How do you follow a no-hitter?
Alexis Osorio did it by setting an Alabama softball strikeout record Saturday with 21 in a 7-2 victory over Fordham at Rhoads Stadium.
The senior two-time All-American from Riverside, California, who threw a no-hitter the night before, had her riseball singing and her changeup on a string. Ten of the strikeouts caught batters looking.
“I can’t even describe what happened out there,” Osorio said.
That’s 21 strikeouts in a seven-inning game, which tied an NCAA record for most in a contest without extra innings. Do the math and you probably figured every out was an Osorio strikeout, but the Crimson Tide did manage to record one by a different method: third baseman Claire Jenkins caught a pop-up in foul territory in the fifth inning.
“Everybody was giving Claire a hard time for that,” Osorio said.
Quipped UA coach Patrick Murphy, “I yelled at her.”
Osorio still got three strikeouts in that inning because a passed ball on a strikeout that allowed a runner to reach safely.
“(Catcher Carrigan Fain) helped her out with the dropped third strike,” Murphy said.
To get all those strikeouts, Osorio had to shake off a first inning that saw her give up a walk and a two-run home run, hit by Madi Shaw. That was followed by the long string of strikeouts.
“I knew that they would capitalize my mistakes and they did,” Osorio said.
She didn’t make any more.
“No, I learned from it,” she said.
Osorio (5-3) broke her own school single-game strikeout record. Her previous high was 19. She has five games with 18 or more.
“It’s not often you get to witness history or be a part of it,” Murphy said. “And they’re a good-hitting team. I mean, they’re no slouch.”
Alabama scored four runs in the fourth inning to break the game open, stealing five bases with three RBI singles. Bailey Hemphill hit a two-run home run in the third.
No. 13 Alabama also defeated Boston College, 6-3, and is 16-5 on the season. Freshman left-handler Madison Preston (5-1) had a similar outing, but without the strikeouts. She allowed three runs in the top of the fist inning – giving up a double and a home run while doing so – to put UA in a hole, but retired the final 11 batters she faced. She needed only 21 total pitches to work through the fifth, sixth and seventh innings.
Hemphill and Kaylee Tow hit home runs for the Crimson Tide, which overtook Boston College wiht a three-run outburst in the bottom of the fifth inning.
UA will face Samford on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. to close out the Easton Crimson Classic.
Reach Tommy Deas at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 205-722-0224.