Alabama has strong day at plate and in the circle with two shutout, run-rule wins
Given the choice of good hitting or good pitching, Alabama Softball Coach Patrick Murphy would probably like to have it the way it was Saturday in the second day of the Bama Bash. The Crimson Tide scored 17 runs and needed just 11 innings to defeat its two opponents at Rhoads Stadium Saturday.
Tenth-ranked Alabama, which outhit its two opponents 19-4, improved to 12-2 with a 9-0 win over Gardner-Webb in five innings and an 8-0 win over Texas Tech in six innings (after a big 7-run sixth).
The Alabama offense, which delivered five extra-base hits, was led by Demi Turner and Carrigan Fain, both having 4-hit days. Fain and Merris Schroder both had 3 runs batted in and Chandler Dare was 3-4 on the day with 2 RBI.
Tide pitching was again strong on Saturday, with Madi Moore (2-1) throwing a complete-game shutout in the opener before Sydney Littlejohn (5-0), celebrating her senior day, took home the win in the finale with Alexis Osorio earning her second save after entering with a 1-0 lead and two on base in the sixth inning.
Alabama concludes play at the Bama Bash Sunday, facing UCF at 1:30 p.m. CST.
Here are the wrapups:
GAME ONE: ALABAMA 9, GARDNER-WEBB 0 (5 INNINGS)
A six-run second inning provided plenty of early cushion for Alabama against Gardner-Webb (5-14) as the Tide ultimately won, 9-0, in five innings. Fain, batting seventh, was a perfect 3-3 at the plate with a pair of RBIs on a double in the fourth inning. Turner went 2-2 scoring a run and Peyton Grantham drove in two RBIs on a second-inning double. Moore went the distance in the circle for the win, allowing just two hits with no walks.
With two on base and nobody out in the second inning, Sydney Booker laid down a sac bunt attempt but a throwing error on the play allowed her to move all the way to third and scored both runners to make it 2-0. An RBI single by Elissa Brown two batters later made it 3-0 and Grantham pulled a two-run double down the left field line to swell the lead to 5-0. An RBI double by Schroder drove in the final run of the inning for the Tide, who headed to the third up 6-0.
An errant throw in the bottom of the fourth put two on base and Caroline Hardy drove in one in the next at-bat on a single to the gap in right-center. Fain brought in a pair with a deep double to left immediately after that, pushing the score to 9-0 which ultimately proved final.
GAME TWO: ALABAMA 8, TEXAS TECH 0 (6 INNINGS)
Alabama and Texas Tech (7-6) were locked in a scoreless pitcher’s duel for the majority of the game before a seven-run sixth inning broke things open for the Tide to ultimately win, 8-0. Celebrating her senior day, Littlejohn threw 5.2 shutout innings with two hits and eight strikeouts for the win while Osorio entered to secure the final out of the sixth, preserving a 1-0 lead at the time with two on base to earn her second save of the season. At the plate, Dare was 3-4 out of the nine-hole with two RBIs and Schroder added a pair of RBIs on a single and a bases-loaded walk.
The two teams battled through four scoreless innings to start the game, as Alabama posted just four hits while Texas Tech was held hitless. The Red Raiders broke up Littlejohn’s perfect game with two outs in the top of the fifth on a single to left field but could not score a run. The Tide pushed the first run of the day across in the bottom half of the inning on an RBI single by Schroder, taking a 1-0 lead to the sixth inning.
Texas Tech left two on base in the top of the sixth and Alabama’s bats would find a rhythm in the bottom half, posting seven runs on five hits for the run-rule victory. With Dare on second base and one out, Turner blasted a triple to right center to score one and a pair of walks would load the bases for Marisa Runyon, who dropped a bunt to move everyone up 60 feet for the RBI single to make it 3-0. Two bases-loaded walks swelled the lead to 5-0 and an infield single by Claire Jenkins made it 6-0. Needing two runs for a run-rule victory, Dare provided with a two-run double to the right-field corner, ending the game at 8-0.