Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

May 23, 2014

Littlejohn's 8-inning relief effort pivotal in 'Bama win

Progress staff reports
Jacksonville Daily Progress

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. —

Sydney Littlejohn of Rusk pitched eight innings of scoreless relief as Alabama got a walk-off home run from Peyton Grantham in the bottom of the 12th inning to give the Crimson Tide a 6-5 win over Nebraska late Thursday night.

The game was the opener in a best-of-three Super Regional series that was played before an announced crowd of 2,100 plus a national television audience (ESPN) on a rather warm evening in Central Alabama.

Littlejohn, a true freshman, came on in the fifth inning and gave up just three hits while walking three and striking out two as she improved to 11-2 on the year.

The 8-inning, 115-pitch stint were both career highs for the tall righty, the daughter of Paul and Lynn Littlejohn of Rusk.

Littlejohn was summoned to relieve Alabama All-American and staff ace Jaclyn Traina, who tossed the opening four frames and gave up five runs (all earned) on eight hits.

Emily Lockman of Nebraska suffered the loss in relief.

She worked five frames and was touched up for two runs, both earned, on four hits.

Littlejohn overcame a somewhat shaky start that saw her battle through control issues, but once she settled into her pitching groove, she was almost unstoppable.

The series resumes at 5 p.m. this evening.

The winner of the series will advance to the NCAA Division I World Series in Oklahoma City next week.