Softball takes series behind early home runs in 3-0 win over KentuckyBy Kelly Ward | 04/24/2016 4:04pm
No. 4 Alabama softball’s three- and four-hole hitters won’t say they’re competing with each other. Both senior first baseman Leona Lafaele and freshman catcher Reagan Dykes hit a home run in Alabama’s 3-0 win over No. 11 Kentucky to clinch the series Sunday.
Both have 11 home runs this season.
“She needs to let me finish strong, OK? She needs to calm down and let me go ahead so that I can finish my senior year strong,” Lafaele said, laughing.
Lafaele hit the scoreboard in the third inning, two innings after Dykes put a two-run shot over the left-field fence.
“It’s awesome,” Lafaele said. “I’m so happy for Reagan. She comes up so clutch and like so many situations and she’s just a freshman. That’s awesome because we need that in the lineup. Having someone to have my back when I don’t do it is just such a great feeling.”
Lafaele and Dykes hit two home runs each this weekend. Lafaele has hit seven in her last eight games.
“We haven’t had many three-, four-[hole hitters] like that, like a senior and then a freshman,” Alabama coach Patrick Murphy said. “It’s usually been senior-senior. I think she kind of follows the leader a little bit, and both of them were off changeups which you don’t see that very often. You gotta credit them because that’s tough to do.”
Alabama put together five hits in the win. No one had more than one hit.
Junior right-hander Sydney Littlejohn (19-4) picked up the win after a complete game outing. She shutout the Wildcats, only allowing four hits. She struck out one.
“On Sunday in the SEC usually everybody’s going to pitch the first girl twice for the most part and then it comes down to who makes the quicker adjustments, the hitter or the pitcher,” Murphy said. “And I thought Sydney was much better obviously today. Her ball was moving.”
Alabama (41-9, 12-6 SEC) heads to South Carolina (32-16, 5-13 SEC) for a three-game series starting Friday at 5 p.m. CT. Saturday’s first pitch is at 4 p.m. The series concludes Sunday at noon.