April 29, 2016
COLUMBIA, S.C. – No. 4/4 Alabama (42-9, 13-6 SEC) held on to take a 3-1 win on Friday night against a fighting South Carolina (33-17, 5-14 SEC) team that had the game-winning run at the plate in the seventh.
The Gamecocks brought the tying run to the plate with one down in the seventh after junior Taylor Williams was hit by a pitch in her pinch-hitting spot, and with two down, senior Alaynie Page knocked her third hit of the night back through the middle to bring up the winning run. But reliever Alexis Osorio picked up her fourth strikeout of the night to close the game and collect her sixth save of the year.
The Tide held a 1-0 lead in the first on Reagan Dykes’ groundout, scoring Haylie McCleney after she started the contest with a walk. That advantage grew to 2-0 on Marisa Runyon’s hit that landed two feet fair inside the left-field line, scoring McCleney again after another free pass.
South Carolina cut the lead to 2-1 with a fifth-inning RBI single by junior Kaylea Snaer, scoring senior Jordan Bizzell after she started the frame with a walk. With two runners in scoring position, Alabama brought in Osorio, and she got out of the inning after Runyon knocked down the line shot to her at third and threw out the batter at first. Alabama made it 3-1 on a double by Sydney Booker, scoring pinch runner Demi Turner after Dykes started the frame with her own double.
Crimson Tide starter Sydney Littlejohn (20-4) took the win, tossing 4.2 innings and giving up one earned run on five hits and a walk. Gamecock junior Jessica Elliott (16-5) was charged with the loss, allowing two earned runs on four hits and two walks in four innings. Both starters struck out three. Osorio went 2.1 innings and gave up one hit with the four strikeouts in the save.
Alabama put together hits in three innings, getting a run in each to get the win.
South Carolina left eight runners on.
â€¢ Page led the Gamecocks with a 3-for-4 night.
â€¢ Snaer’s run-scoring single tied her for 11th on the career RBI charts with Ashley Smith (2003-06).
â€¢ Freshman Kennedy Clark and senior Ansley Ard both had hits as well.
â€¢ Alabama’s Chandler Dare went 3-for-4, while McCleney stole two bases and scored twice in a 1-for-2 night, drawing both Tide walks.
â€¢ Runyon, Dykes and Booker had the RBI for the Crimson Tide.
â€¢ Andrea Hawkins also went 2-for-3.
Tweet of the Game:
— Carol Bruggeman (@CoachBrugg) April 29, 2016
South Carolina and No. 4/4 Alabama play at 5 p.m. on Saturday afternoon at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field, with the SEC Network showing the game live. Alaynie Page’s Senior Day will take place before the game as well as an alumnae recognition, with 20 former players signed up to come back.