By outreach@cw.ua.edu (Kelly Ward)

Freshman right-hander Alexis Osorio was almost perfect against Washington. Almost was good enough in No. 6 Alabama softball’s 9-0 win on Saturday in the NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional.

Osorio (18-7, 1.66 ERA) gave up one hit — a Texas leaguer down the left-field line — and struck out nine.

“She was on point,” Alabama coach Patrick Murphy said. “I think in the beginning of the game when she would strike out people on three pitches that isn’t normal for her. Usually it’s a couple of foul offs. That was awesome to see. She was very, very economical with her pitches.”

In the first two innings, Osorio threw 24 total pitches, a dozen in each inning. She threw 75 total pitches and 55 for strikes in her first NCAA postseason appearance.

“Coming out today, I felt really nice and loose,” Osorio said. “My body felt great. Just getting that extra rest is just awesome and it feels great on my body.”

She had the offense to back up her pitching in the five-inning mercy-rule win. The Crimson Tide had nine runs on nine hits, including three home runs. Senior shortstop Danae Hays hit the scoreboard again on a first-pitch solo home run in the second inning. Junior centerfielder Haylie McCleney had a two-run home run later in that inning to put Alabama up 5-0 over Washington.

The offense was held scoreless in the third after a pitching change brought Washington left-hander Hailey Bator in. The fourth inning brought around another home run, this time a grand slam from Marisa “Home” Runyon.

“I just wanted to get it done, and I’ve told so many people it’s my mentality this year, I get the opportunity to do it instead of I have to,” Runyon said. “And I think I’ve really taken that approach to my at-bats and that’s been helpful.”

The sophomore third baseman had five RBI in the game to bring her to 75 total on the season, good for third in the school record book.

Charlotte Morgan currently holds the record with 79 RBI in 2008. Kaila Hunt is second in the books with 77 RBI in 2012.

“I try not to pay attention to any stats whatsoever,” Runyon said. “I just try and get the job done, but it’s really cool to know that I’m up there with some of the greatest players in Alabama’s history.”

In the two games Alabama has played in the regional, the Crimson Tide has five home runs. Hays and McCleney have two apiece.

Alabama (44-12) will play in Sunday’s final at noon.

Source:: The Crimson White Sports