Softball beats LSU 10-3 after Turner exits game with arm injuryBy Kelly Ward | 03/12/2016 10:50pm
BATON ROUGE, La. — For the first time in two years, No. 6 Alabama doesn’t have its starting second baseman.
Demi Turner, who went 1-3 on the night, was caught stealing second for the third out of a five-run inning for Alabama and injured her arm. When LSU walked off the field, Turner didn’t get up.
When she slid into the tag, she hurt her elbow. She went to the hospital after trainers put a protective cast around her left arm. While Turner was walking off the field with LSU’s trainers, Tigers’ second baseman Constance Quinn went over to talk to her friend.
“I know her outside the field and she’s a great person,” Quinn said. “The whole Bama team they’re awesome, and we’re actually good friends, but I just told her to stay in there and be tough.”
There has been no official word yet on the nature of the injury.
After a five-run fifth inning and a two-run home run, Alabama beat No. 4 LSU 10-3 to force the series’ rubber match on Sunday.
Junior right-hander Sydney Littlejohn (9-2) earned the win after seven innings pitched. She allowed six hits, including a three-run home run.
“I think really she made one big mistake but after that, she made the pitches when she needed to and then also the defense made some great plays behind her,” Alabama head coach Patrick Murphy said. “[Sydney] Booker was awesome at short, and then Demi got hurt, Chandler [Dare] came back in and she made a great play with the bases loaded, two outs to keep them from scoring so I think the defense was really good.”
Alabama’s offense rebounded from Friday’s loss. The Crimson Tide tallied 12 hits and 10 runs. The team also benefited from six LSU errors, including three in the fifth inning. LSU reliever Sydney Smith (5-1) took the loss after allowing five runs in 2 2/3 innings pitched. The Tigers used three pitchers in the loss, and each gave up at least two runs. Only four of the 10 runs were earned.
“Nine and one were 6-for-8, but the key I think was putting it in play today,” Murphy said. “Yesterday, we had too many strikeouts. Today, we put it in play and made them make plays, and obviously with the amount of mistakes, it puts pressure on people.”
Freshman Merris Schroder struck out in her first career SEC at-bat. She came in for Turner in the two-hole in the lineup.
“She’ll battle more tomorrow because she’ll have to play,” Murphy said. “Chandler’s probably gonna move into second base and that’s an opening there, but I thought once Demi did go out, everybody was like, ‘Let’s win this for her.’ I’m really proud of them for that.”
Saturday’s win was Alabama’s first in Baton Rouge against LSU since the 2008 SEC Tournament. The team hadn’t won at the new Tiger Park.
Alabama (22-3, 1-1 SEC) faces LSU (22-3, 1-1) in the rubber match Sunday at 2 p.m. on SEC Network.
The Daily Reveille's Marc Stevens contributed quotes to this story.