By (Kelly Ward)

Alexis Osorio wasn’t perfect, but she didn’t need to be.

She pitched 5 1/3 innings hitless before allowing a single. She walked one, hit one and struck out 16 in No. 4 Alabama softball’s 5-0 win over Louisiana Monroe on Sunday.

“Today, I felt pretty good, and I didn’t realize how many strikeouts I really did have,” Osorio said. “I was just kind of doing my thing out there, wasn’t really worried about too much, just me and Reagan back there.”

A month ago, the sophomore right-hander couldn’t pitch. She suffered a high ankle sprain in practice while running to cover third base. She spent the first tournament in the dugout cheering on her teammates.

“I was just there for the team, just supporting them,” Osorio said. “I mean, it kind of sucked that I didn’t get to play, but I was just there to support.”

In her 12 appearances before Sunday, she gave up 12 runs, all earned. She walked 12 and struck out 57. She allowed 27 hits, including an RBI single Saturday in the team’s 2-1 loss to unranked North Dakota State.

Last year at Georgia, Alabama coach Patrick Murphy got into her in the dugout for giving up a home run in a back-and-forth game. She sat down the next 18 batters she faced after the home run.

“I should’ve learned from that because she was very, very good that day,” Murphy said.

She was on again on Sunday. At one point, she struck out seven straight batters. Only two of her career-high 16 strikeouts were looking.

“I saw a couple when they turned their head and looked at the coach, it was like, ‘I don’t think I can hit this’ just that look, and maybe she saw that too,” Murphy said. “You jump on that if you’re a really good pitcher.”

Alabama’s bats got going in the bottom of the first. Senior center fielder Haylie McCleney hit a leadoff triple and scored on an error from the left fielder. Three straight singles scored another and a two-out single from sophomore transfer Sydney Booker plated the final run of the inning on a single.

Freshman catcher Reagan Dykes hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth to bring the score to 5-0.

Two Alabama players had multi-hit games. McCleney went 3-3 and was a home run away from the cycle. Sophomore second baseman Demi Turner went 2-3 with a pair of singles.

Alabama (20-2) hosts Samford on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in the last non-conference game before SEC play starts.

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports