Alabama shortstop Sydney Booker drove in two runs and Crimson Tide pitcher Alexis Osorio and the Bama defense held Mississippi State to zero runs in Starkville Sunday as Alabama took at 3-0 victory and the rubber game in the Southeastern Conference series at Nusz Park.
Eighth-ranked Alabama (28-3, 5-1 SEC) scored three runs on six hits, with two of those coming off the bat of Booker with a second-inning RBI single and a fifth-inning solo home run. The Crimson Tide’s third run scored on an RBI single by Reagan Dykes, as that proved enough for Osorio (16-1), who pitched a four-hitter.
Mississippi State fell to 22-7 overall, 2-4 in SEC play.
Next up, Alabama returns to Tuscaloosa to continue SEC play, hosting South Carolina (19-10, 1-5 SEC) for a three-game series beginning Friday at 6:30 p.m. CDT.
Patience at the plate in the top of the second inning gave Alabama an early scoring opportunity, as Bailey Hemphill drew a walk on a full count and Merris Schroder beat out an infield single on another full count, putting runners at the corners with one out. Dykes then poked a single up the middle to score Hemphill for the first run of the game and Booker followed with another RBI single to score Schroder and make it 2-0.
Some miscommunication by the Tide defense allowed the leadoff batter in the bottom of the third to reach second and she later advanced to third base on a one-out single. On a double steal attempt, the runner at first base was caught off the bag and – speaking of miscommunication -- the runner at third stayed put. Osorio ended the inning with a strikeout.
Booker’s second RBI was all Booker, a solo home run to lead off the top of the fifth. It was her third homer of the season. A single and two walks loaded the bases for Alabama with one out before Mississippi State made a pitching change, turning to Alexis Silkwood in the tough spot. A popup and long fly ball got her out of the jam with Alabama’s lead holding at 3-0.
Mississippi State left two on base in the bottom of the sixth as it remained a 3-0 game heading to the seventh. With a runner at second and nobody out in the top of the seventh, Demi Turner laced a single through the right side but the runner was tagged out at home trying to score.
Mississippi State didn’t go quietly. In the bottom of the seventh a one-out walk and a two-out base hit put runners at the corners with the potential tying run at the plate. A slow roller to Turner went for the easy groundout to end the game as Alabama held on to win, 3-0, and win the weekend series over the Bulldogs.