The Alabama Crimson Tide used stellar pitching plus the long ball to take an important SEC series from the Kentucky Wildcats with scores of Alabama softball alumnae in attendance.

After the Wildcats stole game one 3-2 Friday night, the Crimson Tide seized control of the series with a 7-1 win Saturday and a 3-0 victory Sunday. Alexis Osorio and Sydney Littlejohn pitched some of their best softball of the season in the two victories. Osorio allowed one run on four hits while striking out seven and issuing one free pass in her complete game effort Saturday.

For Littlejohn, Sunday’s performance could simply be described as masterful. The junior from Rusk, Texas, handcuffed the Wildcats using pinpoint control to turn in a series clinching complete game shutout. She needed only 87 pitches for the Sunday win as Kentucky managed four hits and seldom got a runner into scoring position. Although she only had one strikeout, Kentucky’s batters failed to get solid contact on Littlejohn throughout the game.

For the second straight weekend, the long ball aided Alabama to a series win. Eight of Alabama’s 12 runs over the weekend came off a home run.

Reagan Dykes and Leona Lafaele each smashed two home runs during the series. Dykes hit a two-run homer Friday and put the Crimson Tide ahead early on Sunday with a two-out two-run shot to left field. Leona Lafaele kept up her home run streak with a three-run homer in the sixth inning Saturday and a solo shot in the third inning Sunday off the scoreboard.

The biggest hits in the series came from second baseman Chandler Dare. Dare has filled in at second base for an injured Demi Turner over the last six weeks. Saturday, the junior out of American Christian Academy came up clutch with a 2-4 day with 4 RBIs including a go-ahead two-run two-out single in the bottom of the fourth inning and another two-run single in the bottom of the sixth inning.

In addition to the series win, Alabama softball hosted a grand alumni weekend with players spanning the 20-year history of Crimson Tide softball introduced before Saturday’s game.

With the series win, Alabama moves ahead of Tennessee into fourth place and is one game in the loss column behind Kentucky for third in the SEC standings.

Alabama has the week off before traveling to South Carolina for their last SEC road series of the regular season.


College Softball Notes Around Alabama:

-#2 Auburn swept #13 Georgia with two of their wins coming in last at-bat situations. Kelsey Cooper belted a three-run homer Friday to hand the Tigers a walk-off win while the Tigers scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to win the series finale Sunday.

-The SoCon leading Samford Bulldogs swept a doubleheader at Western Kentucky Saturday winning game one 8-1 in nine innings and notching a 14-9 win in game two. Former Hillcrest Patriot Callie Brister broke the Samford record for career RBIs with a 5-RBI effort over the two games and was also 5-5 with a two-run homer in Samford’s game two win at WKU.

-UAB swept UTEP this weekend in El Paso, Texas. The Blazers play their final non-conference games Tuesday at home against Chattanooga and Wednesday on the road at Ole miss.

-Troy took two of three games from Georgia Southern including a complete game win from former Tuscaloosa County Wildcat Ashley Rainey on senior day. The Trojans have the week off before beginning a final six-game road stretch Friday at UT-Arlington.

-South Alabama dropped all three games at Texas State over the weekend. The Jaguars have lost five games in a row as they travel to Mississippi State for their final road game of the season Tuesday.

-Alabama State lost their first SWAC game of the season in a 12-10 loss Sunday to Mississippi Valley State but still won the series. The Hornets have the week off before closing the regular season next weekend with a three-game series at in-state rival Alabama A&M.