Jacksonville couldn’t hit University of Alabama pitching on Friday.
It didn’t work like that the other way around, or the Crimson Tide would have had a perfect game to start off the Easton Crimson Classic at Rhoads Stadium.
The ninth-ranked Alabama softball team had to settle for a combined no-hitter thanks to one hit batter, winning 10-0 in five innings. UA defeated Drake 6-1 in the nightcap.
Alabama (16-2) will play Stanford on Saturday at 1:30 p.m., followed by a rematch with Drake.
Junior Alexis Osorio struck out the first nine Dolphins she faced before she hit Allie McCourt to lead off the top of the fourth inning. That’s the only baserunner Jacksonville would be able to generate.
“That wasn’t on purpose,” Osorio said “That drop curve did get away a little bit.”
Osorio (8-1) finished with 11 strikeouts in four innings of work, with the only non-strikeout out coming on a pop-up to second base. Sophomore lefty Madi Moore worked a perfect inning out of the bullpen, needing just seven pitches to cap the no-hitter. Neither walked a batter.
“It’s the best feeling ever having everything in rhythm and smooth,” Osorio said.
Alabama also produced a big inning on offense, something head coach Patrick Murphy was anxious to see. UA led 4-0 through three innings, with shortstop Sydney Booker and catcher Reagan Dykes each providing RBI singles and the other runs coming on a groundout and a sacrifice fly.
Alabama put together a six-run outburst in the fourth. Outfielder Merris Schroder fouled off five two-strike pitches and worked an 11-pitch at-bat that culminated with a three-run home run to left field to key the inning. Mari Cranek added a pinch-hit, two-RBI double.
“I had that long at-bat and I was feeling pretty good because I had a couple hard foul balls off her,” Schroder said. “When you’re getting good barrel on foul balls, it feels good.”
Said Murphy of the big inning, “It could have happened a couple more times. The positive is it’s a lot of people on base. It’s too early to be negative. You hope the law of averages will work out.”
Alyssa Bilodeau (4-4) took the loss. Jacksonville fell to 11-6.
Against Drake (12-7), UA got another strong pitching performance. Sydney Littlejohn (6-0) retired 12 straight batters in a span that started in the second inning and carried into the sixth. She scattered three hits with six strikeouts and one walk.
Chandler Dare went 2-for-2 with an RBI and scored a run. UA stranded 10 runners.
Reach Tommy Deas at tommy@tidesports.com or at 205-722-0224.