Sydney Booker drove in five runs, including three with her first Alabama home run that ended the game as the Crimson Tide softball team took a run-rule 8-0 win over Mississippi State at Rhoads Stadium Saturday.
Alabama also got the best pitching performance of the year from Alexis Osorio (9-5), who went the distance in the shutout, allowing five hits, giving up no base on balls, and striking out nine, her highest total in Southeastern Conference play this year.
“Alexis made some good pitches today,” Bama Coach Patrick Murphy said. “Every time they got a couple people on base, she would get out of it. We made a few defensive mistakes behind her, but she pitched out of them. I was really pleased. Whenever you shut out a Division-I opponent, that’s a great performance.”
The win assured Alabama of the series win against Mississippi State. The Tide will go for the sweep at 1:30 p.m. CDT Sunday.
Fourth-ranked Alabama improved to 34-7, including 7-4 in SEC games. The Bulldogs fell to 21-17 and 2-9.
Bama scored eight runs on nine hits with Chandler Dare going 3-3 and driving in two runs. Booker had a two-run single in the first inning, and then ended the game with her sixth-inning home run with two aboard coming with two out.
Mississippi State starter Holly Ward (9-5) threw all 5 2/3 innings before giving up the game-ending home run in the sixth, finishing the day with eight earned runs allowed on 130 pitches. Designated player Mackenzie Toler went 2-3 with Kayla Winkfield, Emily Heimberger and Loryn Nichols accounting for the team’s remaining three hits.
For the fourth-straight game, Alabama would get on the board in the first inning, doing so on Saturday with a two-run single by Booker with the bases loaded and two out. In the second inning, Dare battled back from an 0-2 count to draw it full and then lace a triple down the right-field line, scoring Haylie McCleney from second to stretch the lead to 3-0.
An RBI single by Dare in the fourth gave Alabama a four-run lead and another one by Reagan Dykes in the sixth made it 5-0. Needing three more runs to invoke the run rule, Booker came through with two on and two out in the inning, blasting her first home run in a Crimson Tide uniform over the fence in left field to end the game at 8-0.