Pitching may be the name of the game, but there has to be some hitting resulting in some scoring. Alabama got an extraordinary pitching performance Friday night from Alexis Osorio, but the Crimson Tide was unable to punch across a run. Moreover, a throwing error in the top of the ninth helped Auburn score three unearned runs and take a 3-0 win over Bama at Rhoads Park.
Game two of the weekend series is at 7 p.m. CDT Saturday. ESPN will televise the game.
An emotional game in which Alabama Coach Patrick Murphy was tossed for arguing with the umpire was notable for outstanding pitching from Osorio for Alabama and Kaylee Carlson for Auburn. Carlson went the distance and got the win, making her 25-3 this year. Osorio did not figure in the decision but threw a career-high 184 pitches with 18 strikeouts and 11 walks in her seven innings. The loss went to reliever Sydney Littlejohn (14-6), who pitched the last two innings as the Tide surrendered three unearned runs.
The game lasted three hours and 44 minutes. Alabama fell to 39-14 overall and 11-10 in Southeastern Conference games, while Auburn improved to 44-8 overall, 16-6 in the conference.
The game, officially lasting three hours and 44 minutes, was the longest game this season for Alabama (39-14, 11-10 SEC). The Tide out-hit Auburn (44-8, 16-6 SEC), 5-3, but an untimely error in the top of the ninth ultimately allowed the go-ahead run to score for the Tigers.
Alabama out-hit the Tigers, 5-3. Chandler Dare went 2-4 batting third and Reagan Dykes hit a second-inning single to extend her hitting streak to five games.
Auburn left 13 runners on base, Bama 8. Alabama had two runners on base in each of the first two innings. Auburn left at least one on base in each of the first four innings and then loaded the bases on three walks in the fifth before Osorio’s 13th strikeout ended the threat.
The two teams remained scoreless through the seventh inning, forcing extras for the fourth time this season for Alabama. A leadoff walk in the top of the eighth ended Osorio’s outing as Littlejohn entered in relief and got out of the inning with a strikeout, stranding two. Alabama got the potential go-ahead run into scoring position in the bottom-half of the inning with one out but a flyout and lineout kept it at 0-0 heading to the ninth.
With two on base in the top of the ninth for Auburn, an errant throw by shortstop Sydney Booker allowed the batter to reach safely and the runner from second to score, giving Auburn a 1-0 lead on the unearned run. Kendall Veach added some cushion with a two-run double to make it 3-0 and the Tide went down in order in the bottom half.