Alabama Softball Offense Explodes in 10-3 Win Over LSU
Alabama softball saw its initial three-run lead erased following a rain delay in the fourth inning, but seven unanswered runs ultimately allowed the Crimson Tide to pull away for a deciding 10-3 victory.
The win is the first for Alabama (22-3) in Baton Rouge against LSU (22-3) since the 2008 SEC Tournament and it is the first regular season win on the road against the Tigers since March 24, 2007. The 10 runs scored are the most by Alabama against LSU since tallying 13 on March 26, 2005.
Alabama jumped on LSU early with a run in the first inning and two more in the second, holding the lead until a rain delay in the fourth inning and a game-tying three run homer to tie the game following the delay. The Tide stole the momentum back immediately in the top of the fifth, as timely hits and some costly errors by the LSU defense allowed Alabama to retake the lead and stay on top to ultimately win, 10-3.
Haylie McCleney led the Tide offense with a 3-4 performance in the leadoff position, scoring three times and driving in a pair of runs. Chandler Dare also tallied a three-hit game, the first of her career, while Marisa Runyon blasted her second home run of the season, a two-run shot in the sixth inning that gave Alabama its final seven-run margin of victory.
Tide starter Sydney Littlejohn (9-2) went the distance in the win, throwing the complete game with three runs allowed on six hits. LSU starter Allie Walljasper did not factor into the decision, exiting after 2.0 innings before the game-tying home run from Sahvanna Jaquish got her off the hook. Reliever Sydney Smith (5-1) ultimately was credited with the loss, throwing 2.2 innings with five runs allowed, though none of them were earned.
Alabama wasted no time with the bats in the first inning as McCleney led off the inning with a double in the left field gap and Demi Turner followed it with an infield single to put runners at the corners. Two batters later, Leona Lafaele would ground out to the left side, scoring McCleney from third, and would arrive safely at first thanks to a throwing error as the Tide now led 1-0 with two on and one out. A popup and lineout would end it with two left on base and a one-run lead.
Back-to-back singles to lead off the top of the second set up McCleney for an RBI single up the middle, scoring Andrea Hawkins from second to make it a 2-0 game. Turner would draw a walk to load the bases and a force out at home following a ground ball went for out number two but a wild throw on the double play attempt allowed everyone to advance and a runner to score, making it 3-0. A great throw from the edge of the dirt at short ended the inning in the next at-bat with Alabama now on top by three.
After LSU tallied back-to-back singles to lead off the bottom of the fourth, heavy rain force a short delay and, upon resumption, Jaquish tied the game at 3-3 with a three-run homer. The Tigers would draw a one-out walk but could not take the lead, as the teams headed to the fifth inning tied at 3-3.
A fielding error with one out allowed Runyon to reach base safely in the top of the fifth and, two batters later, Sydney Booker roped a double to the wall in left-center. The LSU left fielder struggled with the ball in the corner, allowing Runyon to score and give Alabama a 4-3 lead. Another fielding error allowed Hawkins to reach base safely in the next at-bat and Booker came home to score and make it 5-3. Back-to-back hits continued the two-out rally and scored another to make it 6-3.
The sixth run of the day forced another pitching change for LSU as Friday winner Carley Hoover entered to pitch with two on and two out. Another fielding error allowed two more runs to score, stretching the lead to 8-3 before a runner caught stealing ended the big inning with the Tide on top by five.
Lafaele drew a walk with one out in the top of the sixth and Runyon put the Tide in double digits with a two-run homer to right field, now leading 10-3. Neither team would score for the remainder of the game as the Tide would hold on for the seven-run victory.
The series concludes tomorrow with game three set for a 2 p.m. CT first pitch live on the SEC Network.