By Sami Harb
Special to Tidesports
It may have been her first home start of the season, but Alexis Osorio looked to be nearing mid-season form in No. 10 Alabama softball’s 3-0 victory over No. 7 Florida State Friday at Rhoads Stadium at the Easton Bama Bash.
“I would say I’m definitely coming around to where I used to be last year,” Osorio said.
Alabama defeated Georgia State earlier Friday, 5-1. On Saturday, the Crimson Tide (8-1) will face Northern Iowa at 1:30 p.m. before a rematch with Florida State at 4 p.m.
Osorio allowed a hit to FSU’s leadoff batter to start the game but allowed only two more for the remainder of the evening. She struck out 10 en route to her third victory of the season. Osorio did not allow an extra-base hit.
Osorio faced faced one jam, giving up a hit and a walk to put two runners with no outs in the first inning, but the veteran showed her poise and proceeded to retire the Seminole’s next nine batters, striking out five of them.
“They have really good hitters and I made a couple of mistakes and they capitalized on those,” Osorio said. “I knew that I had to tighten down and tighten up my spin a little bit more.”
While the Crimson Tide wasn’t able to produce a ton of offense against FSU’s Kylee Hanson, Alabama was able to capitalize on its limited opportunities to bring home runners when it had the chance. The Crimson Tide scored three runs on just five hits.
Bailey Hemphill began the scoring with a groundout RBI in the first inning. Regan Dykes and Gabby Callaway added RBIs in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively.
Dykes was the only Alabama player with multiple hits with two.
“She’s kind of been struggling just a little bit but I think tonight she was 2-2, looked like her old self and was really swinging at the correct pitch,” Alabama coach Patrick Murphy said. “She was taking the balls and swinging at strikes which is a lot easier said than done against really good pitchers.”
Sophomore Elissa Brown had a hit in her lone at-bat and stole three bases.
Senior Demi Turner made her first start of the season, contributing a leadoff triple in the fifth before eventually scoring Alabama’s final run.
In the first game against Georgia State, despite allowing the first run of her young Alabama career, Madison Preston earned her third win of the season in a complete game.
After being rock solid in her first two starts of the season, Preston gave up six hits in the first three innings, allowing Georgia State to put runners on base in each inning.
Although the freshman bent, she didn’t break, holding the Panthers to one run before cruising through the remainder of the game giving up just two hits over the last four innings.
“I was proud of her because we messed up the one run, the defense,” Murphy said. “When she keeps the ball knee (high) or down you can’t really lift it.”
Gabby Callaway had two hits in three at-bats, driving in two runs and scoring another courtesy of a two-run homer from Peyton Grantham in the second to give Alabama the lead. Kaylee Tow drove in the Crimson Tide’s other run.
In other action at Rhoads Stadium on Friday, Florid State defeated Georgia State 9-0 and Georgia State beat Northern Iowa 3-1.