The Razorbacks came into this series with a perfect SEC record and hopes of slaying the conference beast. They came away with two SEC defeats and one umpire-aided victory.
GAME 1: ALABAMA 5, ARKANSAS 3
After two hitless innings, the Tide opened up the scoring in the third with a two-run double by KB Sides followed by Bailey Hemphill’s eighth home run of the season.
.@Gray_robertson could barley catch his breath between pitches.— Chicago Gump (@GriffinTSmith) April 9, 2021
First @SidesKendall has an rbi double to bring home two and then @bailey_hemphill sends a ball onto the berm in left field. #RollTide pic.twitter.com/ehzhfjFAMr
Arkansas struck back in the bottom of the inning starting a rally with two outs spurred on by a Montana Fouts throwing error that scored a run and kept the inning alive. After an intentional walk loaded the bases, a Razorback hitter singled in two runners to close the gap to 4-3.
Savannah Woodard homered to center field in the top of the fourth to push the score back to a two run lead.
The Hogs loaded the bases in the fifth and sixth but Fouts pulled a Houdini leaving the runners on base. For the game, the junior struck out 12 but uncharacteristically walked a season high six (previous high was three) with two intentional.
GAME TWO: ARKANSAS 4, ALABAMA 0
Alabama was shut out on a complete game, two-hit, 10 strikeout gem by super-senior Autumn Storms. Alexis Mack and Lexi Kilfoyl struck out three times each.
Arky’s Kayla Green hit two home runs off Kilfoyl (11-3) and Braxton Burnside smacked her 21st round-tripper of the season.
You should never know the name of a college softball umpire. Here is one to remember: Danny Bowman. The strike zone for the Saturday home plate ump was ridiculous and he missed a hit-by-pitch on Claire Jenkins. Patrick Murphy rightfully complained about the inconsistencies and was ejected in the sixth inning.
GAME THREE: ALABAMA 2, ARKANSAS 0
Feeling momentum was on their side, Arky again went to their ace Storms. Murphy countered with some different faces. Bama struck first in the second frame when Woodard and new DP Abby Doerr singled. A fielder’s choice loaded the bases and Jenna Johnson picked up an RBI on a hit-by-pitch. Unfortunately for Alabama, Sides and Hemphill could not push another run across.
Fouts (13-2) put together one of her best performances of the season on a two-hit, 11 strikeout complete game.
Alabama scored an insurance run in the seventh on a pass ball.
AL-A— Alabama Softball (@AlabamaSB) April 11, 2021
BAM-A#Team25 #RollTide pic.twitter.com/r4ftS6yLBG
Kaylee Tow was 3 for 3 with a stolen base. Bama had seven singles, three walks, and a hit-by-pitch but managed only two fluky runs. They are lucky Fouts was so good. The Tide needs to improve their timely hitting.
- Fouts - Two complete game wins with 23 Arky whiffs.
- Woodard - a hit in each game, 2 runs scored, 1 RBI, no K’s while batting 8th.
STATS ‘N’ STUFF
*** You know what this section is. Candy-asses see your way out.
- Hemphill is now tied with Kaila Hunt and Charlotte Morgan for second place in career home runs at 58. It’s too bad it was her only hit of the weekend. She is only two long balls behind the school record held by Hall of Famer Kelly Kretschman.
- Before this series, Arkansas had at least one home run in all but four games. Bama kept the ball in the field of play in their two victories.
- Burnside added one homer to her season tally but recorded only a single against Fouts in two games.
- Sides has reached base safely in 14 straight games.
- Jenna Johnson tallied her first hit and first RBI since before her injury on Feb. 24. Personally, I’d like to see more playing time from her beyond pinch running.
- Here we go again. Murphy taking Maddie Morgan out in favor of Taylor Clark. At the very best, their defense is about even. MM is a much better hitter and is a spiritual leader on the field. Just stop, Murph.
- Kilfoyl went 0 for 6 at the plate. I know I sound like a broken record, but her pitching seems to get worse, the more Murphy leans on her at the dish. Coincidence? She now had nine hits and 14 strikeouts in 39 at bats.
- Sarah Cornell struck out two in a perfect inning of Game 2.
- Fouts has 160 strikeout victims in 103.2 innings this season.
- Left-hander Doerr had a single and a walk as DP in Game 3.
- Mack had a rough weekend, recording only one single in 8 at bats with four Ks and an error.
- There is something that has been bugging me for years. When Claire Jenkins takes her practice swing, she takes this half cut stopping halfway through. I don’t know why she does it nor why the Bama staff has not changed that. The Tide shortstop has not gotten a hit since Game 1 against Texas A&M. Her average dips to .209.
- The SEC really needs to do something about the inconsistent umpiring. This isn’t MLB where they can do your own thing. Maybe they need weekly seminars.
- The Tide again had errors in all three games.
- Fouts now has four errors on the season. Now in her third season, she should not be making these mistakes. Someone need to find time to take her aside and put her through drills: tapping the ball back to the mound and having her field, turn, and throw. Alyson? If you are not too busy coaching outfielders, could we bother you to perform this task...???
Woo, doggie! Have we got a humdinger for you this coming weekend. Natty Light-swilling hothead Tim Walton brings his Gators to town.
UPDATE: The University will be increasing capacity for softball and baseball starting this week!
- Wednesday, April 14, vs. Alabama State 6 p.m. CT - SECN+
- Friday, April 16, vs. Florida 6 p.m. CT - SECN+
- Saturday, April 17, vs. Florida 1 p.m. CT - ESPN2
- Sunday, April 18, vs. Florida 1 p.m. CT - SECN