Alabama Softball Shuts Out Jacksonville, 7-0, to Close Easton Crimson Classic
Alabama softball capped a successful weekend at the Easton Crimson Classic with a decisive 7-0 win over Jacksonville Sunday at Rhoads Stadium, stretching its current winning streak to 12 games.
Alabama (19-2) only scored two runs through the first five innings before the bats came alive with five runs in the final two innings off a pair of home runs by Gabby Callaway and Reagan Dykes. Jacksonville (11-9) was kept off the base paths until the fourth inning and only tallied three hits in a strong outing from Tide starter Sydney Littlejohn (7-0), who struck out a career-high 11 batters in the complete-game shutout.
Callaway’s sixth-inning home run was part of a 2-4 day for the freshman and fellow rookie Claire Jenkins capped a strong weekend at the plate with a 3-4 performance Sunday.
“The freshmen did awesome,” UA head coach Patrick Murphy said. “When you get two or three hits out of two freshmen with four RBIs, that’s a good day. They kept innings going with big hits with a runner in scoring position which was great to see from two lefties.”
On the weekend, Jenkins led the team batting 6-9 (.667) with four runs scored and two RBIs, earning All-Tournament honors. Joining her on the All-Tournament team are Littlejohn, Dykes, Merris Schroder and Tournament MVP Alexis Osorio.
Alabama played as the designated away team in the matchup, batting in the top-half of each inning. With the bases loaded and two out in the top of the third, Schroder drew a walk on four pitches to move everyone up 60 feet and give Alabama a 1-0 lead. Back-to-back doubles in the top of the fourth by Dykes and Callaway tallied another to make it 2-0. Jacksonville was held off the base paths until the bottom of the fourth inning when a two-out single broke up Littlejohn’s perfect game bid. The Dolphins would get another single to put two on base but a fly out ended the inning with the score still 2-0.
With two in scoring position and one out in the top of the sixth, Callaway smashed a deep home run to right field, the first long ball of her career, to swell Alabama’s lead to 5-0. Dykes added some cushion in the top of the seventh with her own home run, a two-run shot that extended the lead to 7-0. Littlejohn picked up a pair of strikeouts in the bottom of the seventh before a groundout ended the game.
Next up, Alabama plays a pair of midweek games at Rhoads Stadium starting with Loyola-Chicago (14-0) on Tuesday, March 7 at 6 p.m. CT followed by Valparaiso (6-2) on Wednesday, March 8 at 6 p.m. CT.
EASTON CRIMSON CLASSIC ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Alexis Osorio – Alabama (MVP)
Reagan Dykes – Alabama
Claire Jenkins – Alabama
Sydney Littlejohn – Alabama
Merris Schroder - Alabama
Kailee Smith – Drake
Tasha Alexander – Drake
Alyssa Horeczko – Stanford
Kiana Pancino – Stanford
Heather Roberts - Jacksonville