By (Ben Boynton)

The Alabama Crimson Tide softball team got its 2017 season off to a strong start with a pair of wins Friday afternoon at the Kickin’ Chicken Classic in Conway, South Carolina. The Crimson Tide defeated Towson 17-0 in the first game of the day before beating host Coastal Carolina 6-0 to cap off the 2-0 start.

Junior pitcher Alexis Osorio made headlines in the Crimson Tide’s second game when she pitched the fourth perfect game in Alabama history, striking out a program-record 19 strikeouts in the win against Coastal Carolina. Only two outs in the game came as non-strikeouts, as Osorio struck out the first 12 batters she faced.

In the first game, five home runs paved the way for Alabama’s highest ever opening-game run total. Junior first baseman Peyton Grantham had a home run and drove in six runs for Alabama, and eight of Alabama’s nine starters reached base safely. Freshman center fielder and leadoff batter Elissa Brown went 3-3 in her collegiate debut, and junior second baseman Demi Turner did the same as the number two batter.

Grantham, Turner, freshman designated player Bailey Hemphill, senior third baseman Marisa Runyon, and junior shortstop Sydney Booker all hit home runs in the win. Senior pitcher Sydney Littlejohn earned the win with four shutout innings, allowing just three hits. Sophomore Madi Moore pitched a perfect inning in relief as Alabama earned the run-rule victory in five innings.

In the second game, Brown scored in the first inning on a sacrifice fly by Grantham to take a 1-0 lead. Hemphill hit a three-run home run in the third inning, and Grantham knocked in another runner for a total of eight RBIs on the day. Runyon hit a sacrifice fly to score junior pinch runner Rachel Bobo in the fifth inning to round out the scoring for Alabama.

Alabama will continue play tomorrow, with a second game against Towson at 9 a.m. and an 11:30 a.m. game against Youngstown State.

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports