Alabama Softball Preview: Alabama Travels to Starkville
The past three weeks has been kind to the Crimson Tide as they have pulled off a 19-game winning streak including two wins on Wednesday over Winthrop and Georgia Southern.
Alabama’s offense managed just five hits in both games against Winthrop and Georgia Southern but took full advantage in the victory against Georgia Southern.
In game one of the doubleheader, Chandler Dare roped a walk-off single to right field to defeat Winthrop 1-0. Against Georgia Southern, two-out run scoring proved to be an ally for the Crimson Tide. Bailey Hemphill drove in a run with a bases loaded walk followed by Elissa Brown scoring on a wild pitch in the bottom of the second inning. Demi Turner smashed a three-run double in the bottom of the third inning, and Sydney Booker lined a two-run double to right field to complete the scoring in the bottom of the fourth inning.
The entire pitching staff shined in Wednesday’s twin bill as Sydney Littlejohn struck out 14 batters in a complete game win over Winthrop. Alexis Osorio and Madi Moore combined for the staff’s fourth no-hitter this season against Georgia Southern. Osorio struck out seven batters in three perfect innings. After missing seven games due to a concussion, Moore fanned two batters, walked one and hit a batter in two scoreless and hitless innings against Georgia Southern.
During the winning streak, No. 8 Alabama won 18 of their 19 games inside the friendly confines of Rhoads Stadium. This weekend, they will see if the streak continues on the road at Mississippi State.
Alexis Osorio's Scoreless Inning Streak
Alexis Osorio is having one of the best seasons from the circle in school history. The junior hurler leads the SEC with 168 strikeouts and has another impressive streak going into the weekend.
Osorio has not allowed a run in 38 straight innings which is a school record. The streak breaks Alabama pitching coach Stephanie VanBrakle Prothro’s mark of 37 straight scoreless innings during the 2006 season.
Former Alabama pitching coach Vann Stuedeman has Mississippi State off to a good start in 2017. The Bulldogs come into the weekend 21-5 with a 1-2 record in SEC play.
After losing two of three games last weekend at Texas A&M, Mississippi State defeated Central Arkansas on the road 3-1 in mid-week play. Catcher Calyn Adams singled home two runs with two outs in the top of the seventh inning to provide the winning margin Wednesday night.
Similar to Alabama, pitching is the strength for Mississippi State. They rank second in the SEC in team ERA (1.07), third in the league in strikeouts (169) and fourth in earned runs allowed (28).
The Bulldogs have struggled scoring runs as they average 4.2 runs per game and have scored more than six runs in a game just four times through their first 26 games this season. Mississippi is dead last in the SEC with 13 home runs as a team.
Their best weapon offensively is the stolen base. Mississippi State has one of the top base stealers in the SEC in Bevia Robinson. The junior from Harvest, Alabama, is third in the SEC with 16 stolen bases on the season.
First pitch Friday and Saturday is at 6 PM while Sunday’s finale begins at 2 PM from the campus of Mississippi State.
College Softball around Alabama
Auburn travels to Florida this weekend to participate in the Michelle Smith Clearwater Parks and Rec Spring Tournament. The Tigers face North Dakota State and South Florida on the campus of USF on Friday before traveling to Clearwater to play Illinois, Ohio State on Saturday and LIU-Brooklyn on Sunday. All five of Auburn’s opponents this weekend made an NCAA regional last season.
UAB begins a 10-game road swing Friday with their first C-USA road series of the year at UTSA. The Blazers split their two mid-week games this week by defeating South Alabama 8-3 on Tuesday but dropping a 9-0 decision in five innings to Lipscomb on Wednesday.
After falling to UAB Tuesday night, South Alabama starts an eight-game home stand with a weekend series against Coastal Carolina.
Jacksonville State extended their winning streak to four games with mid-week victories over Winthrop and Western Kentucky. The Gamecocks travel to Kennesaw State for a Saturday afternoon doubleheader.
Samford heads to UT-Martin for their final non-conference tournament of the year. The Bulldogs will face UT-Martin and Western Illinois two times each as part of the Skyhawk Hampton Inn Classic. On Tuesday, Earlier this week, Samford lost their seventh extra-inning game of the season in a 7-4 decision in eight innings to Western Kentucky.