Coach Patrick Murphy could not have asked for much more out of his pitching staff this weekend as they held opponents off the scoreboard in four games played. The offense put up some runs and stole 19 bases.
GAME 1: ALABAMA 10, ALABAMA STATE 0 (5 INNINGS)
Montana Fouts dominated the Hornets: no hits, no walks, no runs, no base runners of any kind, and 9 strikeouts in 4 innings. Sarah Cornell struck out two of her own in the 5th as the Tide completed a perfect game no-hitter. If you are scoring at home, that’s 15 ASU batters and 11 strikeouts.
Oh, yeah. There was some offense too. Bama had eight hits, eight walks, and five stolen bases. Kaylee Tow hit the first home run of the season, a no-doubter that disappeared into the night sky. Alexis Mack scored three runs and stole two bases.
Despite the big win, Bama has some issues to work on, namely leaving runners on base (at least one every inning) and in scoring position. With the bases loaded and one out in the first and second innings, Claire Jenkins and Savannah Woodard batting seventh and eighth failed to advance the runners.
GAME 2: ALABAMA 10, NOTRE DAME 0 (5 INNINGS)
No you are not seeing double. The Crimson Tide once again won a 10-0 mercy rule game. The Tide led 2-0 heading into the fifth when they exploded for eight runs highlighted by Claire Jenkins’s bases-clearing double. Alexis Mack knifed her way around the base paths all night going 3 for 3 at the plate, scoring three more runs and knocking in a pair.
Lexi Kilfoyl threw four innings, striking out six and allowing only two base runners on singles. True freshman Jaala Torrence got her first taste of college softball pitching the fifth. She struggled with her control, walking two but kept the goose egg up on the scoreboard on a strikeout and a pair of groundouts.
Notre Dame (2-1) is not a bad team. They are a regular fixture in the postseason and are picked to finish third in the ACC this season. The Irish defeated North Alabama 9-0 on Friday and also no-hit Alabama State to the tune of 13-0 on Sunday. This lessens Bama’s win over the Hornets but makes their romp over ND all that more impressive. FACT: Alabama football and softball have combined to defeat the Irish 45-14 this year.
LAZY ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT
It is HIGHLY disappointing that the University could not find a way to allow fans to attend these games or at the very least live stream them when Alabama State had no problems doing so with six different teams playing games. I suppose Greg Byrne was too busy ordering solid gold toilet seats for Saban’s personal bathroom to have somebody prop up an iPhone at Rhoads.
Since there were no witnesses to testify that these games actually occurred - not even news crews - the recaps will have to come from interpretations of the box scores and Twitter. Allegedly.
GAME 3: ALABAMA 5, LOUISVILLE 0
Allegedly, Fouts went a full seven innings yielding one single and one walk. She struck out 11 Cardinals. Purportedly, KB Sides and Elissa Brown both went 2 for 3. So they say, Jenkins had three RBI on a single and a ground out. Supposedly, Brown also stole three bases, Sides one, and Bailey Dowling one.
Six different Tide players struck out. Bama again struggled with leaving runners on base. Bailey Hemphill grounded into a fielder’s choice with runners on first and second bases to end the second inning.
GAME 4: ALABAMA 4, LOUISVILLE 0
Rumor has it that the Tide completed the weekend with their fourth straight shutout. Interestingly, UA did have a video camera set up but apparently nobody could figure out how to live stream. Interwebbing is hard.
Sources have reported that Bama only had five hits and committed two errors, both by Bailey Dowling. Word has it Kilfoyl yielded three hits and a walk but struck out 10 in seven innings.
The only thing we can prove is that freshman Dowling hit her her first college home run - unless the video was staged. THANKS, UA ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT FOR GETTING OUT OF BED THIS MORNING! HATE TO BOTHER YOU FOR A LI’L OL’ SOFTBALL GAME!
- It appears Murphy is still tinkering with the back end of his lineup but has most of the batting order set. The top five remained the same in all four games and they all produced well at the plate.
- RF KB Sides
- 2B/LF/DP Alexis Mack
- C Bailey Hemphill
- SS Bailey Dowling
- 1B Kaylee Tow
- In addition, CF Elissa Brown batted ninth in four games as a “second leadoff hitter”, a strategy I am not fond of.
- Hemphill caught three of the four games and appears to be the everyday catcher going forward.
- Claire Jenkins was sporting a large knee brace as she started at third base in all four. She missed all of last season after tearing an ACL. Jenkins started at shortstop in 2019, but has made way for Dowling.
- Maddie Morgan, who started at third base the last two seasons, hit .350 last year and was second on the team in RBI with 20, had only one pinch hit appearance over the whole weekend. Could there be a “doghouse” situation or an injury?
- One lesson Murphy apparently did not learn from last year was letting pitcher Lexi Kilfoyl bat for herself in games she starts in the circle. Last season, Kilfoyl was 1 for 11 at the plate. On Saturday versus Notre Dame, she walked, had an infield pop up, and struck out with the bases loaded. This does not make a lot of sense with so many good bats on the bench. On Sunday facing Louisville, Kilfoyl did not bat.
- Catcher Abby Doerr and 2B Taylor Clark both got their first starts of the season in Game 3 and both went hitless in three at bats each.
- Savannah Woodard was hitless in five at bats.
- Elissa Brown recorded six hits in nine at bats (.677), scored five runs, and stole NINE bases. She had no RBI due to the deficiencies of the hitters in front of her. Her stats probably would’ve been better had she not been batting ninth.
- In 11 innings over two games, Montana Fouts (2-0) allowed only two base runners to reach base (one single, one walk) and neither advanced any further. She struck 20, had no wild pitches or hit-by-pitch, and only two fly ball outs.
This weekend, it’s the real home opener in front of fans for the annual Easton Bama Bash. TV is TBD if the lazy bums who run rolltide.com decided to put down their lattes long enough to post it. (BTW, I had to go to Louisville’s website to get the Game 4 box score. smh)
- Friday, Feb. 19 vs. Liberty (3-0) - DH: 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. CT
- Saturday, Feb. 20 vs. Gardner-Webb (0-0) - DH: 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. CT
- Sunday, Feb. 21 vs. LSU (2-1) - 1 p.m. CT - non-conference
It appears that former Bama player Skylar Wallace may not play for Florida in 2021. Due to SEC rules, non-graduate intra-conference transfers are generally required to sit out a year.
“As of right now, Skylar is not eligible,” (Gators coach Tim) Walton said. “There is still a waiver potential process, but there is a small, small, small, small percentage of chances that she’ll be eligible to play, with the SEC sit-out rule. The NCAA obviously had the transfer rule stuff on the table but they did ultimately table it until later on… we knew [that she might have to sit out] in recruiting her – the SEC has a rule – and she knew that in making her decision.”
This issue is an interesting one to watch because Alabama football is trying to find a way to get former Tennessee linebacker Henry To’o To’o on board for 2021. Like Wallace, he is a non-graduate with only two years in college.