Where we stand: Last night, the Crimson Tide trailed big early, falling down 6-1 in the 3rd inning to the Vanderbilt Commodores. Alabama fought back to within one run, trailing just 6-5 in the 7th. Vanderbilt would add an insurance run and the 'Dores relievers slammed the door on any comeback, taking Game Two 7-5. Vandy looks for the sweep this afternoon.
Playoff prospects: In a series of improbable events, Tennessee has taken the first two games in its series versus the nosediving Mississippi State Bulldogs. The Vols can sweep the Starkville dogs at noon today on their home field. Georgia, meanwhile, was shellacked by the Arkansas Razorbacks, to even up their series at one game apiece. The rubber match is set for noon in Athens.
For Alabama to make the SEC tournament, and thus have any chance of making NCAA Regional Play, the Tide need one of three things to happen today:
- Alabama can control its fate with an outright win over the Commodores. Alabama has played competitively in the series, but Vanderbilt's arms and timely hitting have made the difference.
- The Tide can also make the SECs if the Volunteers lose today to Mississippi State OR
- The Georgia Bulldogs lose to Arkansas. Both of the Western Games are at 12:00 Central. By the time the Tide take the diamond, Alabama will either have made its way into the tournament or will be facing a must-win over one of the nation's elite squads. High drama, indeed.
Where & when to watch: The game is televised nationally on the SEC Network, as well as the SEC Network + streaming service. Alabama Sports Radio 99.1 FM will have local coverage of this one.
Where we stand: Alabama routed the Fairfield Lady Stags 8-0 in a
rain-shortened run-rule six inning beatdown. Sydney Littlejohn pitched the complete game two-hitter, fanning three and running her record to 16-1 on the season. The Tide collected fifteen hits in a game that was not competitive. The Washington Huskies arrived here after a closer-than-they'd-like 4-1 win over USC-Upstate, a team they had previously beaten 11-2.
Playoff prospects: This is as dangerous a team as any Alabama could face in a regional. The No. 20 Huskies, a perennial PAC-12 power, have dominated the Tide in the five previous meetings and hold a 4-1 series lead. Rhoads Stadium will not necessarily intimidate UW either; the last meeting between the two saw No. 6 Washington shutout then-No. 1. Alabama in Tuscaloosa. However, of the Huskies 15 losses this season, 11 have been on the road. The home field and Alabama's pitching may prove the difference in this one.
And, Alabama's pitching will need to be crisp: Washington plays powerball rarely seen outside of Gainesville. While the Huskies do not dominate in any one particular category, UW does everything well, and their offensive numbers are off the charts:
- 5th in scoring (8.11 RPG)
- 5th in doubles (1.78)
- 8th in OBP (.452)
- 12th in slugging (.587)
- 13th in average (.348)
- 18th in home runs (1.45)
Where & when to watch: Television for this one, which will likely be the best game of the regional, is sadly limited to just ESPN3 and the WatchESPN service. Radio is limited to 95.3 FM, but that stream is available digitally with the Radio Pup app, among others. Because of threat of inclement weather, the start time has been moved up to 11:00 a.m. Central this morning. Gates open an hour before first pitch.
We close with RBR's long-standing, cautiously optimistic-yet-wary-of-disaster mantra, "hope for the best."