In the case of Alabama softball, charity began on the road in Hattiesburg, Miss., Tuesday evening. The Crimson Tide took advantage of Southern Miss errors to take a 7-1 win, despite Bama recording only four hits, but benefiting from Golden Eagles fielding errors to score five unearned runs.
Alabama’s sixth consecutive win improved the fourth-ranked Crimson Tide to 36-7, while Southern Miss fell to 20-23.
Bama freshman Reagan Dykes went 1-3 to extend her hitting streak to nine games, the longest for any Tide player this season, while Chandler Dare went 1-4 with two runs batted in to push her streak to six games. Peyton Grantham and Merris Schroder both scored twice and both had an RBI.
Alexis Osorio (11-5) threw a complete game, taking a shutout through 6 2/3 innings before the Golden Eagles brought one across on an RBI double. She struck out 10 batters, her fourth game with double-digit strikeouts. Southern Miss starter Danielle Block (5-10) was chased after three innings, though only one of the six runs she allowed was earned.
Following a leadoff walk by Caroline Hardy in the top of the second, Dykes – a native of nearly Collins, Miss. -- received a strong ovation from the crowd. She responded with a single through the left side to put two on with nobody out. Southern Miss center fielder Rachel Johnson made a running catch in shallow center for the first out in the next at-bat and then caught Hardy off the bag at second for a double play. A fielding error with two outs extended the inning and three-straight walks drove in Alabama’s first two runs of the day before Dare doubled the lead with a two-run single to make it 4-0.
Grantham led off the top of the fourth with a line-drive home run to center field to make it a 5-0 game. A walk to Schroder in the next at-bat ended Block’s outing. Later with two outs and Schroeder at second, a bobbled a ground ball allowed Schroder came in to score, making it 6-0.
Pinch-hitter Leona Lafaele clubbed a home run over the left field fence for a 7-0 lead.
The Golden Eagles broke up the shutout on a two-out double by Lauren Holifield in the bottom of the seventh.
Next up, Alabama gets back into Southeastern Conference play on the road with a three-game series against Texas A&M (31-9, 5-7 SEC) in College Station. Friday’s first game is at 6:30 p.m. CDT.