SEATTLE, Wash. - Alabama softball opened day two at the Husky Classic with a 3-0 win over Portland State but fell in a tightly-contested 4-1 loss to top-ranked Washington.
Alabama (12-4) opened the day with a 3-0 win over Portland State (2-11), scoring its first run of the day on an RBI single from sophomore Gabby Callaway and back-to-back solo home runs from freshman Kaylee Tow and sophomore Bailey Hemphill tacked on the final two runs of the day for the Tide in the three-run win. Freshman Madison Preston (4-1) threw 4.1 shutout innings for the win while senior Alexis Osorio struck out six of the 10 batters she faced in relief for her second save of the season.
In the nightcap against Washington (21-0), the Tide and Huskies were locked in a pitcher's duel for the majority of the game. Washington scored two unanswered runs before Alabama responded with one in the sixth, but two insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth proved enough in the 4-1 decision. Junior Courtney Gettins (5-1) went the distance in the circle, taking her first loss of the season. Tow posted a multi-hit effort in the loss, going 2-for-3 at the plate and driving in Alabama's lone run on an RBI double.
GAME ONE: ALABAMA 3, PORTLAND STATE 0
With two on base and two out in the bottom of the first inning, junior Caroline Hardy nearly put the Tide in the run column with a long fly ball to left but it fell on the warning track just shy of home-run distance for the final out of the inning. Portland State stranded two on base in both the second and third innings but could not score as it remained 0-0.
In the bottom of the third with two out, Hemphill launched a fly ball to the gap in left-center and the Portland State left fielder looked to corral it on the warning track but she dropped the ball. The two-base error kept the inning alive for Callaway, who pulled a single through the right side to score Hemphill on the unearned run and give Alabama a 1-0 lead.
The Vikings put two on base in the top of the fifth courtesy of a walk and hit-by-pitch and the Tide turned to its bullpen as Osorio entered in the save situation. Osorio struck out the first batter she faced and a fly ball ended the half-inning to preserve the one-run lead. Alabama tripled its lead in the bottom-half of the inning with back-to-back solo home runs from Tow and Hemphill to make it 3-0.
Osorio closed the door for Alabama in the sixth and seventh innings, keeping the Vikings off the scoreboard to earn her second save of the year and clinch the 3-0 win for the Tide.
GAME TWO: WASHINGTON 4, ALABAMA 1
Washington quickly threatened in the bottom of the first, leading off the inning with back-to-back hits and a walk to load the bases. A line drive to right field allowed the runner at third to tag up and score on the sacrifice fly and another walk in the next at-bat loaded the bases yet again. Senior Sydney Booker limited the damage and got the Tide out of the inning with a heads-up double play, fielding a popup up the middle before backhanding it to senior Demi Turner at second to catch the Husky runner off the bag.
In the top of the third, a Washington fielding error allowed senior Rachel Bobo to reach base safely and turn in to the top of the order. Some defensive miscommunication on a ground ball allowed Bobo to slide under the tag attempt at second with two now on base and a groundout moved the pair into scoring position. Hemphill nearly emptied the bases in her at-bat, sending a long fly ball to left field but Washington's Julia DePonte caught it with her back against the wall to end the inning and maintain the Huskies' 1-0 lead.
With the score the same in the top of the fifth inning, Washington made a pitching change with junior Taran Alvelo now toeing the rubber, who retired the Tide in order in the half-inning. In the bottom-half of the inning, a walk, stolen base and bunt single quickly put runners at the corners with nobody out. Following a strikeout, a hit-by-pitch loaded the bases. Sis Bates dropped a single into shallow right, scoring one to make it 2-0 but the trailing runner was tagged out at home trying to score for out number two. A lineout to center field ended the inning and limited the damage to just one run as Alabama now faced a two-run deficit.
Turner tallied Alabama's second hit of the day in the top of the sixth, a one-out single through the left side. Hemphill followed with a walk and Tow cut the deficit to one with an RBI double off the foul pole in left field, putting two in scoring position with the score now 2-1. After a strikeout, the Huskies intentionally walked senior Peyton Grantham to load the bases and Alevelo got out of danger with a strikeout to end the inning and strand the bases loaded.
Looking to add some insurance to its 2-1 lead in the bottom of the sixth, the first two Washington batters reached base safely and moved up 60 feet on a sacrifice bunt. A throw home on a ground ball looked to be in time to get the runner out but the home plate ump called obstruction as the run counted to increase the lead to 3-1. An RBI single in the next at-bat made it 4-1 before a strikeout and groundout ended the inning. Alabama would put a runner on base in the top of the seventh but could not cut into the deficit as Washington held on for the 4-1 win.
Alabama concludes its weekend at the Husky Classic Sunday against Northwestern (9-8) at Noon CT.