“You can’t win them all.”
~ Connie Mack
No. 3 Crimson Tide finally succumbed to Lady Loss, dropping the finale of a three-game set in College Station. But fret not. This is softball. It is near impossible to go through a college softball undefeated. Despite the defeat, the real highlights came in the first two games in which Alabama pummeled the Aggies into a pair of run-rule games.
Alabama 13 Texas A&M 3 (6 innings)
The balls were flying out of the park in the opener as four different Tide players went yard. Bailey Hemphill had a three run shot in the opening frame. Claire Jenkins smoked a solo four-bagger two innings later. Merris Schroder led off the fifth with a moonshot. And Skylar Wallace rounded out the scoring with a 3-RBI round-tripper in the sixth. Bama collected 12 hits on the night with every starter getting at least one hit and one run. Montana Fouts got her 12th win in 5 innings pitched yielding only 3 hits, two runs and 10 strikeouts.
Alabama 11 Texas A&M 1 (5 innings)
One way to keep Alabama from getting so many hits is walking them (11) and committing errors (3). Game 2 was another short affair with the game halted after 5 innings for the Mercy rule after the Tide battered the Aggies with 11 runs on only 5 hits. Alabama was the beneficiary of one earned and three unearned runs in the first. The Tide tallied up two more home runs, one by Schroder to lead-off the third inning and one by GUESS WHO! Hemphill who stroked a grand slam (her second of the season) later in the same inning. The Aggs managed to push one across in the fourth but this Crimson Tide team has an amazing aptitude for striking back in the next frame after a foe scores and did so again in the top of the fifth for their 11th run on the day. Schroder was 2 for 4 with 3 RBI, HR, and a stolen base. Sarah Cornell (W, 12-0) went 4 and a third innings with Krystal Goodman getting the last two outs.
* 33-0 is the best start by any school in SEC history.
Texas A&M 4 Alabama 3
Alabama got out to an early lead when Kaylee Tow and Claire Jenkins both hit solo home runs in the first inning. But then the bats went cold. The Tide managed only two more hits for the rest of the game. Heading into the bottom of the sixth with Bama up 3-1, Montana Fouts and the defense ran into some trouble allowing TAMU to tie it up on base hits and a crucial error. In the bottom of 7th, coach Patrick Murphy made his error yanking his ace from the game after she walked the leadoff hitter. After Sarah Cornell entered the game in relief, the Aggs sacrificed the runner to second and Murphy called for the next batter to be intentionally walked. Cornell got the second out but then surrendered a walk-off single for Alabama’s first loss of the season. EDITORIAL - shoulda left Fouts in the game.
Kaylee Tow was 4 for 7 with 6 walks in the leadoff spot. That is a .769 on-base average for you keeping score at home. When your leadoff hitter gets on base 77% of the time, good things will happen. Tow also had a dinger, 4 runs scored and 4 RBI. Her batting average is up to .390 on the season.
- Bailey Hemphill 2 HR, 7 RBI - now has 51 RBI on the season which is tops in the nation.
- Merris Schroder - 3 for 9 with 2 walks, 2 HR, 2 SB, 4 R, 4 RBI. She has raised her batting average 66 points since March 6.
- Skylar Wallace - HR, SB, 4 R, 4 RBI, 4 BB
STAT OF THE WEEKEND
The Tide now has 54 home runs on the season for an average of 1.59 per game.
HOME AT RHOADS
The competition gets a little tougher from here on out. The Tide is back home for five games, starting off with a one-off against Georgia Tech (22-12) on Wednesday before Mississippi State (20-10) comes in town for a weekend series. Do yourself a favor and get out to Rhoads for a game. You are bound to see a long ball or two.
Mar 27 (Wed) vs Ga Tech 6pm CT
Mar 29 (Fri) vs MSU 6:30pm CT
Mar 30 (Sat) vs MSU 2pm CT
Mar 31 (Sun) vs MSU 1:30pm CT
After this series is a Wednesday home game with UAB, before heading to #16 South Carolina (23-8) for a weekend series.
Most of the games should be aired online. Check SEC Network+ later in the week for online airings in your area. All games can be heard on Radio: 93.3 FM.