Preview: Alabama Softball Opens SEC Play at LSU
The Alabama Crimson Tide finished Tuesday night’s midweek clash with Samford in impressive fashion with a 10-0 win in 5 innings.
After being going without a base runner through two innings, Alabama’s offense took control scoring four runs in the 3rd inning and six runs in the 4th inning. Eight of nine Crimson Tide starters in the batting order recorded at least one hit, seven of the nine starters scored at least one run and six of the nine starters got at least 1 RBI.
Sydney Littlejohn got into some trouble in the first inning but left the bases loaded without a allowing a run. After that, Littlejohn controlled the Bulldogs lineup allowing just two base runners through her final four innings.
The Crimson Tide cruised through their first four weeks with a 21-2 record and now begin a tough stretch of games over the next month which begins this weekend at LSU where Alabama has failed to taste success in recent years.
LSU opened Tiger Park in 2009 and have yet to lose to Alabama in eight games played at the new Tiger Park. Overall, the Tigers have won 10 straight games over Alabama in Baton Rouge dating back to 2007.
Like Alabama, LSU comes in with an impressive 21-2 record and a top 5 national ranking. The Tigers carry a 17-game winning streak with their only losses coming to Pacific 2-1 during the first weekend of the season in Baton Rouge and a 3-0 loss to #18 Arizona during the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Cathedral City, California.
LSU’s pitching staff has a 0.97 team ERA while not allowing a run over their last 22 innings. Three Tigers pitchers to keep an eye out for are sophomore Allie Walljasper, sophomore Carley Hoover and freshman Sydney Smith. Walljasper and Smith have displayed excellent control with both pitchers having ERAs below 1.00. Hoover is a transfer from Stanford that is LSU’s best power pitcher. Hoover leads LSU with an 8-0 record and a team high 74 strikeouts.
From the plate, junior Sahvanna Jaquish is the most fearsome hitter in the lineup. Jacquish has a .500 average with 7 round trippers, 29 RBIs and a .633 on-base percentage.
A key for Alabama this weekend is for fpr both Haylie McCleney and Demi Turner to reach base consistently and for the offense to take advantage of scoring opportunity that come their way.
First pitch Friday is at 6 PM with game time Saturday set for 5 PM and Sunday’s start time at 2 PM. The final two games of the series will be televised on the SEC Network.
College Softball Notes Around Alabama:
-#3 Auburn puts a 14-game winning streak and a streak of 40 straight scoreless innings from the circle on the line as #1 Florida comes in for Auburn’s SEC opener.
-Samford travels to UT-Arlington to play in the Maverick Classic where they’ll face two ranked teams in #18 Arizona and #25 Texas and UT-Arlington who comes in at 18-0.
-Troy and South Alabama open Sun Belt Conference play on the road at Georgia State and #5 Louisiana-Lafayette respectively