Senior infielder Marisa Runyon’s two-run double in the fifth inning led the University of Alabama softball team to a big 4-2 victory over LSU on Sunday afternoon, as the Crimson Tide took the key weekend series.
Junior pitcher Alexis Osorio notched her second victory of the series while improving to 18-4. She yielded 1 earned run on 5 hits and 4 walks, while striking out just 3.
Alabama improved to 35-7 overall, 10-5 in SEC play. It came into the three-game series ranked No. 11 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll and No. 12 in the USA Today/NFCA poll, while LSU was No. 8 in both.
“I felt like Runyon was going to get a hit,” Alabama coach Patrick Murphy said during his postgame press conference. “I was going to bunt her, but we called a timeout and I told her I had a good feeling about her. It was a really good at-bat and she has shown signs of breaking out over the last couple of games.”
Alabama opened the scoring in the second when freshman outfielder Gabby Callaway finished off a 10-pitch at-bat by singling in sophomore catcher Reagan Dykes, but LSU countered with a 2-run rally in the third. After loading the bases on an infield single and 2 walks, the first run scored on a passed ball and the second was on sacrifice bunt.
The Crimson Tide evened the score in the fourth inning when junior shortstop Sydney Booker singled in pinch-runner Rachel Bobo, after Dykes reached on a fielding error.
With LSU sophomore Sydney Smith (9-2) entering the game in relief of starter Allie Walljasper, Alabama plated the final two runs after infield hits by Chandler Dare and Elissa Brown set up Runyon’s drive to left-center with no outs.
However, the end of the inning nearly helped LSU regain the momentum.
With pinch-hitter Mari Cranek batting with two outs, pinch-runner Merris Schroder attempted to steal third and was called out even though her slide clearly knocked the ball loose from the shortstop covering on the play. After Murphy lost his argument with the umpiring crew, LSU drew a leadoff walk in the sixth as Osorio reached 100 pitches, but the Tigers failed to advance to the runner.
Right fielder Bailey Landry reached base four times for LSU (32-9, 8-4 SEC) , with 3 hits including a triple and a double, and drew a walk. However, she only scored once.
Rhoads Stadium was filled with 3,940 fans for the series finale. Alabama took the first game of the series on Friday with a 2-hit shutout for a 3-0 victory, but LSU countered with a 1-0 win on Saturday.
Alabama will host UAB on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET), before heading to No. 17 Tennessee next weekend for another big three-game series.
The story was updated with Murphy’s postgame comment, which was released in a statement.