Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

April 2, 2014

East Texas rivals battle in Southeastern Conference

Jay Neal
Jacksonville Daily Progress

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. —

Sydney Littlejohn and Kelsee Selman, former high school phenoms at Rusk and Hudson High Schools, respectively, are continuing to compete against each other this spring.

The only difference is the stage is much larger and the lights are far brighter than when each toiled on high school softball diamonds throughout East Texas for the past four years.

Both are true freshmen pitchers and both are making their presence known in the Southeastern Conference, where Littlejohn is a member of the No. 5-ranked Alabama softball team.

Selman is getting her fair share of duty in the circle for the LSU Lady Tigers.

Last week the two old friends renewed their acquaintance when LSU visited the Crimson Tide for a three-game weekend series at Rhaodes Stadium.

Both young ladies were used in relief as Alabama swept LSU to improve to 30-5 on the year and 10-1 in the SEC.

Meanwhile, Selman's LSU team is 19-14, 2-6.

Selman pitch a third of an inning and gave up two hits in LSU's 9-1 loss to the Crimson Tide on Friday night.

Selman has pitched well for the Lady Tigers this season. She is 4-2 on the year with an earned run average of 2.39.

She has tossed 38 innings and has allowed 17 hits and has fanned 47 batters and walked 28.

Littlejohn had her turn on Saturday evening in front of a jam-packed crowd of 3,940.

She pitched two frames and didn't give up any runs. Littlejohn allowed one hit, fanned a Lady Tiger and walked two.

Littlejohn, who worked in relief of Leslie Jury, got credit for the win to improve her record to 6-0 on the season as Alabama scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to win, 2-1.

By the numbers, Littlejohn owns an ERA of 1.50 and has worked in 13 games. She has pitched 37.1 innings and has surrendered 24 hits while whiffing 34 and walking 13. She also has one save.

So, the future absolutely looks bright for both of these East Texans.

Alabama and LSU (and Littlejohn and Selman) could possibly meet again this season in the SEC post-season tournament.