By (Kelly Ward)

Marisa Runyon jogged out after hitting the ball and watched it sail past the foul pole in right field. She was hoping it was fair. It was, just crossing left of No. 4 Alabama softball’s sign with “two outs” and “so what” on it with exclamation points and question marks separating the phrases.

“I think I was trotting wondering if it was fair or foul, but it did feel pretty good, and it was a changeup,” Runyon said.

Her grand slam was yet another run (or four) scored with two outs this weekend.

“The foul pole, ‘two outs so what,’ we’ve been doing that for 15 years. I don’t know, I guess it’s something they believe in now,” Alabama coach Patrick Murphy said. “They spread it. It’s not a big deal you get two outs and nobody’s on. The next kid, she can start it. I think they believe in that.”

Alabama scored 22 of its 23 runs with two outs in the weekend sweep of Mississippi State. Alabama was 15-34 with two outs. The Crimson Tide drew nine walks with two outs over the weekend.

“I think almost all of our runs were with two outs and that just shows the grit of the team, and we’re never out of a game or we’re never going to lose a run so it’s just kind of cool that we never let down,” Runyon said.

Only one of Mississippi State’s two runs was scored with two outs. The other was scored on an RBI groundout for the second out.

Coming up clutch in April

Alabama has outscored its opponents 44-6 in the seven games it has played in April. The Crimson Tide has only lost once in the month, 3-2 at Florida.

“Christy Kyle, in 1997 when we started, she started hitting around April 1, and for her four years, it was like an automatic thing,” Murphy said. “I think when the weather got warmer and I don’t know if she got into a groove or what, but I’ve told the team that story for years so maybe it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. But usually when it gets warm – we went to Florida, it was warm, we played well. I don’t know if it’s just getting used to everybody, there’s a lot of new kids on this team. They’ve been fun to watch for about three weeks now.”

Alabama (35-7, 8-4 SEC) plays at Southern Miss before heading out for a three-game series at No. 11 Texas A&M. The next home game for the Crimson Tide is April 20 against South Alabama.

“I don’t think we’ve peaked yet and that’s the coolest thing,” Runyon said. “We have a couple of holes still. Pitching and defense have been great, but hitting, we’ve got a couple people here and there. If we put it all together, I mean, the sky’s the limit for this team.”

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports