There was a lot of wind at the Florence Sportsplex Wednesday, most of it courteous of Mother Nature. But Alabama softball pitcher Sydney Littlejohn might be able to take a little credit for the breeze because of all the whiffs she provided. Littlejohn struck out a career-high 14 with a three-hit shutout of Lipscomb as the Crimson Tide took a 5-0 victory.
Littlejohn improved her record to 14-1 with her sixth shutlout of the season.
Alabama (33-6) scored two runs in the first inning and added some insurance in the sixth to post five runs on nine hits, including two-hit performances by Marisa Runyon, Peyton Grantham, and Reagan Dykes.
The first two batters reached base safely for Alabama in the bottom of the second and after a passed ball moved them into scoring position, Bailey Hemphill drove in one on a sacrifice fly to left to put Alabama on top early. Strong winds on a popup by Grantham allowed the ball to fall in between defenders, good for an RBI double to put the Tide up 2-0.
Alabama would leave two on base in the third inning and strand the bases loaded in the fifth, unable to add to its two-run lead. In the bottom of the sixth, a leadoff walk and double in the gap put two in scoring position and a groundout to the right side by Chandler Dare drove in one to extend the lead to 3-0. Later with a pair in scoring position and two out, Runyon pulled a single through the right side, scoring both to make it 5-0.
This weekend, Alabama welcomes eighth-ranked LSU (31-7, 7-2 SEC) to Rhoads Stadium for a three-game series starting on Friday, April 7 at 6:30 p.m. CT. Saturday’s game will air live on SEC Network at 8 p.m. CT and Sunday’s contest will air on ESPN2 at 2 p.m. CT.