Alabama Softball Recap: Crimson Tide Falls in Oxford
No. 14/15 Alabama found themselves on the doorstep of sweeping No. 21 Ole Miss but lost their first ever to Ole Miss thanks to walk-off losses in games two and three of the series.
The series win for Ole Miss was their first in school history over Alabama and snapped a 30-game losing streak in the series dating back to 2005.
Bizarre Home Run Robbery
A highly unusual sequence of events occurred in Monday’s 5-4 loss to Ole Miss. After Marissa Runyon’s two-run homer in the top of the third inning, Bailey Hemphill appeared to tie the game with a solo homer of her own. The only issue was that she did not touch home plate and was later tagged out attempting to score on her return to home plate to complete the inning.
Hemphill’s out temporarily halted Alabama’s momentum until they scored two runs in the top of the fifth inning to take a 4-3 lead.
Inability to Close Games
While the Crimson Tide managed just seven runs in three games at Ole Miss, they had an opportunity to win all three games but closed out the weekend with only one victory.
In game two of Saturday’s doubleheader, Sydney Littlejohn cruised through six shutout innings while surrendering only three hits. Littlejohn retired Ole Miss second baseman Dylinn Stancil to begin the seventh inning but allowed five consecutive batters to reach base including Brittany Finney’s game-tying double and Kylan Becker’s walk-off single to third base.
In Monday’s rubber match, Alabama took a 4-3 lead into the seventh inning with Alexis Osorio trying to notch her second victory of the weekend. After retiring the first two batters in the inning, Osorio walked Courtney Syrett on a full count pitch, then saw the tying run score on an errant throw from third baseman Peyton Grantham allowing Ole Miss pinch runner Kaylee Horton to score from first base. Kylan Becker followed up her heroics Saturday evening with another walk-off infield single to clinch the series for the Rebels.
Including the two losses at Ole Miss, Alabama has lost five of their last six innings in the opponent's final at-bat.
Although the Crimson Tide dropped their third consecutive weekend series, true freshman Elissa Brown had arguably her best weekend of the season.
The center fielder from Eclectic, Alabama, finished the weekend 4-9 with three runs scored, a walk, two steals and did not strikeout from the plate. For the week, Brown was 6-12 with six runs scored along with five stolen bases.
The Crimson Tide returns to action Friday to begin their final SEC regular season series in Tuscaloosa against Auburn.
College Softball around Alabama
In their final regular season weekend at home, No. 9/10 Auburn swept Mississippi State including a dramatic finish to Saturday’s contest. With the game tied 2-2, catcher Carlee Wallace capped off a five-run bottom of the seventh with a walk-off grand slam to center field. It was the second homer of the inning as shortstop Casey McCrackin tied the game with a solo homer to left.
UAB, South Alabama and Jacksonville State went undefeated over the weekend. UAB completed their home schedule with a three-game sweep over UTEP with the Blazers shutting out the Miners in their final two games of the series. UAB begins a five-game road trip with a doubleheader at Middle Tennessee Wednesday.
South Alabama swept Georgia Southern in their final home series of the season. Outfielder Haleigh Lowe was named Sun Belt Co-Player of the Week by going 7-9 from the plate with four runs scored and two stolen bases.
Jacksonville State saw their twin bill at Morehead State rained out on Saturday but swept Eastern Kentucky in Sunday’s doubleheader. Whitney Gillespie and Taylor West tossed complete game shutouts in the two games at EKU.
Samford dropped two games at Georgia Tech Saturday. The Bulldogs fell 8-0 in five innings in game one while dropping a 9-1 decision in six innings in game two. The only run in the two games for Samford came on a solo homer in game two by true freshman Whitney Hinton.
Troy dropped all three games in their final road series of the year at Texas State. The Trojans did not score in two games and were outscored 19-3 over the course of the series.
Alabama State and Alabama A&M both wrapped up SWAC with series wins. Alabama State took two of three games at Mississippi Valley State while Alabama A&M finished their regular season with a three-game sweep over Jackson State. The Alabama State Hornets conclude their regular season Wednesday at Mercer.