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Fouts Leads Alabama to the SEC Tournament Championship over Florida

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The Crimson Tide shutout the Gators 4-0 to win their sixth SEC tournament trophy.

Montana was a Grizzly!
@AlabamaSB

For the third straight day, Alabama coach Patrick Murphy turned to unworldly Montana Fouts to start in the circle and Tide fans are glad he did. The SEC co-Pitcher of the Year continues to build on her legend with another dominating, tenacious effort.

The speedy Bama offense gave Fouts a bit of a cushion with three runs in the top of the first off UF starter Elizabeth Hightower via the usual route of chaos on the base paths. If there is one thing the Crimson Tide does better than any other team in the nation, it is giving the opposing defenses fits and goading them into errors.

Following the Alabama script, Fouts allowed two singles, but struck out the side in her half of the first. After that, it was lights out as Montana allowed only one more single, one walk, and struck out a total of 11 for the shutout complete game win.

Alabama added a fourth run in the sixth when Taylor Clark picked up a two-out clutch single.

And the celebration was on.

MVP

  1. Fouts - lawd-a-mercy: three starts, three wins, 39 strikeout victims.
  2. Hemphill - 3 for 6, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 4 runs, 5 walks (they skeered), 0 Ks.
  3. Clarkie! - 2 for 8, HR, 3 RBI, 1 run; Our little girl is growing up!
  4. Mack - 4 for 9, 4 runs, 1 BB

THIS N THAT

  • For some reason, Florida wore jerseys that looked like football jerseys with big numbers on front and back. I guess it was lost on UF coach Tim Walton that Bama football has beaten Gators football seven straight times dating back to the “Tebow Cried” game. Walton is probably pounding some Natty Lights in the parking lot right about now.
  • The Okie-Okie Lite softball game ran long and the start of this game began on ESPNews - bleh. Poor planning by ESPN.
  • When asked about starting Fouts a third straight day, Murphy said that the first thing his ace said to him Saturday morning was that she “felt better today then she did yesterday.” Who’s going to question this phenomenal athlete?
  • Murph made two more odd pinch-hitting decisions batting seldom-used Kyra Lockhart (2 for 19, 7 Ks) in place of Savannah Woodard (.304) with a runner on first with one out in the sixth inning. She whiffed. Later in the inning, he sent even less seldom-used KJ Haney (1 for 8, 3Ks) to the plate for Elissa Brown (.381) with two on, two out. Yep, she whiffed too.
  • For the tourney, Bama pinch-hitters were 0 for 4 with two Ks and one ground-into-a-double-play. No more of that please, Murph.
  • After having some previous issues throwing to first, Fouts has been pretty consistently throwing underhanded to positive effect.
  • Bailey Dowling was seen on the field celebrating with her teammates. It’s been almost two months since she fell to injury but still had a huge brace on her leg. Caroline Jenkins was also sporting a brace. Maybe the medical staff anticipated a big celebration tonight. ;)
  • Fouts 39 strikeout total is an SECT record - one that I cannot imagine will be broken any time soon.
  • Hemphill, Clark, Mack, and Fouts were all named to the All-Tournament team.
  • Sarah Cornell got a pinch-running opportunity but never got off first base.
  • Florida was shutout for only the second time this season.
  • Alabama is riding a 13-game win streak.

NEXT

The Crimson Tide move on to the next phase of the “second season”, the Regionals. Tuscaloosa has already been preselected as one of the potential host cities and will undoubtedly be confirmed when announcements are made on Sunday 8pm CT on ESPN2. Each of the 16 Regionals will have four teams who will play double-elimination.

Oklahoma will be the top overall seed. Alabama (44-7) has a shot at the two-seed but will be no lower than three. It will be real interesting to see how many SEC teams make the 64 team field. It would seem eight minimum are a lock.

#Team25 #RollTide