Alabama Athletics

Alabama improves to 4-0 with its victories in season-opening tournament

Sydney Littlejohn had one-hit shutout for Alabama

Alabama has just begun its softball season, but the Crimson Tide has looked to be in midseason form in the Kickin’ Chicken Classic in Conway, S.C., with wins in its first four games.
After earning two wins on opening day, Alabama added another pair on day two of the Kickin’ Chicken Classic Saturday, coming back to defeat Towson, 4-2, before shutting out Youngstown State, 7-0.
Alabama trailed early against Towson (1-2) but managed to score three unanswered runs down the stretch to win, 4-2. Alabama pitcher Sydney Littlejohn took a no-hitter into the fifth inning against Youngstown State (0-3) and finished with a one-hit, 10-strikeout complete game shutout.
Offensively, junior Peyton Grantham continued her hot weekend with a 4-7 day at the plate in the two games while Merris Schroder and Elissa Brown delivered three hits each, including a team-leading three runs batted in for Schroder.
All three Tide pitchers — Madi Moore and Alexis Osorio in the first game and Littlejohn in the second — saw time in the circle on Saturday, combining to allow just two runs and four walks in 14 innings with 17 strikeouts.
 Alabama concludes its weekend at the Kickin’ Chicken Classic on Sunday facing tournament host Coastal Carolina at 11 a.m. CST.
Game one Saturday against Towson was nothing like the 17-0 Bama romp of the Tigers on Friday. The Tide trailed 2-1 in the third inning before coming back to take the 4-2 win.
Brown and Grantham each had two hits with Brown scoring two of the teams four runs. Madi Moore went 2 1/3 innings in the start before Alexis Osorio (2-0) entered in relief, earning the win with 4 2/3 perfect innings. In her two appearances, Osorio (who had a perfect game Friday) has not allowed a baserunner over 11 2/3 innings pitched and has 25 strikeouts.
Alabama tallied the first run of the day in the top of the first on a double steal, with Brown charging home from third to make it 1-0. Towson tied it up at 1-1 in the bottom of the second with a solo home run by Brook Miko and then took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the third on an RBI single by Madison Wilson. With two on and one out following the RBI single, Osorio entered in relief for the Tide and got out of the jam with a strikeout and popup to end the inning trailing 2-1.
The Tide looked to threaten in the top of the fifth, loading the bases with two out. Sydney Booker was hit by a pitch to bring the tying run home and Schroder roped an RBI single to center field on the first pitch of her at-bat to give Alabama a 3-2 lead. The trailing runner was tagged out on the play to end the half-inning, but the Tide was now back in front.
Grantham extended the Tide’s lead with an RBI single in the sixth to make it 4-2 and Osorio and the Alabama defense kept the Tigers off the base paths for the remainder of the game, clinching the 4-2 comeback victory for Alabama.
In the second game, Littlejohn made it relatively easy. The only hit she allowed was a two-out bunt single in the fifth inning.
Grantham, Schroder and Claire Jenkins each had a pair of hits with the latter two accounting for four of the team’s six RBIs.
With a runner on first and two out in the bottom of the first, Marisa Runyon dropped a single into shallow left field. An errant throw allowed Grantham to score from first to give the Tide a 1-0 lead on the unearned run. Jenkins doubled the Tide’s lead in the second with an RBI single, her first career hit, to make it 2-0.
Alabama did the majority of its damage in the bottom of the third, scoring four runs. An RBI double by Bailey Hemphill scored one and put two in scoring position before Schroder brought them home with a two-run triple to the wall in right field, making it 5-0. Jenkins drove in her second run on an infield single to score Schroder and make it 6-0.
The Tide added a seventh run in the fourth inning on an RBI groundout by Grantham but could not reach the eight-run lead that would set them up for a potential run-rule victory. Littlejohn surrendered her first hit of the day with two out in the top of the fifth on a bunt single, but only allowed one more baserunner down the stretch as the Tide held on to win, 7-0.


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