CONWAY, S.C. – Alabama started its season with a bang on opening day action at the Kickin' Chicken Classic, shutting out Towson 17-0 before junior pitcher Alexis Osorio threw the fourth perfect game in program history with a school-record 19 strikeouts in a 6-0 shutout over Coastal Carolina.
Alabama (2-0) scored a combined 23 runs against Towson (1-1) and Coastal Carolina (0-1), posting its highest ever opening-game run total against the Tigers before Osorio stole the show in the nightcap.
Osorio's 19 strikeouts break the previous school record of 18 shared by Shelley Laird and Stephanie VanBrakle. All but two of the defensive outs in the game came via strikeout, including a streak of 12 straight to start the game. It is her 13th career game with double-digit strikeouts. Offensively, Peyton Grantham had a strong day at the plate going 2-3 with two RBIs. Bailey Hemphill slugged her second home run of the day, a three-run shot in the third.
Three of the four perfect games in program history have come from the current pitching staff...the fourth came from our pitching coach— Alabama Softball (@AlabamaSB) February 10, 2017
Elissa Brown led off the game with a walk, stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch and then came home on a sac fly RBI by Grantham to give the Tide an early 1-0 lead. With two on and one out in the top of the third, Grantham drove in her second RBI of the game with a long RBI single off the wall in left to make it 2-0. Hemphill tacked on three more runs with her second home run of the day, a liner down the left-field line on the first pitch of her at-bat to make it 5-0 in the top of the third.
Following a leadoff double by Grantham in the top of the fifth, Coastal Carolina made a pitching change as sophomore Taylor Rahach entered in relief. Rachel Bobo, pinch running for Grantham following her double, advanced to third on a wild pitch and came home on a sacrifice fly by Marisa Runyon to make it 6-0.
The score stayed the same for the remainder of the game, as Osorio struck out seven of the next nine batters to secure the perfect game and the school strikeout record.