March 8, 2014
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Alabama softball put up another strong performance against South Carolina on Saturday, clinching the series with a 10-5 win at Rhoads Stadium.
Much like in game one, Alabama (19-4, 2-0 SEC) built an early lead over South Carolina and held off the Gamecocks in the closing innings. Molly Fichtner earned her second straight multi-hit game, going 2-2 with a pair of RBI and two runs scored while Kallie Case also earned two hits at the plate, driving in one off a first-inning single. Haylie McCleney's first-inning single also extends her hitting streak to a season-high 10 games. Sydney Littlejohn (5-0) earned the win in the circle, throwing 3.2 hitless relief innings.
South Carolina (14-6, 0-2 SEC) struggled to keep up with a potent Tide offense, while the defense didn't help their cause with a pair of errors. Starter Julie Sarratt (5-3) lasted just 2.2 innings while allowing seven runs, five earned, in the loss.
Alabama built an early 3-0 lead in the first inning thanks to an RBI single by Case and a two-run single by Peyton Grantham. South Carolina cut the lead to one thanks to a two-run homer in the top of the third but Alabama put some distance between the teams with a six-run bottom of the third. Alabama scored all six of its runs with two outs in the inning, as two hits, a wild pitch and a pair of errors allowed the Tide to pad its lead to 9-2 after three innings.
The Gamecocks answered back with three runs in the top of the fourth off an RBI single, a wild pitch and an Alabama fielding error, cutting the lead to 9-5. Littlejohn entered to pitch with two away in the fourth and took control from that point on, holding the Gamecocks scoreless for the remainder of the game. Alabama added an insurance run in the sixth off a Marisa Runyon RBI single, which proved final as the Tide won 10-5.
The three-game series concludes tomorrow with first pitch set for 1:35 p.m. CT. The game will be broadcast locally on WVUA-TV and on 95.3 FM.