To say that Alabama and Louisiana-Lafayette changed personalities between games in a doubleheader in Lafayette Saturday is an understatement. In game one, Alabama pitching kept the Ragin’ Cajuns under wraps. In the second game, it was all La-La.
No. 4 ranked Alabama (7-1) had ace pitchers Sydney Littlejohn and Alexis Osorio combine for a shutout as the Tide took a 3-0 win in the opening game. In the second game, the 18th-ranked Ragin’ Cajuns exploded on offense and handed Bama its first loss of the year, 11-2.
Alabama’s Bailey Hemphill, a native of Lafayette, is having a nice homecoming as she went 3-5 at the plate. Merris Schroder and Marisa Runyon each had multi-hit days, including a pair of doubles by Schroder and two RBI by Runyon.
The series rubber match is set for a 1 p.m. CST start on Sunday.
GAME ONE: ALABAMA 3, LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE 0
Three runs were all the Crimson Tide needed to win in the opening game of Saturday’s doubleheader behind a strong combined pitching performance by Sydney Littlejohn and Alexis Osorio (4-0), with Osorio getting the win in relief. She pitched 4 1/3 innings with six strikeouts. Peyton Grantham and Hemphill each drove in a run while Schroder scored on a throwing error.
After two quick groundouts to start the top of the first, Grantham smashed a line-drive solo home run to the bleachers in right center to make it 1-0. Runyon almost made it back-to-back homers but hers fell just short at the wall in right field to end the half-inning. After stranding two in scoring position in the second, Alabama took advantage with two in scoring position in the third with Hemphill ripping an RBI single down the line in left to make it 2-0.
The Ragin’ Cajuns threatened Alabama’s slim lead in the bottom of the third, loading the bases with one out. After a popup went for out number two, Alabama turned to its bullpen as Osorio entered to pitch. After a long battle with Daniella Chavez at the plate, a groundout got the Tide out of the jam and preserved the 2-0 lead.
Schroder led off the top of the fourth with a double and advanced to third on a passed ball. A grounder to the right side held her at third temporarily but an errant throw to first allowed her to break for home and finish the scoring with the Tide on top, 3-0.
GAME TWO: LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE 11, ALABAMA 2 (6 INNINGS)
The Ragin’ Cajun offense came alive in the day’s second game, as the home team piled on 11 runs over six innings to hand the Crimson Tide its first loss of the 2017 season. Madi Moore (0-1) threw all 5 2/3 innings in the loss while Runyon drove in both of the Tide’s runs in the game.
Louisiana-Lafayette went up 3-0 in the first inning and added two more in the third. In the fourth the Ragin’ Cajuns got a solo home run by Lexie Comeaux to start a four-run inning and make it 8-0.
Runyon delivered a two-run single in the fifth, but the Tide left the bases loaded.
A three-run homer by Louisiana Lafayette’s Beth Ashley in the sixth ended the game.