Softball Recap: #4 Alabama Dominates in Weekend Sweep of Mississippi State
The Alabama Crimson Tide followed up a big weekend in Gainesville with one of their most complete weekends of the season in their sweep of Mississippi State.
Alabama won 7-1 Saturday, 8-0 in six innings Saturday and 8-1 Sunday.
The Crimson Tide pitching duo of junior Sydney Littlejohn and sophomore Alexis Osorio faced little resistance from the Bulldogs in all three games. Littlejohn and Osorio combined to allow two earned runs while walking two and fanning 20 Bulldogs batters. For Alexis Osorio, it was her best weekend in SEC play as she pitched a complete shutout Saturday and pitched 2.2 IP of shutout softball in relief Sunday.
From the plate, Alabama showed big play ability in clutch situations throughout the weekend. The Crimson Tide scored 21 of their 23 runs against Mississippi State with two outs. Sophomore Sydney Booker, freshman Reagan Dykes and junior Marissa Runyon each produced big time at bats in the series.
Reagan Dykes set the tone for the series with a pair of key two out hits on Friday. Dykes hit a two-run single to put Alabama on the board in the first inning and cleared the bases with a three-run double in the second inning.
Sydney Booker bookended the scoring Saturday with a two-run single in the first inning while smashing a three-run homer to left field to run-rule Mississippi State. In the series finale, Marissa Runyon put the game out of reach with a two-out grand slam right field.
With the sweep, Alabama won all four games in the home stand by a combined score of 37-2. Most importantly, the Crimson Tide is back in contention for an SEC regular season championship and a one seed in the SEC Tournament. In the SEC standings, Alabama is tied in percentage for fourth place with Tennessee and Georgia, a few percentage points behind Kentucky for third, a full game behind Auburn for Second and one game in the loss column behind Florida for first.
Looking ahead to this week, Alabama hits the road for their final non-conference road game of the regular season Tuesday at Southern Miss.
The Golden Eagles are in a rebuilding phase under second year head coach Wendy Hogue. Prior to arriving at Southern Miss, Hogue led William Carey University to five NAIA National Championship Game appearances in 10 seasons as their head softball coach.
Coming into this week, Southern Miss is 20-22 overall, 6-8 in Conference USA but has won two back-to-back weekend series against Western Kentucky and UTSA.
The two most productive players in the Southern Miss lineup are junior college transfers Tori Dew and Lauren Holifield. Dew leads the Golden Eagles with a .353 average and a .476 on-base percentage while Holifield leads the team with 8 round trippers and 27 RBIs.
First pitch against Southern Miss is Tuesday at 6 PM.
College Softball Notes Around Alabama:
-#2/3 Auburn won all three games against Longwood out of the Big South Conference. With the weekend sweep, Auburn extends their winning streak to 12 games.
-South Alabama swept their fourth straight Sun Belt Conference series with a three-game sweep of UT-Arlington. Jaguars ace pitcher Devin Brown fanned 13 UT-Arlington batters in both of her wins over the weekend.
-Jacksonville State swept weekend twin bills from SEMO and UT-Martin. The Gamecocks are now 14-0 in the OVC as they begin a four-game home stand Thursday against Alabama A&M.
-Samford won two of three games at Furman for the first time in school history to remain atop the SoCon standings. The Bulldogs hit 15 doubles off Furman pitching including a conference-high 8 doubles in the second game of the series Saturday. Former Hillcrest Patriot Callie Brister went 3-5 with a home run, a double and 4 RBIs in Sunday’s win.
-Troy concluded a six-game road trip by winning two of three games at Louisiana-Monroe. Tuscaloosa County High alum Ashley Rainey split her two starts winning game two of Saturday’s double header while falling in Sunday’s series finale.