Alabama scored 3 runs and Ole Miss 2 in the two games of the cobbled doubleheader in Oxford Saturday and the result was the teams splitting the pair. Bama got a 2-0 shutout win behind the one-hit pitching of Alexis Osorio in the opener. In the second game, the Crimson Tide delivered one run for hard-luck pitcher Sydney Littlejohn, whose four previous losses had all been games in which Alabama failed top score, but the Rebels got two runs in the bottom of the seventh to take a 2-1 victory.
Alabama (39-12, 11-8 SEC) earned its 24th shutout of the season in game one, putting the Tide just two shutouts shy of the single-season record. Alabama scored in the first inning of game two and held its slim one-run lead into the seventh inning, but Ole Miss (33-17, 7-13 SEC) strung together four hits in the bottom of the seventh to plate two runs for the win.
The original schedule called for single games Saturday and Sunday, but because of the forecast of inclement weather Sunday the teams played the doubleheader Saturday.
The two teams conclude the weekend series on Monday at 6 p.m. CDT. SEC Network will televise the game.
Here are the recaps:
GAME ONE: ALABAMA 2, OLE MISS 0
The two teams were scoreless for the first five innings of the series opener but a pair of runs by the Crimson Tide in the top of the sixth proved enough as Alabama won, 2-0. Alexis Osorio (19-6) went the distance in the circle, holding the Rebels to just one hit with nine strikeouts.
Elissa Brown posted her second straight multi-hit game, going 2-3 at the top of the order, while Marisa Runyon and Bailey Hemphill delivered the team’s two RBI. Chandler Dare went 1-2, extending her hitting streak to a season-best six games.
Alabama had a hit in each of the first three innings but could not score a run. Ole Miss led off the bottom of the third with a walk and a bunt single before an error on a tag-out attempt allowed the Rebels to load the bases with nobody out in the inning. A pair of strikeouts and a popup got Alabama out of the bases-loaded jam and kept the score at 0-0 heading to the fourth.
Neither team had a hit in the fourth and fifth innings before pinch-hitter Rachel Bobo and Brown led off the top of the sixth with back-to-back singles. Chandler Dare laid down a sac bunt to move the pair into scoring position and Runyon pulled a ground ball to second but the throw home was not in time as Bobo slid under the tag to make it 1-0. A single by Hemphill fell in between three defenders in shallow center field to drive in Dare from third and stretch the lead to 2-0. Alabama couldn’t add to its two-run lead in the top of the seventh and Ole Miss drew a leadoff walk in the bottom half of the inning but Osorio notched three-straight strikeouts to end the inning and the game.
GAME TWO: OLE MISS 2, ALABAMA 1
Alabama took another early lead in game two of Saturday’s doubleheader and the Tide remained on top until the bottom of the seventh when Ole Miss strung four key hits together to win. Offensively, Alabama only scratched across one run on three hits with Marisa Runyon accounting for the lone RBI and two of the team’s three hits.
Sydney Littlejohn (14-5) took the loss, holding Ole Miss scoreless on three hits before the Rebels’ big seventh inning.
Brown led off the game with a walk, stole second base and then advanced to third on a groundout before coming home on an RBI single by Runyon through the left side as the Tide took an early 1-0 lead. Alabama had a pair in scoring position again in the top of the second with two outs but a groundout left them stranded.
Ole Miss got its first hit of the game in the bottom of the third, a one-out single by Courtney Syrett. A groundout moved her to second base and a wild pitch advanced her to third but a strikeout ended the inning and kept the potential tying run 60 feet away. With the score still 1-0 in the bottom of the fifth, the Rebels tallied the first extra-base hit for either team with a leadoff double by Dylinn Stancil. A popup went for out number one before a hit-by-pitch put two on base. A fly ball and popup got Alabama out of the jam and kept it a one-run game in the Tide’s favor.
A leadoff double for Alabama in the top of the sixth was ultimately left stranded as was a runner for Ole Miss in the bottom-half of the inning, as it remained 1-0 heading to the seventh. Dykes started the top of the seventh with a single through the left side and advanced to second on a sac bunt by Sydney Booker. A walk to Claire Jenkins would put two on base but neither would score as the Tide could not add any insurance in the half-inning.
After a groundout to start the bottom of the seventh, Ole Miss earned back-to-back singles to put the potential tying and go-ahead runs on the base paths. After a long at-bat, Brittany Finney came through for the Rebels with a double to the wall in left, scoring one to tie it at 1-1 with two now in scoring position. An intentional walk loaded the bases and a play at the plate in the next at-bat was not in time.