Softball’s Season Ends in 5-1 Loss to LSU at WCWS
Alabama’s season came to an end late Saturday night at the Women’s College World Series as the Crimson Tide fell to LSU, 5-3, in the final elimination game of the day at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.
Alabama (48-15) took the first lead of the game over LSU with an RBI single by Marisa Runyon in the first inning, but a three-run first inning and two-run second ultimately gave the Tigers enough offensive cushion to hold off a late rally attempt by the Tide, who scored two runs in the seventh inning. Runyon’s RBI single marked her 80th RBI of the season, which is a new single season record at Alabama, passing Charlotte Morgan’s previous mark of 79 set in 2008. Runyon led the Tide offensively in the game with a 2-4 performance, the lone multi-hit performance of the game.
LSU starter Allie Walljasper (16-5) threw 6.0 innings in the win as Carley Hoover entered in the seventh inning to earn her fifth save of the season. Tide starter Sydney Littlejohn (16-2) and reliever Leslie Jury each pitched three innings.
Runyon’s record-setting RBI in the first inning was set up by Demi Turner, who was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and advanced to second on a wild pitch. After a fly ball, a groundout advanced her to third before Runyon’s single down the right field line drove her in to make it 1-0. LSU quickly tied it up in the bottom half of the inning on an RBI single by Savanna Jaquish before an RBI double by Kellsi Kloss and an errant throw on the same play allowed two runs to cross and give the Tigers a 3-1 lead.
With two in scoring position and two out in the bottom of the second, a single through the right side by Bailey Landry tacked on two more runs as LSU improved its lead to 5-1. With the score the same in the bottom of the fourth, a leadoff walk prompted a pitching change as Leslie Jury entered the game in relief. Chaunsey Bell fired down to Turner at second to catch Constance Quinn stealing for out number one and back-to-back strikeouts by Jury ended the inning with Alabama still facing a four-run deficit.
The score remained 5-1 heading to the top of the seventh, as Alabama was now just three outs away from an elimination loss. Back-to-back singles to lead off the half-inning looked to start a rally for Alabama as LSU made a pitching change, turning to staff ace Carley Hoover. She would strike out the first batter she faced before a wild pitch moved the two runners into scoring position and a walk loaded the bases with one out. A deep sacrifice fly moved every runner up 60 feet, making it a 5-2 ballgame with two in scoring position. A wild pitch would score another, making it 5-3, but a groundout ended the rally attempt as the Crimson Tide fell, 5-3.