Softball Caps Series Sweep over LSU with 5-1 Win Sunday
Alabama softball wrapped up its regular season slate with a 5-1 win over LSU on Sunday, capping the series sweep.
The sweep is the first for Alabama (50-6, 18-6 SEC) over LSU (40-15, 14-10 SEC) in Baton Rouge since 2005 and the first for either team on the road since 2006. This weekend, paired with the most-recent series between the teams in 2017, marks the first back-to-back series win for either team since LSU won consecutive meetings in 2006-07.
The series sweep is the fourth this season for Alabama, previously taking three games from Missouri, Georgia and Florida. The 50 wins is the most for the Tide in the regular season since 2007.
“I was really proud of [junior] Krystal Goodman and all the new players that got to play,” UA head coach Patrick Murphy said. “[Junior] Taylor Clark came up with the RBI and played great defense. We had the key five-run inning and made it stand up. It was a really well-pitch weekend for us and credit goes to Stephanie VanBrakle Prothro for calling all the right pitches. Krystal limited the damage. The one run was a solo home run and they had some people on but she kept them from scoring.”
Goodman (10-0) led the way in the circle, throwing a complete game with just one run allowed on five hits with a season-high seven strikeouts. Five different players in the Alabama lineup contributed a hit, including a solo home run from Kaylee Tow, a two-run single from senior Merris Schroder and an RBI single from Clark.
“Everybody on the team should be very confident heading into the postseason,” Murphy said. “No matter what each player did individually, they should feel confident as a team going into the SEC Tournament.”
Aliyah Andrews started the game for LSU with a bunt single and then immediately stole second in the next at-bat, quickly putting a runner in scoring position. After a strikeout, a hit-by-pitch put two baserunners on with one out, but a popup and lineout ended the inning with the teams still scoreless.
After two more scoreless innings, Tow put the Tide in front with a solo home run to lead off the fourth inning. Junior Bailey Hemphill drew a walk behind her and junior Claire Jenkins safely reached on a bunt single, with Hemphill able to move all the way to third after a fielding error on the same play. After a popup for out number one, freshman Skylar Wallace drew a walk to load the bases. A wild pitch moved everyone up 60 feet to make it 2-0 and, after a popup for out number two, Schroder sent the 2-2 pitch back up the middle to score two and make it 4-0. After Schroder stole second, Clark brought her home with an RBI single and advanced to second on an errant throw. That forced a pitching change for LSU, who junior Elissa Brown welcomed to the game with a single up the middle to put runners at the corners. With Tow up for a second time this inning, a groundout finally ended the fame with Alabama ahead 5-0.
LSU led off its half of the fourth the same way Alabama led off the top, with a solo home run from Shelbi Sunseri. A single, strikeout and two more singles loaded the bases for LSU with one out. A big strikeout went for out number two before Goodman fielded the grounder and threw to first to get out of the bases-loaded jam leading 5-1.
That was all the scoring for the remainder of the game, as the teams combined to leave just two runners on base the rest of the way.
Alabama begins postseason play later this week at the 2019 SEC Softball Tournament in College Station, Texas. The Crimson Tide will be the No. 1 seed, opening play on Thursday, May 9 at 4 p.m. CT. The full bracket will be released upon the completion of this weekend’s games.
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