Alabama softball: Shutout pitching powers Alabama through tough regional

Welcome to The Rammer Jammer, SEC Country’s daily Alabama athletics recap. Today, we look at the start of the NCAA Tournament for women’s softball.

Headed into the weekend, the Alabama softball team had never failed to advance to a Super Regional. To keep that streak, Alabama had to go through the 54-3 Minnesota Gophers, ranked as the top team in the country, with a fearsome lineup and even more terrifying pitching staff, while battling through one of the worst hitting seasons for the Crimson Tide in recent memory.

By the end of the weekend, Minnesota hadn’t plated a single run, thanks to standout pitching performances from Alexis Osorio and Sydney Littlejohn across two games that Alabama won by a combined 2-0. One of the runs (the first) came on a bases-loaded walk. 

The two wins against Minnesota capped an undefeated regional that began with a 5-1 victory against Albany. 

ICYMI

Built by Bama

Alabama legend Gene Stallings is home and recovering after a mild stroke he suffered shortly before an awards banquet. Stallings won a national championship as Alabama’s coach in 1992, capping an undefeated season. Best wishes to Coach Stallings in his recovery.

If you haven’t heard by now, Eddie Lacy’s new contract with the Seattle Seahawks is built to incentivize his weight loss after very public weight struggles in Green Bay.

ArDarius Stewart and O.J. Howard showed out at the NFL Players Association’s rookie premiere.

Alex Avila has been thriving as the Detroit Tigers first baseman this season. A seven-game on-base streak just came to an end, and his .380-plus batting average is astounding.

And for your heartwarming read of the day, Mark Ingram visited a child superfan after surgery. 

Around the Capstone

Alabama has history in many sports, but nobody would accuse it of being a rowing school. That could change, with a lowly program just over a decade old nearing contender status in the Big 12 and a bid to the NCAA Tournament. Alabama has moved from a single rack of boats under an old restaurant to a state-of-the-art facility on the banks of the Black Warrior River.

The women’s golf team is still in 21st place after the second round of the NCAA Championships, currently at 65-over par through 36 holes. The Crimson Tide will need to make it all the way up to eighth place by the end of the final stroke play round on Monday to qualify for match play. The round begins at 6:45 a.m.

The baseball team lost to Vanderbilt 13-1 on Friday and 18-1 on Saturday. But on Sunday, it tied! Baby steps.

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