There was something old and something new as Alabama softball bounced back from a pair of losses on the road to record a 2-0 win over North Florida Wednesday night at Rhoads Stadium. The 10th-ranked Crimson Tide improved to 8-2.
The something old was the Alabama pitching staff showing the right stuff. Sydney Littlejohn got the start and the win as she shut out North Florida (7-5) for 5 1/3 innings. Alexis Osorio relieved her and picked up the save with perfect performance, facing five batters and striking out all five. Littlejohn had 10 strikeouts in improving her record to 3-0.
The something new was Caroline Hardy delivering her first career home run. That and an RBI triple by Bailey Hemphill accounted for all the runs Bama would need.
Osprey starter Logan Green (2-4) took the loss, exiting after 4 1/3 innings with two runs allowed on three hits and seven walks.
“I loved Caroline’s home run,” Alabama Coach Patrick Murphy said. “It was her first career home run. She’s hit so many in practice and it was her turn. We told her in batting practice that tonight was the night. Her teammates were really happy for her because she’s a great teammate. Bailey’s triple was a good shot on a changeup.
“Both pitchers did great. It starts in the circle and then you play good defense and come up with a couple key hits.”
Alabama scored the first run in the bottom of the second on Hardy’s homer. The Tide doubled its lead in the next inning, as Hemphill bounced a triple off the wall in center field to score Elissa Brown and make it 2-0.
Next up, Alabama plays five games over three days this weekend at the Bama Bash at Rhoads Stadium. The Tide welcomes UCF (3-4), Texas Tech (6-4) and Gardner-Webb (3-10), opening play against the UCF Knights on Friday at 4 p.m. CT.