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Alabama Softball Week 3: Crimson Tide Sweeps the Weekend

Bama got back to the basics of timely hitting and dominating pitching.

Freshman initiation for Abby Doerr.

There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.

Dorothy Gale “The Wizard of Oz”

Finally back home! Alabama hosted the annual Easton Bama Bash and got their groove back.

GAME 1 - Alabama 13 Wichita State 2 (5 innings)

Alabama badgered the Shockers, sending twelve batters to the plate in the first inning for a touchdown lead. The Tide added four more in the second and cruised to a run-rule victory. Skylar Wallace had three RBIs on a pair of doubles and scored two runs. Eight different Tide players knocked in runs. Lexi Kifoyl was dominant, striking out five and yielding only two hits. The freshman made only one mistake on the day - a solo home run in the third. The other run was pushed across courteous of two Bama errors.

GAME 2 - Alabama 5 Penn State 0

Montana Fouts was the story of this game. After struggling with her control in previous games, the sophomore picked up her her first win of the season with a masterful 11 strikeout, 0 walk effort that included striking out the side in the seventh inning. Her battery mate, Abby Doerr (<-click for a good giggle) had a pair of doubles, one of which was inches from leaving the yard, and scored twice. Six of the Tide’s ten hits were of the two-base variety.

GAME 3 - Alabama 9 Louisville 0 (5 innings)

The Cardinals’ strategy with Bama slugger Bailey Hemphill appeared to be pitching around her and take their chances with KB Sides. Kendall Beth made Louisville pay for that approach. While not technically “intentional” walks, the ‘Ville threw four straight pitches to Hemphill out of the strike zone in both the first and third innings. Sides responded with a pair of two-run hits, a triple and a single. She also added a RBI sac fly that was just a few feet from topping the left field fence for a total of 5 RBI for the game.

Kilfoyl (4-2) again blew the competition away with a three hit, five strikeout performance.

The Crimson Tide was sharp defensively with Maddie Morgan turning a 5-3 double play on a line-out and Kilfoyl and Doerr pairing up for a strike-em-out-throw-em-out twin killing.

GAME 4 - Alabama 14 Penn State 6 (6 innings)

The wildest and perhaps the most impressive game of the day started out poorly for Alabama but finished in storybook fashion for the Crimson Tide and Taylor Clark on her Senior Day. Krystal Goodman got off to a rough start when the first five batters crossed the plate. Coach Patrick Murphy stuck with his starter and was rewarded with three groundouts to mercifully end the top of the first inning. After the PSU pitcher walked the bases loaded in the bottom frame, Maddie Morgan hit a sharp single that split the outfielders to clear the bases and draw the Tide closer 5-3. Bama scored two more in the second to tie it up but the Litany Nylons retook the lead on a solo home run. In the bottom of the fourth, Bama got an unearned run followed by Abby Doerr stroking a two-run double down the right field line. Next, it was Clark’s turn to take center stage. With her family in town from Pennsylvania, she deposited a full count pitch over the right field wall for a two-run dinger and a 10-6 advantage. Alabama would add three more in the fifth. Sarah Cornell pitched the top of the sixth, ringing up two Ks. Savannah Woodard led off with a double, advanced to third on a Alexis Mack groundout, and Skylar Wallace clinched the third run-rule win of the weekend with a single up the middle.

Five Tide players had multiple hits led by Morgan who was 3 for 3 with a home run and 6 RBI to lead the bludgeoning. Wallace was 2 for 2 with a walk, a stolen base and four runs scored. She is also getting more comfortable at short and made some spectacular plays.

GAME 5 - Alabama 10 Louisville 0 (5 innings)

Skylar Wallace had one of the best at bats of the season in the fifth inning. With Bama up 7-0, two on and one out, she painfully fouled two balls of her left foot in almost the exact same spot. But she walked it off, dug in and stroked a three-run homer for the walk-off win. Wallace also had a sac fly RBI and a bases loaded walk to finish the day with 5 RBI.

Montana Fouts had another good outing. She scattered five hits and two walks but kept her head and always worked out of trouble. Fouts struck out seven while winning her second game of the season.

WRAP

This was just what the doctor ordered. Although the competition was not the strongest, Alabama did what you would hope they would do: dominate. There were no instances of letting teams hang around and make things scary. Almost every batter up and down the order got big hits in pressure situations. Pitchers Kilfoyl and Fouts look in midseason form. The defense still needs to cut down on the errors but they are getting better and had a few web gems.

STATS AND STUFF

  • Alabama improved to 9-5 on the season. Four of the five games from this weekend ended in mercy-rule wins for the Tide. Bama had three shutouts.
  • Skylar Wallace was tournament MVP, hitting a robust 6 for 10 including three doubles and a round-tripper. She also collected eight walks, nine runs, 12 RBI, and swiped three bases.
  • KB Sides had a big weekend as well, batting 6 for 9 with four walks. She scored six runs and knocked in eight runs.
  • Sarah Cornell pitched only one inning all weekend. Perhaps she is nursing an injury or maybe it was a manager’s decision. Regardless of the reason, she has kept a good attitude, cheering on her teammates as always.
  • Bailey Hemphill walked a whopping nine times. They skeered.
  • Thanks to heads up base running, Hemphill got her first stolen base of the year on a failed hit and run.
  • Thank goodness Abby Doerr reclassified to this class. Instead of going to prom this spring, she will be behind the plate as Team24 fights their way back to OKC. She had three doubles, scored six runs, and hit .333 in the five game series.
  • Freshman Karla Hice connected on a RBI double on her first collegiate at bat in a pinch hit appearance in Game 1 against Wichita.
  • Walk-on Mary Greg Anderson has found a role on the team as a pinch-runner. She scored three more runs this weekend and has 6 for the season.
  • Lexi Kilfoyl again batted for herself in both starts and went hitless. However, she did walk three times, once with the bases jammed.
  • Kaylee Tow was about the only one not hitting. She produced only one hit in nine at bats. She scored once and had a RBI on a sac fly.
  • Louisville won the three game that were not against Alabama to go 3-2. Wichita beat Penn State twice, which leaves PSU with a big goose egg on the weekend.

UP NEXT

After a midweek game with UAB in Birmingham, the Tide plays host for the annual Easton Crimson Classic which include a pair of games against #4 Arizona.

Feb 26 (Wed) 6 p.m. CT at UAB - Postponed due to rain and cold temperatures.

Easton Crimson Classic:
Feb 28 (Fri) 4 p.m. CT vs UT Arlington
Feb 28 (Fri) 6 p.m. CT vs Arizona
Feb 29 (Sat) 1:30 p.m. CT vs UT Arlington
Feb 29 (Sat) 4 p.m. CT vs Arizona
March 1 (Sun) 1:30 p.m. CT vs McNeese

The weekend games should be available on SECN+.

#Team24 #RollTide