Alabama Softball Defeats Georgia State, Shuts Out Ninth-Ranked Florida State Friday in Tuscaloosa
Alabama opened Friday play at the Easton Bama Bash with a pair of strong wins, defeating Georgia State, 5-1, before shutting out ninth-ranked Florida State, 3-0, and defeating the reigning national pitcher of the week.
Alabama (8-1) was guided by timely hitting and two great performances in the circle against Georgia State (5-8) and Florida State (10-4). Freshman Madison Preston led the Tide against the Panthers, tossing 7.0 innings with just one unearned run allowed, and senior Alexis Osorio backed that up with a complete-game shutout over the ninth-ranked Seminoles, striking out a season-high 10 batters.
“[Alexis] Osorio did a great job again tonight,” Murphy said. “Every now and then she gets in trouble but pitches out of it. It was the best performance of the year so far for her.”
Alabama’s offense chased the reigning national pitcher of the week, Florida State’s Kylee Hanson (5-2), after just 4.0 innings of work with all three runs credited to her. The Tide was led at the plate by junior Reagan Dykes, who went 2-2 with an RBI, while senior Demi Turner made her first start of the season, lacing a leadoff triple in the fifth-inning before scoring the final run of the game for Alabama.
Starting on second base in the game against Georgia State, freshman Maddie Morgan tallied nine assists, tying the single-game record originally set by Staci Ramsey on April 19, 2003 at South Carolina. Sophomore Gabby Callaway tallied a pair of hits against the Panthers, driving in two runs on a third-inning double, while senior Peyton Grantham belted a second-inning home run, her second of the young season.
GAME ONE: ALABAMA 5, GEORGIA STATE 1
Georgia State scored the first run of the day in the top of the second, scoring on a Crimson Tide throwing error to make it 1-0 on the unearned run. Alabama wasn’t down long as senior Peyton Grantham blasted a two-run home run in the bottom half of the inning to make it 2-1.
Senior Sydney Booker and sophomore Elissa Brown led off the bottom of the third with back-to-back singles and freshman Kaylee Tow followed with a third-straight hit, knocking it up the middle to score Booker and make it 3-1. Later in the inning with one out and runners at the corners, Callaway laced a two-run double into the left field gap, advancing to third on the throw with the score now 5-1.
Neither team would score for the remainder of the game, as Preston and the Crimson Tide defense shut down Georgia State to clinch the four-run victory.
GAME TWO: ALABAMA 3, FLORIDA STATE 0
Brown led off the bottom of the first with a single up to middle, stole second in the next at-bat and then advanced to third on a groundout before sophomore Bailey Hemphill was able to bring the speedy leadoff hitter home on an RBI groundout as Alabama took the early 1-0 lead.
The score remained the same until the bottom of the fourth. Grantham knocked a one-out single to left field and, with freshman KB Sides pinch running, she advanced to second on a groundout and came home on a hard-hit RBI single from Dykes to double the lead to 2-0.
Turner, making her first start of the season, brought Rhoads Stadium to its feet with a leadoff triple in the bottom of the fifth. A walk to Brown, stolen base and intentional walk to Hemphill loaded the bases with one away. Callaway lifted a fly ball to center field, allowing Turner to tag up and score on the sacrifice fly before a groundout ended the inning with Alabama now leading 3-0.
The score remained the same heading into the top of the seventh, as Osorio and the Tide defense retired Florida State in order to secure the shutout.
Alabama continues play at the Easton Bama Bash Saturday, facing Northern Iowa (9-4) at 1:30 p.m. CT and Florida State (10-4) at 4 p.m. CT.
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