A big opportunity for two resume-enhancing wins slipped away for Alabama as Washington traveled to Tuscaloosa and took both games of the weekend series.

Long Ball Carries Washington to Weekend Sweep

While Alexis Osorio and Sydney Littlejohn held Washington’s offense in check during the series, the Huskies scored five of their six runs for the weekend via the home run.

First baseman broke a 1-1 tie in the top of the seventh inning of Friday night’s contest with a two-run opposite field homer to right field. In game two Saturday, Ali Aguilar set the tone of the game with a solo round tripper on the first pitch of the game from Littlejohn. Julia Deponte and Sis Bates wrapped up the two-game sweep with solo homers in the fifth and sixth innings.

Struggling Offense

Although Alabama did not face an SEC opponent this past weekend, the Washington series provided a reminder of the Achilles’ heel for the 2017 Crimson Tide.

Alabama has scored six runs over their last five games and has averaged 3.8 runs per game in SEC play. Since Demi Turner’s injury at the start of April, the Crimson Tide has scored 2.6 runs per game.

In SEC play, the Alabama offense has managed a .248 team average including Demi Turner’s .438 average against conference opposition. Take out Turner’s production and the team average slips to a .232.

Pitching Keeping Alabama Afloat

Even with an anemic offense, the Crimson Tide pitching staff has kept the team in position to win games. Since the Missouri series, opposing teams are scoring 1.4 runs per game and have been shutout four times by the combination of Alexis Osorio, Sydney Littlejohn and Madi Moore.

The trio of pitchers combined to strike out 15 batters while issuing three walks in 21 innings pitched against Southern Miss and Washington over the past week.

Final Non-Conference Game

Alabama makes their second trip of the season to Birmingham to face the Samford Bulldogs for their non-conference finale of the regular season.

The Crimson Tide blanked the Bulldogs twice in 2016 including a 10-0 win in the regular season and a 3-0 victory to open the NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional.

The Samford team that Alabama will face Tuesday will have a different look from prior years. Samford lost six seniors from their Southern Conference championship team from last year including the program’s all-time winningest pitcher in Mollie Hanson.

Samford struggled out of the gate this season losing 24 of their first 35 games to start the season but have won 10 of their last 15 games.

The Bulldogs are led by one of the NCAA’s top leadoff hitters in junior Shelby Maze. The Morris, Alabama native is second in the country with 77 hits and leads the SoCon with a .428 batting average.

Tuesday’s tilt against Alabama marks the final home game of the season for Samford.

First pitch Tuesday from the Samford Softball Stadium is at 6 PM.

College Softball around Alabama

Despite off-the-field turmoil involving the suspension of three players, Auburn took two of three games at South Carolina. The Tigers shut down the Gamecocks 2-0 on Friday and Saturday thanks to Kaylee Carlson’s complete game on Friday and the combined efforts of starter Ashlee Swindle and Carlson out of the bullpen on Saturday. South Carolina returned the favor Sunday with a 3-0 shutout of the Tigers.

South Alabama and Troy picked up sweeps in Sun Belt Conference action. The Jaguars took care of Louisiana-Monroe on the road while the Trojans earned three wins at home over Appalachian State. South Alabama finished non-conference play at LSU Tuesday while Troy doesn’t play until Saturday.

Jacksonville State extended their winning streak to 15 games with two wins over SIU-Edwardsville. Emily Woodruff belted a two-run shot down the left field line in the bottom of the eighth inning to win game one 5-3 while Leila Chambers homered in the sixth inning to provide the winning run in a 2-1 victory in game two. After seeing Sunday’s twin bill against Eastern Illinois rained out, the Gamecocks travel to Ole Miss for a Wednesday evening game.

UAB played only one game this weekend at Middle Tennessee and lost 3-1 to the Blue Raiders Saturday evening. Claire Blount pitched six innings allowing three runs on five hits with three walks and three strikeouts in the loss. The Blazers offense mustered two hits including an RBI double from Amy Waters in the fifth inning.

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