Alabama Softball Season Ends at Hands of SEC Foe

Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports /

The 2016 Alabama softball season came to a close Saturday afternoon at the Women’s College World Series with a 6-4 loss to the LSU Tigers.

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The Alabama softball team finishes up the year with a 51-14 record and two losses in Oklahoma City.

The Tigers put the first run of the day on the board and wasted no time in doing so. In the lead-off spot, Sandra Simmons worked to a full count and then guided a blast right past the foul pole in right field to give LSU the 1-0 lead. Tide starting pitcher Sydney Littlejohn got out of a bit more trouble with a strikeout to end the frame and limit the damage.

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Alabama was in good shape to even things back up during the bottom half, but the timely hitting that plagued the squad on Friday showed up again. Haylie McCleney placed one in the gap of left center and was 60 feet away from the dish with only one out. The Tide threat ended with a ground out by Leona Lafaele and Marisa Runyon watching three straight pitches breeze past.

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The trio of Bianka Bell, Sahvanna Jaquish, and Kellsi Kloss extended the Tiger lead in the third. Bell led things off for the Tigers in the frame with a single. She advanced to second during the next at-bat and grabbed third as well with heads up base running when Marisa Runyon was not covering the bag. A ground out from Kloss pushed her in to put LSU ahead 2-0.

The Crimson Tide didn’t plan on going quietly and cut the deficit in half during the third. The bases were filled with ladies in crimson and white with only one away. Sydney Booker reached first with a double to lead things off and scored when Leona Lafaele dropped an RBI single into right field.

The one-run lead didn’t last for long as the Tigers blew it open in the fourth, plating four runs to take a 6-1 lead over the Tide. After a single from Amber Serrett and a double from Emily Griggs, Coach Patrick Murphy went to the pen to get Madi Moore in the circle for Sydney Littlejohn (she re-entered in the sixth). RBI singles from Simmons and Janquish scored three runs while a passed a ball allowed the fourth to come in.

The Tide tried to claw back in the sixth and inched a bit closer to the Tigers. Lafaele started off the Alabama frame with solo home run and an RBI single from Chandler Dare made the score 6-3. Alabama added one more on a fielding error that allowed Kallie Case to reach and sent Dare in to close the game to two runs and the eventual final score.

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LSU moves on in the Women’s College World Series to face the loser of the Georgia and Auburn game.