With the graduation of Sydney Littlejohn, and the retirement of third starter, Madi Moore, pitching was thought to be an area of concern for the 10th-ranked Crimson Tide in 2018. The Tide (3-0) returns leftie wunderkind Alexis Osorio, but ‘Bama is going to be relying on several untested new arms.
If the first weekend of the season is any indication, Coach Patrick Murphy has assembled one of his more formidable pitching staffs.
In South Alabama’s Sand Dollar Classic, Osorio and a pair of newcomers dominated. It began Thursday, with Alexis Osorio dealing 8 Ks and scattering three hits in a 1-0 season-opening win. That great outing would just be a prelude for Friday’s performance. True freshman Madison Preston was determined to outduel her mentor, and then allowed just 2 hits in a 10-0 Tide run-rule shutout over No. 22 Penn State. But those performances were then upstaged by JUCO transfer Courtney Gettins, who outdid them all -- tossing a no-hitter in a 13-0 laugher over Lamar.
Alabama is off to an exceptional start. For a program that has traditionally started hot, this is not a new occurrence. But, the command performance by two new, young players in the circle, was encouraging. And, just as encouragingly, a rebuilt roster gave them plenty of run support.
The Crimson Tide is in action next weekend, when it travels to Hattiesburg to face Southern Miss, Baylor, and a Friday doubleheader with McNeese State and Mississippi Valley State in the host Golden Eagles’ Black and Gold event.