By (Ben Boynton)

Coming off two losses on the road to Tennessee, the No. 12 Alabama Crimson Tide was looking to bounce-back at home against Southern Miss before hosting No. 10 Washington for two games this upcoming weekend.

Alabama got the win, but didn’t quite get the performance it wanted in a 2-0 win Wednesday night.

“We talk about whatever you need to do to get the runner in and [sophomore catcher] Reagan [Dykes] did it; she had the sac fly,” coach Patrick Murphy said. “Just get the ball out of the infield and hopefully good things will happen.”

The offense struggled, putting up just six hits. The team loaded the bases on multiple occasions but only scratched the two runs across. Alabama stranded nine runners on base.

“I think that we’re lacking just timely hitting,” Dykes said. “As the season goes on, that’s going to be really important, especially during the postseason. A win’s a win so we’ll take it tonight, but I think that we have to learn from it and just get better and grow.”

Sophomore pitcher Madi Moore earned the win, giving up just three hits and two walks in her 6.1 innings. Murphy said her ability to deliver strong performances as the No. 3 starter is invaluable to the Crimson Tide as post-season play approaches.

“She follows the lead of Sydney [Littlejohn] and Lexie [Osorio],” Murphy said. “It’s been our key to success the whole year, is whoever’s been in the circle has given us a pretty good shot to win, and tonight she did that.”

Littlejohn finished with the save, retiring the last two batters.

Dykes said that the team has really benefitted from being able to depend on Moore and the rest of the staff.

“We have three dominant pitchers, and whenever they’re on the mound we have a chance to win, and I think that’s what Madi brought us tonight,” Dykes said. “I love her confidence and she’s doing great.”

The first run for Alabama came in the bottom of the third with Dykes’s sacrifice fly. Later in the game, Dykes drew a walk and then stole second base, her second steal of the season. This time, Dykes ended up scoring an insurance run when senior right fielder Chandler Dare singled up the middle. While Murphy jokingly suggested she might earn more of a green light to steal, he said that wasn’t exactly what he had in mind on the play.

“That was supposed to be a hit and run,” Murphy said. “On a hit and run, you take a peek, if it’s a ball or over their head you keep running, and she did. It’s a tricky play sometimes because you’ll see sometimes that the runner will stop and kind of freak out because the hitter missed and that’s when they get thrown out, but she didn’t….that was huge.”

Up next for Alabama is the two-game series against the Huskies. Friday’s game is set for 6 p.m. and Saturday’s game is set for 4:30 p.m.

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports