No. 6 Alabama becomes first team to shut out No. 7 Auburn in 2015 season
AUBURN, Ala. -- Alabama opened its weekend series against rival Auburn on Friday with a convincing 6-0 shutout, as three home runs by the offense and a stellar pitching performance by Alexis Osorio allowed the Tide to become the first team this season to shut out the Tigers.
With the win, Alabama (34-9, 11-5 SEC) has now stretched its streak of consecutive innings without allowing an earned run to 41. Starter Alexis Osorio (12-5) stretched her own scoreless streak to 18 innings, as she threw the complete game shutout in the circle with a season-high 13 strikeouts and just five hits allowed. It is the first time this season that any team has shutout Auburn (40-7, 12-4 SEC) and is tied for the Tigers' lowest hit total of the season. Auburn starter Rachael Walters (15-3) took the loss in the circle,
Offensively, the Tide earned all of its runs courtesy of three home runs, marking the fourth multi-homer game in the last seven games for Alabama. Haylie McCleney got things started with a third inning grand slam while Chaunsey Bellextended the lead with a pair of solo homer runs in the fourth and sixth innings. Bell is now the second player this season to hit multiple home runs in a game, joining Marisa Runyon who did so just nine days ago against Middle Tennessee State. In addition to Bell, Demi Turner also earned her team leading 21st multi-homer game of the season, going 2-3 in the leadoff position.
Share the W! Alabama won 6-0 Friday and became the first team this season to shut out Auburn pic.twitter.com/pSoxub8vpP— Alabama Softball (@AlabamaSB) April 18, 2015
The Tigers threatened early, as a pair of singles and a walk loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the first. After a quick meeting in the circle, Osorio bounced back nicely with three consecutive strikeouts to strand the bases loaded and keep it a scoreless game.
After a leadoff single in the bottom of the second, Carlee Wallace got under a ball and thought she hit a two-run homer to center field but the ball died on the warning track as Haylie McCleney was able to get under it for the first out. A strikeout and a popup would strand the Auburn runner at first as the game remained scoreless.
Alabama's first opportunity with a runner in scoring position came in the top of the third, as Jadyn Spencer hit a line drive single to the wall in left field and advanced to second on a groundout. Demi Turner was hit by a pitch to put two on base and both runners advanced 60 feet on a wild pitch, while Danielle Richard drew a walk on a full count to load the bases for McCleney. The two time All-American came through in the clutch at-bat, pulling a towering grand slam down the right field line to give the Tide a 4-0 lead.
On the second pitch of the top of the fourth inning, Bell sent a ball deep into left field, clearing the fence just past the outstretched glove of Auburn's Tiffany Howard as the solo homer made it a 5-0 game. Bell's second home run of the day made it a 6-0 game, as she led off the top of the sixth inning with a solo shot to center field. Osorio made quick work of the remaining Tiger batters, striking out four while a lineout double play ended the game