Alabama Softball Splits Sunday Doubleheader to Win Weekend Series over South Carolina
Inclement weather on Saturday forced Alabama and South Carolina to resolve its weekend series with a doubleheader on Sunday. The Gamecocks posted a lopsided 14-0 victory in game two before the Crimson Tide rebounded with a 5-2 win in game three to take the weekend series.
Alabama (30-4, 7-2 SEC) struggled in the opening game as South Carolina (21-12, 2-7 SEC) plated 14 runs, the most ever scored by an opponent at Rhoads Stadium, but managed to rally from an early deficit in game three to hold on and win. Between the two games, Demi Turner went 3-6 while Mari Cranek capitalized on her starting opportunity, knocking in a pair of hits in game three. Gabby Callaway started game three and went 3-3 with an RBI and a run scored.
GAME ONE: SOUTH CAROLINA 14, ALABAMA 0
Alabama struggled in the opening game of Sunday’s doubleheader, mustering just two hits while South Carolina scored 14 runs in the shutout victory, the most runs scored by an opponent at Rhoads Stadium in program history. Alexis Osorio (16-2) took the loss in the circle, exiting after 4.1 innings pitched with four runs allowed, three earned, while Gamecock starter Nickie Blue (8-5) won behind the complete-game shutout.
After a leadoff single in the top of the second, South Carolina’s Alyssa VanDerveer sent the next pitch over the fence in left-center to put the Gamecocks up 2-0. Alabama was hitless until the bottom of the fourth, when Turner led off the half-inning with a single up the middle. A groundout moved her to second and a passed ball pushed her to third, but a groundout and fly ball kept her 60 feet away as it remained 2-0.
A fielding error in the top of the fifth loaded the bases for South Carolina and VanDerveer capitalized on the opportunity with a single up the middle, scoring two to double the Gamecocks’ lead to 4-0. After a pitching change for Alabama, a pair of groundouts ended the inning.
South Carolina scored two more in the top of the sixth on a two-run single by Krystan White and then added plenty of distance in the top of the seventh, plating eight runs on six hits and an error to push the lead to 14-0, which proved final.
GAME TWO: ALABAMA 5, SOUTH CAROLINA 2
With the weekend series on the line in game three, Alabama overcame an early two-run deficit to win, 5-2. Cranek and Callaway combined to earn five of the team’s nine hits and scored one run each. Sydney Littlejohn (11-1) earned her second win of the weekend, holding the Gamecocks to two runs on six hits with no walks.
South Carolina scored the first run of the game in the top of the third on an RBI double by Kaylea Snaer and Mackenzie Boesel followed with another double to score Snaer and make it 2-0. Alabama got one back in the bottom-half of the inning on a South Carolina fielding error to cut the deficit in half, 2-1.
Three-straight hits with one out in the bottom of the fourth loaded the bases for Alabama and Reagan Dykes battled to a full count before drawing a walk, pushing a run across to tie the game at 2-2. A force-out at third on the next play went for out number two but the go-ahead run scored on the fielder’s choice before a popup ended the inning with Alabama now leading, 3-2.
An RBI double by Callaway in the bottom of the sixth made it 4-2 and, with two in scoring position later in the inning, a wild pitch plated pinch-runner Rachel Bobo to extend the lead to 5-2. A 1-2-3 top of the seventh secured the win for Alabama and the series victory.
Next up, Alabama hosts Kent State (10-15) on Tuesday, March 28 at 6 p.m. CT before hitting the road for a three-game series at Missouri (18-13, 1-4 SEC) in Columbia, Mo., starting on Friday, March 31 at 6:30 p.m. CT. Game two of the series, set for a 3 p.m. CT start on Saturday, April 1, will air live on the SEC Network.