No one really expected Alexis Osorio to be perfect for an entire season. After throwing a perfect game and 4 2/3 more perfect innings on the road, the Crimson Tide returned to Rhoads Stadium for the home opener and Osorio went only three innings perfect before giving up a hit and her first base runner of the year.
She also gave up a run, and Alabama was out-hit by South Alabama. But in the end, Osorio and the Crimson Tide had a 3-1 victory and fourth-ranked Bama improved its record to 6-0. South Alabama suffered its first loss and fell to 5-1.
As for Osorio, the final line looked pretty good. She gave up five hits and one run, but she also struck out 15 and improved her record to 3-0.
Although the visiting Jaguars had five hits to Bama’s four, the Tide got two early runs and some late insurance in the form of a Marisa Runyon fifth inning home run for the victory.
Alabama Coach Patrick Murphy said, “At the beginning of the year, I told the team we have to learn to win in a lot of different ways. Tonight we had to win while being out-hit.
“We had some key hits though. I thought Runyon was going to get one (homer). She hit two really hard during her first two at-bats and had a great swing. Demi Turner had a hustle-double, Peyton Grantham hit it hard, and Elissa Brown caused them to hurry with her speed and got a run all by herself.”
Alabama got off to a good start in the first inning. Turner and Grantham hit back-to-back doubles to make it 1-0.
In the bottom of the third, Brown led off the inning with an infield single before stealing second and third and coming home on an errant throw to make it 2-0.
In the top of the fourth, South Alabama’s Kaleigh Todd led off the inning with a single through the left side, the first baserunner Osorio allowed this season. KC Nichols followed with another single behind her and, two batters later, Abby Krzywiecki smacked a hard double to the wall in center, scoring one to make it 2-1 and put two in scoring position. Osorio got out of the jam with a strikeout and fly ball to left to maintain the slim lead.
Marisa Runyon got the Tide back in front by two in the fifth inning with a solo home run to left-center, her second long ball of the year.
South Alabama threated in the top of the sixth, putting two on base with one out. On a pitch in the dirt, the runner at second broke for third but a good throw by catcher Reagan Dykes to Runyon at third caught the runner out. Osorio would retire the next four batters via strikeout to end the game and give Alabama the 3-1 victory.
USA starter Devin Brown (2-1) took her first loss of the season with three runs on four hits and four strikeouts.
Next up, Alabama travels to Lafayette, La., for a three-game series against No. 18 Louisiana-Lafayette (4-2). Game one is set for a 5 p.m. CT start on Friday.