May 5, 2014
TUSCALOOSA, Ala . - A complete-game victory on Friday for Sydney Littlejohn helped earn Alabama sole possession of the 2014 SEC Championship and it also helped her earn SEC Freshman of the Week honors, announced by the conference office Monday.
Littlejohn made her first-ever SEC start in one of the biggest games of the season for Alabama. The Crimson Tide needed just one win this past weekend to secure sole possession of the 2014 SEC Championship, while Missouri needed a sweep to claim its own share of the title. Jaclyn Traina, who had yet to suffer an SEC loss this season, fell for the first time in Thursday’s opening game in a back-and-forth slugfest that saw the Tigers ultimately come out on top, 8-6.
Facing an offense that flexed its muscle the previous night, Littlejohn showed the poise of a veteran ace in the circle, throwing a complete-game victory while scattering just four hits with one earned run and six strikeouts. Missouri’s lone run of the game and the RBI single that sent her home represented the only two Tiger baserunners that would pass first base in the entire outing.
The next day, Littlejohn entered in the sixth inning in a save situation, leading 2-0 with the potential go-ahead run for Missouri at the plate. She went on to throw 1.2 shutout innings with just one hit allowed, intentionally loading the bases with two outs in both the sixth and seventh innings, striking out the final batter of the game to earn her third save of the season.
This season, the Rusk, Texas native is 10-1 overall with a 1.42 ERA with opponents hitting just .183 against her in 25 appearances, including eight starts. In SEC play, she is 3-1 with a 1.11 ERA over 19.0 innings with 13 strikeouts.
This is Alabama’s second weekly conference honor of the season, as fellow pitcher Jaclyn Traina was named the SEC Pitcher of the Week on March 24 following a 2-0 weekend in Gainesville against the then-top ranked Florida Gators. This is Alabama’s first SEC Freshman of the Week honor since Haylie McCleney won it twice during the month of February last season.
Also honored this week were senior infielder Codee Yeske from South Carolina and sophomore pitcher Chelsea Wilkinson from Georgia.