Last week Alabama’s Sydney Littlejohn was the Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Week and Crimson Tide catcher Reagan Dykes was SEC Freshman of the Week. Those honorees started this week’s series against Mississippi State just like they left off the series win over Florida last weekend.
Sydney Littlejohn (15-2) earned her sixth consecutive SEC win against no losses with a complete game effort, and Reagan Dykes drove in five runs as Bama started the three-game series with a 7-1 victory over Mississippi State at Rhoads Stadium Friday night.
Fourth-ranked Alabama (33-7, 6-4 SEC) scored three runs in the first inning and four more in the second and held Mississippi State (21-16, 2-8 SEC) scoreless until the final inning. Dykes drove in five of the team’s seven runs, a career-high for the freshman, on two hits. Haylie McCleney set the table with a 2-4 performance batting leadoff, while Andrea Hawkins and Kallie Case helped had multi-hit games in the bottom of the order.
Littlejohn allowed the Bulldogs just seven hits and did not walk a batter.
“Sydney did a great job in the circle tonight,” Coach Patrick Murphy said. “Mississippi State hit one ball hard, the double in the gap, but other than that I think she controlled them. She made the right pitches when she needed to. It was a lot of swings-and-misses and mis-hits. She pitched well enough to win.”
Bulldogs starter Alexis Silkwood (1-5) was chased after 2 1/3 innings having allowed seven runs, four earned. Cassady Knudsen threw 3 2/3 scoreless innings in relief. Calyn Adams had two hits in three at-bats for the Dogs.
McCleney led off the bottom of the first with a double in the gap. After two outs, a fielding error kept the inning alive and, after a walk to load the bases, Dykes delivered a two-run single up the middle. An RBI single by Hawkins would tack on another unearned run to push the Tide on top, 3-0.
With runners at the corners in the bottom of the second, Alabama attempted a double steal and the MSU catcher was called for interference, allowing a run. Back-to-back walks loaded the bases for Dykes, who produced a hard-hit double to the left field wall and cleared the bases for a 7-0 lead.
Mississippi State avoided the shutout in the top of the seventh, scoring on an RBI groundout.
Alabama continues its series against Mississippi State at 2 p.m. CDT Saturday.