Ramblers wrecked after rain delay

Loyola-Chicago remained undefeated through 14 games and a 90-minute rain delay, but the streak came to an end after seven innings against the ninth-ranked University of Alabama softball team on Tuesday night.

Alabama extended its own winning streak to 13 in a row with a 5-0 victory over the Ramblers on a rain-soaked evening at Rhoads Stadium.

The contest was delayed for an hour-and-a-half by a downpour, and started in a heavy mist before the rain finally subsided. Alabama improved to 20-2.

Crimson Tide ace Alexis Osorio (10-1) kept up her high-strikeout ways, sitting down 18 batters in a one-hit, no-walk performance. It marked the sixth time this season she has struck out 14 or more, with a high of 19.

UA was efficient, scoring its runs on seven hits and plating a solo run in every inning but the fifth.

Alabama took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Outfielder Chandler Dare beat out a one-out bunt single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Catcher Bailey Hemphill, who has reached base safely in every game this season, drew a walk. With two outs, center fielder Merris Schroder drove a single to left field to bring in Dare.

UA added to its lead in the second thanks to a pair of Loyola errors. First baseman Peyton Grantham drew a leadoff walk and was replaced by pinch runner Rachel Bobo. Shortstop Claire Jenkins hit into a fielder’s choice, but reached on an error that moved Bobo to third. Outfielder Gabby Callaway also reached on a throwing error, which brought Bobo home to make it 2-0.

The Crimson Tide kept up the run-an-inning pace in the third. Third baseman Marisa Runyon hit a leadoff double to deep left field. She moved to second on a groundout and scored on Grantham’s chopper over third base for a 3-0 Alabama lead.

Hemphill, a freshman from Lafayette, La., drove a two-out, solo home run over the fence in center field – her fifth homer of the season – to extend UA’s advantage to 4-0 in the fourth.

Runyon capped the scoring with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to drive in a run in the bottom of the sixth.

Loyola pitcher Kiley Jones (7-1) limited Alabama’s damage by stranding nine runners. She gave up four earned runs with six strikeouts and five walks.

Alabama will host Valparaiso on Wednesday at 6 p.m. UA will open SEC play at home this weekend with a three-game series against Arkansas.

Reach Tommy Deas at tommy@tidesports.com or at 205-722-0224.