By (Kelly Ward)

BATON ROUGE, La. — Alabama needed its ace, and for a while it had her. It needed some hits and solid defense. Those were harder to come by. In the series’ rubber match with No. 4 LSU, the No. 6 Crimson Tide couldn’t keep pace with the Tigers’ bats and fell 8-1 to drop the SEC opening series.

“You gotta have key hits, the pitching and the defense,” Alabama coach Patrick Murphy said. “And nothing, 0-for-3 so we got to find a way. Especially on a Sunday where we split the first two. We gotta do better than that.”

Alabama had four hits and left six on base. The Crimson Tide struck out eight times, as opposed to the Tigers’ five. Alabama’s leadoff batters went 1-7. The one hit was an RBI double.

The Crimson Tide started the day getting the leadoff on base after a fielding error. LSU clamped down after that. Sophomore right-hander Carley Hoover (10-0) pitched seven innings for the Tigers. She retired the last seven Alabama batters in order.

Alabama righty Alexis Osorio (7-2) took the loss after allowing eight runs, seven of which were earned, in 5 2/3 innings pitched. She walked four and hit another. She struck out four. Junior right-hander Sydney Littlejohn came in for relief in the bottom of the sixth and struck out the only batter she faced.

Sophomore Demi Turner was with the team but didn’t play after injuring her left elbow in Saturday’s win over the Tigers. There has been no official diagnosis.

Alabama (22-4, 1-2 SEC) takes a break from conference play and heads to Fullerton, California, for the Easton Tournament against Cal State Fullerton, Grand Canyon, New Mexico, DePaul and No. 13 Oklahoma.

“We’ll practice Wednesday at Fullerton, and just hopefully get some confidence back, get back in a rhythm,” Murphy said.

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports