For the second game in a row, the Crimson Tide found themselves in an early hole, only to fight back to regain the lead. Arizona State had a two-run homer in the third inning and three-run shot in the fourth off Sarah Cornell to put Alabama in a 5-run hole.
Things were looking dire until the Tide bats finally came alive with a 5-run fifth inning punctuated by Bailey Hemphill’s third grand slam of the season to tie it up at 5.
Alabama proceeded to take the lead and build upon it with aggressive base running.
Krystal Goodman entered the game in relief and got the final out of the fourth and then struck out two in a 1-2-3 fifth inning. In the sixth, she walked the leadoff hitter but got a fantastic double play from Maddie Morgan.
Things were looking up for the Tide until Goodman walked the next batter and coach Patrick Murphy brought in Montana Fouts. However, that move did not work out too well as Fouts walked the first two batters she faced and then gave up a pair of hard-luck singles coupled with fielding errors that allowed the Sun Devils to tie it up 8-8.
Bama came back in the seventh with a duo of two out walks followed by KB Sides’ third single of the day to put the Tide back on top.
In the bottom of the seventh, Fouts gave up a leadoff single and then the heavens opened up soaking Rhoads Stadium and the occupants. After a slight delay, Bama finally put the pesky Sun Devils away for the Regional win.
For three games the Tide flirted with disaster and won. The two games against Arizona State were exciting, entertaining, and nail-biting. However, Alabama cannot afford to be playing tight games like they did this weekend in their home stadium with that crowd. ASU proved formidable but they are not the caliber of opponent the Tide will be facing in future rounds. Regardless of who they play in the Super Regional, this Bama team needs to regroup and amp it up.
On Sunday, all of the Tide runs and all but one of their 12 hits came from batters 9-1-2-3-4. The middle of the order needs to step it up.
As for Fouts, she was not herself at all this weekend. I hope her super-secret injury from earlier this season has not returned.
- Hemphill was 3-for-4 with 5 RBI. She has reached base in 34 straight games - an Alabama record.
- Elissa Brown reached base five times (3 hits, 2 walks) and stole two bases.
- Maddie Morgan was dynamite at the hot corner.
Alabama will play either Texas
or Houston. Game dates, times and TV designations will be announced later.
- Oklahoma - WINNER - will host Northwestern.
- UCLA - WINNER
- Washington - WINNER
- Florida State - WINNER - will host Oklahoma St.
- Florida - WINNER - will host Tennessee.
- Arizona - WINNER - will host Ole Miss.
- Minnesota-UGA-Drake - still in weather delay from yesterday. Postponed til Monday.
- ALABAMA - WINNER - will host Texas.
- Texas - WINNER
- LSU - WINNER - will play Minneapolis regional winner if they ever get the games in.
- Ole Miss - WINNER on a walk-off.
- Tennessee - WINNER
- Oklahoma State - WINNER
- Kentucky - WINNER
- Michigan-James Madison - JMU 1 loss; Postponed til Monday. The North sucks, y’all.
- Northwestern - WINNER
️"That was an instant classic in my mind...we felt good with the three-run lead but knew Arizona State wouldn't quit. They came back to tie and we answered back with a run in the seventh. This is a very resilient group." - @UACoachMurphy #BamaSB | #RollTide pic.twitter.com/Uneor7tozO— Alabama Softball (@AlabamaSB) May 19, 2019