Alabama softball travels to Lexington, Kentucky, this weekend with a full roster of pitchers. The 16th-ranked Crimson Tide went through last weekend’s series versus Ole Miss with only two available pitchers, but ace Alexis Osorio has been medically cleared to return to the field.
Osorio, a two-time All-American from Riverside, California, sustained a concussion when she was struck in the head with a batted ball on March 18 at Auburn. She hasn’t played since, but received word Tuesday that she can play starting with the series against the 19th-ranked Wildcats.
Junior college transfer Courtney Gettins pitched two victories against Ole Miss and was the winner of a midweek game against UAB in relief while Osorio was out. Freshman left-hander Madison Preston took the loss against Ole Miss. All three are available this weekend.
Osorio is 6-3 with a 1.61 earned-run average and 101 strikeouts in 61 innings. Gettins is 10-2 with a 1.68 ERA, while Preston is 6-3 with a .277 ERA.
Elissa Brown has settled into UA’s leadoff position in the batting order with a .348 average and is 18 for 18 stealing bases. Freshman outfielder Kaylee Tow is batting .345 with 13 of her 28 hits going for extra bases, including six home runs. First baseman/catcher Bailey Hemphill is Alabama’s leader in home runs (7) and walks (21) and has reached base safely in 12 straight games. Hemphill is batting .342.
Claire Jenkins has played third base in the absence of Peyton Grantham, who is recovering from a foot injury.
“She played really good defense and hasn’t hurt us, and that’s the key,” Patrick Murphy said. “It’s like next person up when anybody gets injured. You’re one injury away from being a starter. She handled it well last year and she’s handling it this year.”
No. 16 Alabama at No. 19 Kentucky
Where: John Cropp Stadium in Lexington, Kentucky
Schedule: Friday at 5 pm., Saturday at 4 p.m., Sunday at noon (all times Central)
Records: Alabama 22-8, 3-3 SEC; Kentucky 19-9, 2-6 SEC
TV: ESPN2 (Saturday only)
Radio: 93.3 FM