In a crucial SEC softball series for a pair of top 20 teams, the Alabama Crimson Tide came up with an impressive series win over the Missouri Tigers.

It didn’t look good for the Crimson Tide after game one Saturday as the Missouri Tigers frustrated Alabama’s Alexis Osorio with five runs through their first three at-bats in an eventual 7-3 Missouri win. Although Alabama forced seven walks from Missouri starter Paige Lowary, they couldn’t convert enough of those walks into runs.

While the Crimson Tide fell flat in game one, they came back strong in the final two games of the series. Alabama overwhelmed Missouri 9-1 in game two Saturday and 16-2 Monday. The key to both victories was junior pitcher Sydney Littlejohn.

Littlejohn carried her team to a series win with two stellar performances from the circle. The junior pitcher allowed three runs in 10 innings pitched in earning her two wins this weekend. With the two wins this weekend, Littlejohn has earned a win in each of her last five starts.

With Osorio’s inconsistency and Littlejohn’s hot streak, it wouldn’t be a complete surprise to see Littlejohn earn a Friday night start at Florida.

Outside of Littlejohn, Alabama’s offense also picked up the slack with Marisa Runyon having one of her best weekends of the season.  Runyon drove hit 3 round trippers while driving in 10 RBIs.

All-American senior Haylie McCleney posted another solid weekend going 6-10 with three doubles along with six runs scored.

Among the numerous honors going her way, McCleney is one step closer to receiving a prestigious national award. The senior center fielder has been selected as one of 10 finalists for the 2016 Senior CLASS Award. The award recognizes college softball’s senior athletes who make positive contributions in the community. McCleney and UAB’s Caitlin Attfield are the only two in-state finalists for the award.

With #1 Florida coming up this weekend, the Crimson Tide could not afford to drop their first two SEC series before making the trip to Gainesville. The series win against Missouri not only evened Alabama’s SEC record, but it provides the Crimson Tide with a quality conference series win when it comes to competing to attain a top eight national seed when it comes to NCAA postseason selection.

 

College Softball Notes Around Alabama:

-Every NCAA Division 1 softball team except Troy won a conference series over the weekend.

-#3 Auburn swept a three-game SEC series from South Carolina to improve to 6-3 in the SEC.

-Devin Brown pitched her 2nd perfect game of the season Sunday to lead South Alabama to a three-game sweep over Appalachian State. Brown fanned 11 batters in Sunday’s win. The Jaguars put an 8-game winning streak on the line Wednesday at home against McNeese State.

-Jacksonville State remains perfect in OVC play with doubleheader sweeps over Eastern Illinois and SIUE. In the process, Emily Church won OVC Player of the Week honors while Whitney Gillespie was OVC Pitcher of the Week.

-Samford swept their first SoCon series of the season at Mercer. Mollie Hanson won SoCon Picher of the Week while Abbie Miranda won the SoCon’s Player of the Week honors. The Bulldogs face their 4th SEC team of the season with a trip to Ole Miss Tuesday.

-UAB won their two of three games at home over Charlotte. They’ll play their 6th SEC opponent of the season this evening at Mississippi State.