Saturday’s game did not start out very well for Alabama. Arizona State shocked Montana Fouts and the Crimson Tide with a double and a home run in the first inning to take a 2-0 lead. It was only the third round-tripper given up by the Bama ace all season, and first since March 8. As they have done all season, the Tide immediately responded with two runs of their own in the bottom of the first thanks to the speed and smarts on the base paths of Elissa Brown and KB Sides.
The Sun Devils were not done yet, retorting with two more runs in the next inning, but Alabama got a spark when ASU attempted a double steal making the third out at home when catcher Reagan Dykes converted a plate blocking out that should be used in instructional videos. The Sun Devil runner has still never touched the plate.
Dykes rode this momentum into the next inning when she hit a leadoff four-bagger over the left field wall to draw the Tide closer.
SAY GOODNIGHT TO THIS ONE!— Chicago Gump (@GriffinTSmith) May 18, 2019
Homer for @ReaganDykes54! #Team23 #BamaSB #RollTide pic.twitter.com/UQrB3A52NT
Fouts struck out two in the next inning and then the Bama bats came alive in the third, taking a 7-4 lead punctuated by a Caroline Hardy pinch-hit double that emptied the bases.
TIDE ON TOP AND @caroline_hardy DELIVERERS!! #Team23 #BamaSB #RollTide pic.twitter.com/QOMtqhrZ9o— Chicago Gump (@GriffinTSmith) May 18, 2019
Fouts got back to work and dominated the Sun Devils, totaling 12 strikeouts. The freshman struck out at least one batter in every inning and struck out a pair in five of the seven innings she pitched. Seven of the nine she faced struck out at least once. Only two of the final 17 batters reached base and none made it past second.
.@MontanaFouts tosses 12th strikeout.... ALABAMA WINS!! 39 straight regional wins at Rhoads! #Team23 #BamaSB #RollTide pic.twitter.com/XcKarSnpQZ— Chicago Gump (@GriffinTSmith) May 18, 2019
Alabama now gets to sit back and watch the other three teams of the regional fight for the honor of facing the SEC Champs on Sunday.
* RECORD BREAKER: Reagan Dykes passes Kendall Dawson for the all-time record of runners caught stealing at Alabama with 45.
(All times CT)
Game 4: Lipscomb 14, Alabama St. 0
Game 5: Arizona State 8, Lipscomb 1 - 6th
Game 6: Alabama vs. Arizona State, 1pm
Game 7 (if necessary): Game 6 winner vs. Game 6 loser, 3:30pm
Montana Fouts threw an astonishing 138 pitches on Saturday. Sunday’s Game 6 will probably be left up to Sarah Cornell with Krystal Goodman in relief if needed.
OTHER SELECT SCORES
#20 Kentucky 8, #21 Virginia Tech 1 - F
#14 Tennessee 12, Ohio State 4 - F
#11 Michigan 1, #15 James Madison 0 - F (12 innings)
#9 Louisiana 2, #19 Ole Miss 0 - F
Houston 5, Sam Houston State 0 - F
#7 Florida 8, Boise 0 - F
#25 South Carolina 10, Bethune-Cookman 0 - F
#8 Minnesota 2, #16 Georgia 1 - F (8 innings)
#13 LSU 5, #18 Texas Tech 4 - F (13 innings)
#10 Texas 2, Texas A&M 1 - F
#3 UCLA 9, Missouri 0 - F
Mississippi State 1, #2 Washington 5 - F
#23 Auburn 1, #6 Arizona 2 - F
(Rankings represent those of ESPN)