Softball drops series opener, has 1-0 lead in halted second game

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UA

Alabama softball strung together four hits in the loss to Florida. Photo courtesy of UA Athletics.

Kelly Ward

The rain held off for Alabama softball to get a midweek game but not long enough for the No. 4 Crimson Tide to get two games in on Saturday. 

Alabama and No. 2 Florida suspended play of the second game of the scheduled doublehearder around 7 p.m. in the top of the fifth inning due to rain. Florida has a runner on third with nobody out and its leadoff batter up, trailing Alabama 1-0. The game will be resumed at 3:30 p.m. on Monday.

In the first game of the day, Alabama freshman right-hander Alexis Osorio (9-3) did not give up an earned run in the 1-0 loss to Florida. She allowed six hits but struck out seven. The lone run came in the top of the sixth on a rare error from centerfielder Haylie McCleney.

“Well, you just feel really bad for her [Osorio] because as a freshman, she basically handcuffed the No. 2 team in the country, and who knows if they would have scored, they scored on an error, but you feel bad for her because all we needed was two runs to kind of win the game for her,” Alabama coach Patrick Murphy said. “And the disappointing thing for me was I believe that we didn’t have more than four batters in any one inning and so that’s not passing it down the line to the next girl. That’s a pretty easy day to only have to face four batters in an inning so we just gotta do a better job of that.”

Alabama almost broke the shutout in the bottom of the fifth inning by junior outfielder Andrea Hawkins. She singled to lead off the inning. A sacrifice bunt from senior catcher Chaunsey Bell moved her to second. Junior utility Kallie Case doubled. Hawkins rounded third and was tagged out at the plate.

The team strung together four hits in the loss and left four on base.

“It feels kind of bad on our part just because we didn’t produce the runs for her, and it’s just more pressure on her,” Hawkins said. “We want to let the pressure off of her just because she’s been throwing just an awesome game and you know, we had her backs but we just couldn’t come through.”

In the second game, Alabama got its pitcher, senior right-hander Leslie Jury (4-2, 2.53 ERA), a lead but it took two innings to get it.

McCleney singled to lead off in the bottom of the first inning. The next two batters struck out. With senior designated player Danielle Richard up to bat, McCleney stole second. A throwing error on the catcher allowed her to take third. She was thrown out at home.

In the second inning, Richard scored. She singled and advanced to second on an infield groundout. She stole third and scored on an errant throw to third.

“I honestly didn’t know that she had missed it at third so I like looked and then I saw the ball, and I want, ‘Oh, crap, I gotta get up,’ and so I was running down the line, and I was like, ‘Please, don’t get hosed. Please don’t get hosed,’” Richard said. “I don’t even know if she threw it or what, but it worked out for our favor so it was awesome.”

The rain which had made appearances throughout the day came in force in the fifth when the call was made to delay the game before deciding to resume at a later time.

Alabama (21-6, 5-2 SEC) will face Florida (29-2, 2-2 SEC) again on Monday to resume the second game of the series at 3:30 and play the final game at 6 p.m.