By (Kelly Ward)

OKLAHOMA CITY — Alabama softball faced an impossible challenge: win four games in two days. It won one game but couldn’t come back against LSU.

Alabama had the bases loaded with one out in the top of the seventh, down 5-1. A sac fly scored one and a wild pitch with Alabama down to its final strike plated another.

With two outs and a runner on third, the Crimson Tide looked to postseason hero Marisa “Home” Runyon for one last push. Alabama came up short, falling 5-3 to LSU to end the Crimson Tide’s postseason run.

“Our goal every last inning is to get the tying run at the plate, and we did do that,” Runyon said. “I’m proud of every single person on the team, because we did do that and we met our goal there. And unfortunately it didn’t fall our way.”

Alabama had five hits and stranded seven on base. In the top of the first, Runyon drove in a run on a single to put Alabama up 1-0. Runyon’s RBI single was her 80th RBI of the season and broke Alabama’s previous single-season record held by Charlotte Morgan.

LSU responded in the bottom of the second, getting an RBI single followed by an RBI double. After an error, Kelsi Kloss, who hit the double, scored from second.

“I don’t know, it shouldn’t have been because we hadn’t done that for a long time,” Alabama coach Patrick Murphy said. “It was a little too much throwing the ball around and we haven’t done that since probably February.”

Sophomore right-hander Sydney Littlejohn (16-2) took the loss. She gave up five runs on five hits. She walked two batters and struck out one. Littlejohn left in the fourth inning after walking the leadoff batter.

Senior right-hander Leslie Jury came in for relief. She pitched 3.0 shutout innings and allowed two hits. She walked one batter and struck out four.

Alabama couldn’t get any run support for its pitching until the seventh inning.

“Murph always said, ‘it’s pitching, defense and timely hitting, those are the three keys to winning a championship,’” junior centerfielder Haylie McCleney said. “And it was unfortunate that we didn’t have a lot of timely hits. But you can’t say that this team didn’t fight. You cannot say that because we left it all out there on the field, you saw that in the last inning.”

With the loss, Alabama was eliminated from the Women’s College World Series and finished the year 48-15.

Source:: The Crimson White Sports