Nobody’s perfect. Not even Alexis Osorio.
The University of Alabama’s junior pitcher retired 44 batters in order to start the 2017 season before finally giving up her first hit Wednesday night. She even gave up a run.
But the right-hander from Riverside, Calif., didn’t allow much else, striking out 15 batters to lead the fourth-ranked Crimson Tide to a 3-1 victory over South Alabama in UA’s home opener at Rhoads Stadium.
Osorio actually gave up five hits – three of them in the fourth inning to allow the Jaguars to score their run – but she only yielded one walk. She retired the first nine batters in order, striking out eight of them and only allowing South Alabama bats to contact the ball twice. She also closed things out by retiring the final four Jags in order, three on strikeouts.
“I wasn’t really keeping track of my strikeouts, but that’s pretty cool to get 15,” she said. “Hits are going to happen, I’m not too worried about that.”
Alabama took a lead in the bottom of the first when Demi Turner and Peyton Grantham hit back-to-back doubles to produce a run.
Freshman center fielder Elissa Brown scratched out another run in the third. She singled, stole second, stole third and came home on a throwing error.
“Elissa caused them to hurry with her speed and got a run all by herself,” Alabama coach Patrick Murphy said.
Brown also made a rookie mistake that allowed South Alabama to score. The Jags got back-to-back singles – neither of the hard-hit variety – to start off the top of the fourth. First baseman Abby Krzywiecki hit a hard ball to dead center that Brown misplayed, stepping forward and allowing it to get over her head to bring in the run.
“I knew she misread it, but she’s a freshman,” Osorio said. “She’s going to learn from it. It’s really OK, it’s not the end of the world.”
Senior third baseman Marisa Runyon blasted a solo home run to left-center for insurance in the fifth.
“Sophomore year I got a lot of inside pitches and that was my powerhouse, so I think last year I really went into that pulling off on the inside pitch,” she said. “I’ve been working extra … trying to attack that outside pitch.”
South Alabama outhit UA, five to four. Devin Brown (2-1) allowed four hits with four strikeouts and five walks to take the loss. Osorio improved to 3-0.
“At the beginning of the year I said we’ve got to learn to win 1-0, 5-4 or 9-8, and tonight we win being outhit,” Murphy said. “We had key hits.”
Alabama will visit 18th-ranked Louisiana-Lafayette this weekend for a three-game series.