When a team goes on the road and takes two out of three games from the nation’s number-one ranked softball team, it gets attention. Alabama did that in Gainesville over the weekend, taking two of three low-scoring games from the Florida Gators.
While that was a great team achievement, the Southeastern Conference doesn’t recognize a “Team of the Week.” It does, however, cite the Player of the Week, Pitcher of the Week, and Freshman of the Week. Just as Alabama took two of three from Florida, the Crimson Tide landed two of the three SEC awards.
Junior Sydney Littlejohn was Pitcher of the Week and catcher Reagan Dykes was Freshman of the Week for their Bama performances.
This is Littlejohn’s first SEC Pitcher of the Week award this season and the third of her career. She earned the honor twice last season following a pair of perfect games.
She went 3-0 last week in three starts, earning a win over No. 15 Missouri and two wins over No. 1 Florida. Her victory last Monday over the Tigers clinched the series for the Tide. She held the potent Missouri offense to just two runs on four hits in the five-inning victory.
In two starts against the top-ranked Gators in Gainesville, she allowed just one run on seven hits over 13 1/3 innings, including just one extra-base hit. She handed Florida its first home loss of the season on Friday and its first SEC series loss in nearly two years. Sunday’s 3-0 shutout in the series rubber match marked the first time Florida had been shut out in Gainesville since former Tide pitcher Jaclyn Traina did so on March 23, 2014.
This is Dykes' first weekly conference honor and the first SEC Freshman of the Week honoree of the season for Alabama. She collected a hit in all four of last week’s games, including a pair of home runs, first on Monday against Missouri and then again on Saturday against Florida. This raised her team-leading season total to nine, the most home runs hit by a Tide freshman since Traina (13) and Kaila Hunt (10) in 2011. She was also sharp defensively, throwing out two would-be base stealers in the Florida series.
Alabama now has three weekly SEC awards so far this season, following Alexis Osorio being named Pitcher of the Week on Feb. 29 following a three-win weekend at the Easton Bama Bash.
Alabama is now 31-7 on the season, including a 5-4 mark in SEC games.