Alabama comes into the weekend 15-0. They are 8-0 versus “Power” schools and 3-0 against SEC foes in “friendlies”. In 2019, the Crimson Tide started out 33-0 before their first loss. That season they made it all the way to the Final Four of the World Series.
After losing to Oregon this past week, UCLA dropped down in some of the polls, which allowed Alabama to move up. The Crimson Tide is in the second spot in one poll. They are No. 3 in two others and fourth in another.
AROUND THE SEC
Florida (12-0), and Kentucky (14-0) remain the only other undefeated SEC teams. Tennessee and Auburn have one loss each. The SEC has ten ranked teams.
Montana Fouts achieved a new career best in strikeouts mowing down 16 Mississippi State Bulldogs on Wednesday en route to a 4-0 win. After the game ended, she still had her game face on. She did not smile or jump around. Fouts has a focus and a confidence that should take this Tide team a long way.
EASTON T-TOWN SHOWDOWN
Let’s be honest. The competition this weekend is not the best, but no team should be taken for granted. As we have seen so far this season, almost any team can beat anyone else on any given day. Only seven teams remain unbeaten in D-1 softball after one month of play.
- Friday, March 5 vs. Kent State (DH) 4 p.m. & 6-ish p.m. CT
- Saturday, March 6 vs. Northern Iowa (DH) 11 a.m. and 1-ish p.m. CT
- Sunday, March 7 vs. South Alabama 4 p.m. CT
It could be careless to define these match-ups as “tune-up” games but this is the last chance for the Crimson Tide to work out any kinks before heading to #24 Auburn next Friday.
SOUTH ALABAMA (7-5)
Don’t be fooled by the record. The Jaguars can be a dangerous team. Just ask the #19 Georgia Bulldogs who lost to them at home earlier this season.
Becky Clark is the only head coach this team has had since their first season in 2007.
KENT STATE (2-2)
The two losses the Fightin’ Nick Sabans incurred came in Athens versus UGA. The wins were over Longwood. Four games is not a lot to analyze a team. Results so far: at UGA L, 3-11; vs. Longwood W, 2-1; at UGA W, 9-7; vs. Longwood L, 1-4.
NORTHERN IOWA (5-5)
The Panthers have spent the last week in Birmingham after taking on Samford and La-Monroe. They lost twice to the home team Bulldogs but beat ULM both times.
The team ERA is 4.87 but they do have one standout pitcher in Kailyn Packard who is 3-1 with a 1.77 ERA. Her one loss came in the tenth inning against Samford in which teams placed a runner on second to begin the inning. After getting two outs, she lost 1-0 on a single after going the distance without yielding a run.
Super senior Sammey Bunch is hitting .429 with 6 home runs and 10 RBI. The shortstop is from Frankenstein, Missouri which is hilarious. UNI has 12 home runs as a team.
The Tide will still be without KB Sides and Jenna Johnson as they nurse injuries. This weekend might be the last chance some of these reserves have to prove they deserve playing time. True freshman Kat Grill has been impressive in her few opportunities. She is 2 for 5 with 3 walks and 7 runs scored.
Tide fans will probably get a chance to see pitching starts out of Sarah Cornell (9.0 innings, 2.33 ERA) and/or Krystal Goodman (8.0 innings, 0.88 ERA), and perhaps an appearance or two from true frosh Jaala Torrance (3.2 innings, 0.00 ERA).
The first four Bama games will be streamed live on SEC Network Plus. The Bama-South Alabama game will be on the SEC Network.
After this weekend, conference play gets under way with Alabama traveling to Auburn for a 3-game set. 20 of the Crimson Tide’s next 30 games will come against ranked teams.
Mar 12-14 at #24 Auburn
Mar 17 at UAB
Mar 19-21 vs. #25 Tennessee
Mar 24 vs. North Alabama
Mar 27-29 at #10 Kentucky
Apr 1-3 vs. Texas A&M
Apr 9-11 at #20 Arkansas
Apr 14 vs. Alabama State
Apr 16-18 vs. #5 Florida
Apr 21 vs. Southern Miss
Apr 24-25 vs. #12 Louisiana-Laf
Apr 30-May 2 at #19 Georgia
May 7-9 vs. Ole Miss