Across the Diamond: Alabama’s Pitching Dominates Opening Weekend
Alabama football set sail on the 2018 season in impressive fashion thanks to three shutout wins on Thursday and Friday.
The Crimson Tide slipped past South Alabama 1-0 Thursday night while thumping Penn State 10-0 in five innings and Lamar 13-0 in five innings Friday afternoon in Gulf Shores.
Senior hurler Alexis Osorio began the season with a complete game shutout against the Jaguars but had two of her teammates in the circle pick up where she left off down at the Sand Dollar Classic.
Impressive Debuts for Madison Preston and Courtney Gettins
One of the keys for the Crimson Tide this season will be the ability to build pitching depth behind Alexis Osorio.
On Friday, both Madison Preston and Courtney Gettins made highly impressive debut outings.
Against Penn State, Preston got off to a shaky start allowing one hit, two walks and a hit batter in her first seven batters faced. Following that stretch, the Nittany Lions managed only one base runner who reached on a fielding error.
Shortly after Preston's first win of her collegiate career, Gettins took center stage with a five-inning no-hitter against Lamar. Like Preston, the New Zealand native walked two batters in her first six batters faced but finished strong retiring Lamar's final 10 batters of the game.
Gabby Callaway Offensive Spark
Although Alabama's bats took some time to get going in their season-opening weekend, one sophomore slugger had a tremendous impact in the offense scoring 23 total runs in their against Penn State and Lamar.
With the Crimson Tide leading 1-0 against the Nitanny Lions in the third inning, sophomore outfielder Gabby Callaway ripped a three-run triple to ignite a six-run inning. Following that inning, the Crimson Tide plated runs in five of their final six at bats of the weekend.
In their 13-0 victory over Lamar, eight batters recorded at least one hit while six batters drove in at least one run with Bailey Hemphill and Merris Schroder posting three RBIs each.
The Crimson Tide returns to action Friday afternoon at Southern Miss for the first of four games in the Black and Gold Tournament.
College Softball Tidbits around Alabama
Auburn's pitchers dominated from the circle as the Tigers went 6-0 in the Plainsman Invitational and head coach Mickey Dean's debut at Auburn . The Tiger pitching staff allowed one run over 39 innings. From the plate, sophomore Justis Perry went 8-15 with two round trippers and eight RBIs. Former Hillcrest Patriot KK Crocker finished the weekend 7-17 with six RBIs, two stolen bases and four runs scored.
UAB also ushered in a new era of softball as Amanda Ellis made her head coaching debut in the USF-Wilson DeMarini Tournament. The Blazers defeated Illinois State 2-1 Friday afternoon but fell to Michigan, South Florida, Georgia State and Florida. The Blazers head out to the west coast to participate in the Mary Nutter Classic against Stanford, Cal-Poly, Weber State, UCLA and Army from Feb. 17-19.
South Alabama recovered nicely from an opening-season loss to Alabama to lap the field in the Friends of Jaclyn Invitational in Winter Springs, Florida. The Jaguars took down Providence, Illinois, Butler and North Florida in the four-game, two-day tournament. In their 6-0 victory over Butler, Kansas transfer Alexis Reid threw a complete game no-hitter allowing two walks while fanning seven batters. In their weekend finale against North Florida, senior Devin Brown struck out 11 batters in her complete game 1-0 win.
The Troy Trojans won all three of their games in a rain-shortened Troy Classic. The Trojans defeated Tennessee State 9-1 in five innings before downing Alabama State and Valparaiso by identical 7-0 scores.
Elsewhere around the state, Jacksonville State went 3-2 in the River City Leadoff at Jacksonville University, Alabama State finished 1-2 at the Troy Classic, Samford lost all four games at Louisiana-Lafayette's Mardi Gras Invitational and Alabama A&M dropped single games to Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Division II Drury University.