea Hawkins.
Alexis Osorio (7-2) struggled with control early but settled in during the middle innings before the five-run sixth inning ended her outing. In the loss, she allowed eight runs, seven earned, on 10 hits with a season-high four walks. LSU starter Carley Hoover (10-0) went the distance in the win, striking out eight .
The Tigers were led by Bianka Bell who went 2-3 including a solo homer in the sixth inning.
A base hit and two walks loaded the bases for LSU in the bottom of the first. A diving stop in the hole limited a base hit to an infield single, scoring one, but an errant throw on a force out attempt at third on the play let a second run in.
In the second the Tigers got a two-out single to drive in a third run.
With Haylie McCleney at second base in the third, Runyon drove her in with a double to the wall in left center.
It went to the sixth still 3-1 when the Tigers scored five runs, including getting home runs from Bell and Kellsi Kloss.