Alabama softball posted its 23rd shutout of the season Wednesday at Rhoads Stadium, defeating Southern Miss, 2-0. The 23 shutouts are the most for the Crimson Tide since 2009 and is just three shy of the single-season record.

For the third-straight week, Alabama (37-9) posted a midweek shutout behind stellar defense and a great outing in the circle by Madi Moore (5-1), who went 6.1 innings with just three hits allowed while Sydney Littlejohn entered to secure the final two outs, earning her first save of the season.

“We wanted to give Madi a shot,” UA head coach Patrick Murphy said. “She’s done well. Back-to-back shutouts, we’ll take that all day long. She follows the lead of Sydney [Littlejohn] and Alexis [Osorio]. It’s been our key to success all year. Our pitchers always give us a good shot to win, and Madi did that tonight.”

The Tide and Southern Miss (24-23) were scoreless for the first two innings before a sac fly RBI by Reagan Dykes in the third gave Alabama a 1-0 lead and an RBI single in the fifth by Chandler Dare added another, which ultimately proved final in the slim two-run victory. Alabama missed a handful of scoring opportunities however, leaving nine runners on base.

“It was a good game all-around defensively,” Murphy said. “Sydney Booker made some great plays, Merris Schroder had a diving catch in foul territory and Madi helped herself with some spin moves with the ball hugging the line. That’s a tough play for a lefty. Stephanie VanBrakle Prothro’s goal for Madi tonight was to make them put it in play and we made the plays behind her.”

With the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the third, Dykes lifted a fly ball to left, scoring one on the sacrifice fly before an error moved the other two runners into scoring position. A walk to Caroline Hardy loaded the bases again but a groundout stranded the bases loaded as the Tide could not add to its 1-0 lead.

Alabama quickly threatened again in the bottom of the fourth, as back-to-back singles by Booker and Claire Jenkins coupled with some smart base-running immediately put two in scoring position before a one-out walk to Elissa Brown loaded the bases. A grounder to third ended the threat as Southern Miss got out of the inning with a 5-3 double play to keep it a 1-0 Alabama lead.

With a runner on second and two out in the bottom of the fifth, Chandler Dare doubled the Tide’s lead with an RBI single up the middle to score Dykes from second and make it 2-0. Still leading by two in the top of the seventh, Moore induced a groundout for the first out of the inning before Littlejohn entered and a strikeout and groundout would end the game and secure the 2-0 win for Alabama.

Next up, Alabama hosts ninth-ranked Washington (31-10) for two games on Friday, April 21 at 6 p.m. CT and Saturday, April 22 at 4:30 p.m. CT.