No. 3 Crimson Tide suffered their first loss of the season the previous weekend but the biggest loss was news that star freshman pitcher Montana Fouts would be out “indefinitely” due to a minor injury. We are hoping it is just a blister on her pitching hand. With their ace on the shelf, it was time for her teammates to pick her up. The rest of the rotation stepped up in a big way including back-to-back complete games on Friday and Saturday but a bullpen letdown failed them on Sunday.
Alabama 4 Georgia Tech 3
The Yeller Jackets put a scare into the Crimson Tide but all it took was one swing for Alabama to secure their 34th win of the season. Georgia Tech was not playing like an unranked team with a 22-13 record. They were hitting on all cylinders with excellent pitching and timely hitting. Tech took a 2-0 lead while the Tide squandered some opportunities, leaving runners on base in each of the first four innings - three of whom were in scoring position. In the fifth, Bama put runners on second and third with one out. Tech opted to pitch four unhittable balls to slugger Bailey Hemphill in what amounted to an intentional walk. After purposely throwing four bad balls, Claire Jenkins just knew the first pitch she would see was coming right down the middle and she jumped ALL over it stroking a bomb that landed somewhere in Northport for a grand slam. Sarah Cornell (W, 13-0) got the W on 6.1 innings pitched.
* After Wednesday’s game, Alabama had hit five grand slams over a stretch of 11 games, already surpassing the season totals from each of the last three years.
Alabama 3 Mississippi State 2 (8 innings)
Two nights after a solid outing against Georgia Tech, Sarah Cornell (W, 14-0) was back in the circle and delivered just what the doctor ordered with another big time effort. The junior pitched all 8 innings of the Tide’s first extra innings game of the year. Kaylee Tow coaxed a bases loaded walked in the bottom of the 8th for the walk-off win. Leadoff hitter Tow drove in all three runs on the night, striking a 2-run single in the 4th.
Alabama 8 Mississippi State 2
The Bama Bomb Squad was back on Saturday. The sellout crowd was entertained early on with Hemphill and Reagan Dykes both hitting 2-run homers in the first inning. Maddie Morgan hit a solo shot in the sixth and the rout was on. Courtney Gettins (W, 5-0) was the workhorse this time in the circle going the full 7 innings and allowing one earned run on 107 pitches.
Mississippi State 12 Alabama 9 (10 innings)
There always seems to be one wild and wacky game in Bama’s weekends. This was that game and sadly it did not go the Tide’s way. Coach Patrick Murphy went back to Sarah Cornell as the starter. The junior got roughed up for four runs and was knocked out after the first inning. Krystal Goodman took over and threw some water on the Bullies fire for awhile. Down 5-0 in the bottom of the fourth inning, Alabama scored 9 runs on 8 hits and two MSU errors. However in the top of the fifth, the Tide defense gave three runs back on a pair of errors. In the sixth, the game was tied up at 9-9. After donuts on the scoreboard for the next three innings, Clanga-clang finally broke the tie with with a 3-run homer off Courtney Gettins (L, 5-1). The Tide loaded the bases with no outs in their half of the frame but could not push a run across. Bama left 15 runners on base on Sunday.
Winning three out of four is nothing to sneeze at but the Tide needs to get better and may have to do so without Fouts for awhile. The schedule gets exponentially harder from here on out.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
After one with Birmingham U. (14-20), the Tide has a big road trip as they head to #16 South Carolina (25-10) for a weekend series.
Apr 3 (Wed) vs UAB 6pm CT - Tickets are Buy 1, Get 1 Free
Apr 5 (Fri) at South Carolina 5pm CT
Apr 6 (Sat) at South Carolina 5pm CT ESPN
Apr 7 (Sun) at South Carolina 12pm CT
After this series comes a Wednesday home game with Georgia State and a home weekend series against #12 Georgia.
CRIMSON COMING TO CULLMAN
*** For you folks in Cullman area, get tickets for the April 23 match-up with Belmont before they all get snapped up!
General Admission tickets for the University of Alabama/Belmont University softball game for April 23 are on sale at the Heritage Park tower for $10 each!— Cullman Parks, Recreation, & Sports Tourism (@CullmanParksRec) March 23, 2019
Tickets must be purchased in person; no phone or online orders. A max of ten tickets per person will be sold. pic.twitter.com/qTSAzzEZuV