Alabama softball falls in regular-season finaleBy Kelly Ward | 05/08/2016 5:28pm
Kallie Case makes a diving catch in the seventh inning of No. 4 Alabama softball's 9-5 loss to No. 15 Georgia on Sunday, May 8, 2016. Photo courtesy of UA Athletics
Someone has to lose on senior day. Someone’s seniors have to go home with a loss on the last regular-season game of the season. Despite putting together a rally in the bottom of the seventh, No. 4 Alabama softball dropped its final game of the regular season 9-5 to No. 15 Georgia.
“I wanted one more batter to get on, I think we would’ve won,” Alabama coach Patrick Murphy said. “I don’t care how many outs there were, but if that last batter would’ve got on, I think we would’ve won it.”
After putting up eight runs in the sixth inning on Saturday to beat Georgia and take the series, the Crimson Tide wasn’t able to do it again to get the sweep.
Alabama stranded two in the seventh after putting up three runs. Senior Kallie Case hit a two-run home run, her first home run of the season. Her last home run came against Georgia in Athens last year.
It was disappointing not to be able to complete the rally though, Case said.
“Yesterday, we fell behind and the momentum just kept going and we ended up winning, but you can’t do that every day playing an SEC team,” Case said.
Junior right-hander Sydney Littlejohn (22-5) took the loss after allowing six runs (five earned) in 3 2/3 innings. She gave up eight hits and struck out two. Sophomore righty Alexis Osorio pitched an inning of relief. She gave up one run on three hits and struck out one. Freshman left-hander Madi Moore pitched 2 1/3 innings of relief after coming in with a full count, two outs and a runner on in the fifth. She struck out Georgia leadoff Alex Hugo on one pitch. Moore allowed two runs, both unearned, gave up one hit, walked two and struck out two.
Alabama also had two errors defensively. The Crimson Tide put together nine hits. Three of those came from senior first baseman Leona Lafaele who hit 3 for 4 and was a triple away from the cycle. She had two RBIs. Redshirt sophomore infielder Peyton Grantham went 2 for 2 with a run.
The team stranded seven runners and wasn't able to put any runs on the board for four innings after Lafaele's solo home run in the first.
“Too many holes in the lineup again, didn’t play defense, didn’t get a great starting, and not enough offense,” Murphy said. “A little run there at the end, but it’s too little too late. Gotta do better than that.”
For the first time ever, Alabama averaged more than 3,000 people at home. On Sunday, 3,725 were in attendance for the end of the season.
“It’s awesome,” Case said. “It gets us going. If we’re not feeling it one day, you just look up and the whole crowd is up on their feet cheering for you. And half of them don’t really know you so it’s really awesome. It makes it a great atmosphere to play in and a hard atmosphere for teams to come in and play in.”
Alabama (45-11, 16-8 SEC) is the 5-seed in the SEC tournament. The Crimson Tide will face 12-seed tournament host Mississippi State on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.