Softball struggles offensively against No. 9 WashingtonBy Ben Boynton | 04/23/2017 11:36pm
Alabama softball infielder Sydney Booker makes contact against Louisiana State University on the weekend of April 7.
The Alabama Crimson Tide softball team struggled offensively against the No. 9 Washington Huskies. The Crimson Tide didn’t pick up a hit on Friday night until the fourth inning, ultimately falling 3-2 after a late-inning rally left a tying runner stranded in scoring position. The struggles continued on Saturday, as the Huskies shutout the Crimson Tide 3-0 to win the series.
Washington scored first Friday in the fourth inning with an RBI single. Alabama responded with an RBI double from freshman left fielder Gabby Callaway to even up the score. Neither team scored again until the seventh inning, when Washington first baseman Kirstyn Thomas hit a two-run home run to take a 3-1 lead.
“I think it was in the right location, but it could have been a better pitch movement-wise,” junior pitcher Alexis Osorio said. “My goal the whole game was to get ahead of the batters. In the at-bat with her, I wasn’t in the best count. Point proven that they are a great hitting team, so they are going to make the adjustments and capitalize on errors.”
Alabama came up to the plate in the seventh inning needing to make something happen. Sophomore designated player Carrigan Fain drew a walk and then scored on an RBI single from freshman second baseman Claire Jenkins to draw within a run. That was as close as Alabama came, as the tying runner was stranded on the bases.
"In a game like this, Washington just got the key hit," head coach Patrick Murphy said. "I think if we would have had one more person on base in the last inning, we could have won. Alexis [Osorio] threw a good game, but Washington is a good team."
After the late rally fell short on Friday night, Alabama came back to Rhoads Stadium Saturday afternoon looking to salvage a split series. Alabama out-hit its opponent but couldn’t get it done, falling to the Huskies in a long game that included a 90-minute weather delay midway through the game. The Crimson Tide put up five hits to Washington’s four, but three of those four Washington hits were solo home runs.
Leadoff hitter Ali Aguilar hit the first pitch of the game from senior pitcher Sydney Littlejohn over the fence for a 1-0 lead the Huskies never relinquished. Washington added its other two runs in the fifth inning and the sixth inning with additional solo home runs.
Junior shortstop Sydney Booker led the Crimson Tide with two hits, as Alabama had opportunities to score but stranded eight baserunners. Littlejohn suffered her fourth loss of the year, all of which have come when the Crimson Tide were shutout.
With the two losses, Alabama drops to 37-10 on the year. The Crimson Tide travels to Birmingham next for a Tuesday night game against the Samford Bulldogs. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.