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Alabama Softball: Dangerous Waters Ahead

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The Crimson Tide faces off with a tough non-SEC foe.

KB Sides.
@AlabamaSB

Well, well, well. It seems like RBR got a different sort of attention this past week for the softball coverage. I would call them new “readers”, but clearly they did not read the post. They just went all rage mob based on what someone else quipped. Because, ya know, that is what we do nowadays when something doesn’t go our way. Thankfully, they are a very small minority.

If the attention-span stricken portion of the population has managed to read this far into this article, they might appreciate that there are some Bama fans who care enough to actually cover and discuss the state of Alabama softball on a regular basis. RBR has been covering the sport since their inception in 2009. As far as I can recollect, I wrote my first softball post in 2013 about a true freshman ten games into her college career named Haylie McCleney.

Nothing will change here. We are going to continue to call them as we see them - just as we have been for the past decade. And we expect you readers and commenters to do the same. Your insights are as welcome as they are invaluable.

As I have been saying all season if you want to have sunshine blown up your nether regions, there are plenty of people who will tell you fairy tales about puppy dog kisses and jellybeans raining from the sky. This video might be more your speed.

For the rest of us, it’s back to reality...

POLLS

After losing two of three at home to Florida, Alabama (33-7) dropped in the rankings to 5/6/5/5.

The Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns (35-7) stand at 13/14/15/18. ULL has split games with No. 9 Texas and No. 11 Oklahoma State this season, but lost two to No. 17 LSU in a tournament played in Baton Rouge.

ULL PITCHING

The big two in the circle are Kandra Lamb (14-3, 2.07 ERA) and Summer Ellyson (16-4, 2.30). Lamb has given up 14 homers, five two-baggers, and three triples. Ellyson has yielded nine dingers, 17 doubles, and one three-base hit.

Despite the multi-base hits given up, Ellyson has 121 strikeouts and only 18 walks (6.4 K/BB ratio). Lamb is right behind her at 132 and 31 (4.2).

ULL BATTING

Ciara Bryan is hitting a robust .458 with 9 doubles, 4 triples, 5 home runs and 24 stolen bases. She has scored a team-high 45 runs which is tied for 8th most in the nation. Basically, she is a menace on the base paths. Julie Rawls is the top run producer, knocking in 47 - sixth most in the nation. She has 5 doubles, 3 triples, and 8 home runs. As a team, ULL has 47 homers. Only 20 teams have more.

The team batting average is .323. They average 6.86 runs scored per game.

Laffy players have stolen 118 bases. Fourteen different Rajuns have swiped a bag, five of whom have taken double digits.

ULL FIELDING

The Rajuns fielding percentage is slightly better than the Crimson Tide’s at .966 to .963. Jade Gortarez, who plays several spots on the infield, has ten errors.

Opponents have only attempted 42 stolen bases but have been successful 37 times. Alabama needs to take advantage of this flaw in the ULL game.

ALABAMA

To quote the Pixies: “Where Is My Mind?” Where are the heads of the Crimson Tide after a lackluster weekend at the plate? These two games have potential to have some football scores.

There has been no definitive word on when Lexi Kilfoyl will be back from her injury. [SIDE NOTE: Would the plural of Lexus be Lexi? Asking for a friend.]

Including this pair of games, Alabama has eight regular season games remaining before hosting the SEC tournament in mid-May. If the tourney was to begin today, third seed Bama would face the winner of LSU and Auburn. A hypothetical win there would potentially match the Tide with the Gators in the semifinals.

ULL CONNECTIONS

Bama assistant Alyson Habetz grew up in rural Crowley, Louisiana, about 20 miles west of Lafayette. She went to ULL on a basketball scholarship and tried out and made the softball team as well. As a member of the softball team, she earned third team All-American honors. She is also the No. 7 all-time career scorer for the Rajuns’ hoops team, scoring over 1,000 points.

A young Patrick Murphy was an assistant softball coach for ULL (1990–1994) while getting his Master’s degree. Habetz was on the team during this time. Together, they made an appearance in the 1993 Women’s College World Series where Laffy finished third.

MIDWEEK GAME

On Wednesday, the Tide took care of a blah Southern Miss team (20-21) by the final score of 6-3. Bailey Hemphill got a break from catching in favor of Abby Doerr who in turn had a two RBI double. Kat Grill gave KB Sides a rest in right field. Bama scored once in the first inning but left the bases loaded. Alabama’s second run came on a Maddie Morgan double in the third. The Tide broke it open with four runs in the fifth and had a chance at a run rule win up 6-1 with the bases loaded. Alas, Murphy mysteriously pinch-hit Sarah Cornell for Alexis Mack and the reserve pitcher struck out to end the inning.

Krystal Goodman (W, 5-1) got the start in the circle and pitched pretty well through six. Jaala Torrence started the seventh but had to be lifted after allowing two runs. Montana Fouts got the final out on three pitches for her second save of the season.

WEEKEND SCHEDULE

  • Saturday, April 24, vs. ULL 1:30 p.m. CT - SECN+
  • Sunday, April 25, vs. ULL 1:30 p.m. CT - SECN+

#Team25 #RollTide