By (Ben Boynton)

In an important SEC matchup, No. 11 Alabama won a series over the No. 8 LSU Tigers at Rhoads Stadium over the weekend. LSU was third and Alabama was sixth in the conference entering the series. Alabama opened the series with a 3-0 win on Friday night before LSU took a 1-0 win on Saturday. The series finale Sunday went to the Crimson Tide, as senior third baseman Marisa Runyon hit a two-run double in the fifth inning to give Alabama a 4-2 victory.

“LSU is such a great team,” Runyon said. “It’s a huge series win, any SEC series win is a great win. I think it’s just going to help with confidence too, knowing we just beat a great team. It’s going to really help us moving on.”

Runyon said part of what makes this Alabama team special to her is the ability of anyone on the roster to produce in the moment like she did. Six different players in Alabama’s lineup posted hits today. Runyon believes her key to success in Sunday’s game was her confidence.

“I was ready today, I wanted the bat in my hands. I was ready to get something, make something happen,” Runyon said.

Runs came at a premium, as neither team provided much offense through the series. Alabama stretched a 13 inning streak of scoreless softball over all three games, beginning in the third inning of Friday’s win and ending in the second inning of Sunday’s win. All three of Alabama’s runs in Friday’s game came in the first inning, whereas the Crimson Tide spread its four runs over three innings in Sunday’s finale.

The team’s first scoring came in the second inning, when sophomore catcher Reagan Dykes was driven home by a single from Callaway. Dykes scored from second after a rare steal. Coach Patrick Murphy said he felt like he needed to be aggressive after being shut out for most of the series.

“I just felt like we had to do something different,” Murphy said. “She’s not the typical stolen base girl on our team, and she doesn’t even have a green light… but she made it easy and then Gabby came up with a big RBI.”

Senior right fielder Chandler Dare led the team with three hits on the weekend, and junior pitcher Alexis Osorio earned two wins with 14 innings pitched, giving up just two runs.

“Caroline Hardy [sophomore infielder] said in the postgame if everybody could just take a little of her toughness and take it with them we’d so much better,” Murphy said. “She is probably the toughest kid on the team, and you know, as a pitcher that’s what you want.”

Saturday’s game featured a then-season-high attendance total of 3,376 fans, which was eclipsed by the sellout crowd of 3,940 on hand for Sunday’s game. Murphy said the crowd was a big factor in the series, which he said was a critical one.

“It’s huge, because RPI it’s going to help both teams. It’s going to help us a lot,” Murphy said. “The crowd was awesome, I’ve got to thank all of them and credit them for a lot of it, but I think it was just a big, big series win for us.”

Alabama will host UAB next on Tuesday night, with a 6 p.m. first pitch. Following that, the Crimson Tide will travel to No. 17 Tennessee for a three-game series starting on Saturday.

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports