It was a successful weekend in the win column as the Crimson Tide swept another weekend to stay undefeated on the season. However, it came at a cost. Two regulars and a pitcher have been visited by Loki.
GAME 1: ALABAMA 9, UL-LAFFY 1 (5 Innings)
Alabama got this show started right. With one out in the game, Ashley Prange walked and Kaylee Tow hit a first-pitch home run for a quick 2-0 lead.
The third inning was a crazy one in which the Tide put up a crooked number on the scoreboard courtesy of the fallacies of the opposing pitching. The first few runs came without benefit of a hit. Prange and Tow walked, followed by Ally Shipman being hit by a pitch. Abby Doerr walked for an RBI, Bailey Dowling lined out, and then Megan Bloodworth was hit by pitch to drive in a second run. Lexi Kilfoyl broke the trend with a double that knocked in two more. A walk by Dallis Goodnight sent the starting pitcher to the showers. Jenna Johnson greeted the next hurler with an RBI single. Prange grounded out to first for the seventh run on a fielder’s choice. Bama would add one more as Goodnight scored on a wild pitch for a seven run inning and a 9-0 advantage.
In the circle, Kilfoyl yielded only one run but ULL put runners on base in every inning. She gave up five hits which included a pair of doubles to go with uncharacteristic four walks and three Ks. Laffy had two runners aboard in the second and third but could not push a run across the plate thanks to some solid defense. The Rajuns finally broke through with a single run in the fourth off a double and a single.
Savannah Woodard did not play. Rumors have it she twisted an ankle in practice.
GAME 2: ALABAMA 5, NICHOLLS 2
It was not the greatest of efforts by the Crimson Tide against a two-win squad.
Dallis Goodnight led off for the first time in her brief college career due to an top-secret injury to Jenna Johnson. Goodnight was the only Bama player with two hits in the game. Abby Doerr gave Shipman a break behind the plate and produced two RBI. Lexi Kilfoyl was the designated hitter though she was not pitching. Freshman Jordan Stephens started in right field for Woodard and was one for three with a walk and a run scored. Kat Grill was in left (0-2, BB) and freshman Kali Heivilin played second for Bloodworth. Alex Salter was in the circle.
Goodnight started the game right with a single and a stolen base. She would later steal third and come home to score on a Doerr ground out. In the second, Stephens walked, was sacrificed to second, and stole third. Goodnight would single her in for the second run. Ya gotta love these freshmen! Another run came in the third inning thanks to walks and a single. In the fourth inning, Kaylee Tow and Doerr would produce back-to-back doubles to give the Tide a 4-0 advantage. A Bailey Dowling single would push the fifth run across. And then... nothing. Alabama would not produce another hit until a Heivilin infield single in the seventh.
Despite the score, Alex Salter had a rough game. After retiring the first two batters of the game, a single and a home run gave the Colonels a brief 2-1 lead. She allowed one-baggers to the leadoff hitter in the second, third, and fifth innings. After a second single in the fifth, Patrick Murphy had seen enough and brought in Jaala Torrence who slammed the door with two strikeouts to end the threat. Torrence would close out the last two innings allowing nary a hit while whiffing five Colonels over her full appearance. Salter also had five Ks but allowed seven hits and a wild pitch in 4.1 innings.
[I’d show you video proof that all of this happened but the UA Athletic Department were having Margaritas at Taco Mama and can’t be bothered.]
GAME 3: ALABAMA 5, SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA 0
It was another low wattage outing on the scoreboard for the Crimson Tide against an inferior foe. There were plenty of hits (ten) including two doubles and a homer, but way too many missed opportunities to break the game open and get a run-rule victory.
Alabama would not score a run until Kaylee Tow hit a two-run single with two outs in the fifth inning. Bama would score three in the sixth inning to complete the scoring.
Dallis Goodnight again got the leadoff assignment and singled in the first frame. However, she was caught stealing. She would finish 2-for-2 with a walk. Jenna Lord would DH but was hitless. Kat Grill batted ninth and made the most of her start going 2-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI double. Megan Bloodworth broke out of whatever funk she has been in with leadoff solo round-tripper in the sixth. She also doubled in the seventh. KJ Haney had a pinch-hit RBI double in the three run sixth inning.
Despite the lack of runs, one score was all Montana Fouts needed. The Tide’s starting pitcher went the full seven innings allowing three singles and striking out a baker’s dozen. The only concern was that she walked two in a row with two outs in the seventh - something we have seen her do in the past. But she fought through it and got a K to end the game. These walks were the only ones she allowed.
[I think the UA Athletic Department overslept again. The power went off and reset their clocks. Yeah. That’ll work.]
GAME 4: ALABAMA 8, NORTHWESTERN STATE 3
Stop me if you have heard this one before: Dallis Goodnight led off the game with a single. She stole second and was knocked in by an Ashley Prange double. After an out by Kaylee Tow, Ally Shipman would single in the second run and eventually score on an error.
In the second inning, Goodnight would add a double to her stats sheet. Bama would follow that with two walks and back-to-back hit by pitch RBI by Shipman and Jenna Lord. Can’t hit home runs if you’re getting beaned. Bailey Dowling was determined to get an old fashioned RBI and knocked in two with a single up the middle. One more run would score on a walk before the Demons could get out of the nightmarish five run inning.
Lexi Kilfoyl started the game in the circle but did not return for the third inning after suffering an unreported classified secret injury (here we go again). In the previous inning, Kilfoyl reached first on a fielding error and was replaced by a pinch-runner (What have we been saying for over a year now?). Patrick Murphy was forced to bring in Alex Salter to pitch in her stead. The RS-freshman struck the first batter but gave up four consecutive hits that would net two runs for NSU. Suddenly, a blowout was an 8-2 game still in the third inning. In the bottom of the inning, the Crimson Tide went down way too easy, with a ground out, a walk, and two whiffs. Salter would surrender a third run in the fourth inning before Montana Fouts had to be summoned from the bullpen. [Maybe it was a good thing this game was not televised.]
The Bama offense again went down quietly in the bottom of the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings. Of course all this added to Fouts’s unexpected workload. But Fouts is Fouts and she mowed the opposition down, whiffing five and leaving NWSU hitless over 3.1 innings.
GAME 5: ALABAMA 2, LOUISIANA TECH 0
Jenna Johnson returned to the lineup and singled in her first at bat in the second inning. On that play, Kaylee Tow, who had walked before her, would score on the misplay of Johnson’s hit. Ally Shipman’s fourth homer of the season in the sixth frame was the only other score of the day for the listless Tide offense. Alabama put only five hits and two walks together.
Jaala Torrence (3-0) was refreshingly stable in the pitching circle. She set Tech down in order in the second and third innings, striking out the side in the second. The sophomore went 5.1 innings, scattering three singles, two walks, and striking out five. In the sixth inning, a Techster singled and stole second base. A ground out advanced her to third. At this point, Patrick Murphy lifted Torrence for Montana Fouts who of course struck out the next two batters throwing only one ball. Fouts would also toss a perfect seventh for her second save of the season.
The Lady Techsters turned two double plays on Alabama. Shipman grounded into one and Ashley Prange lined into the other.
[The UA Athletic Department were busy watching the men’s basketball game and cannot be concerned with bringing fans live coverage of a softball game.]
GAME 6: ALABAMA 8, LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE 0 (5 innings)
The Alabama offensive lethargy from the night before seeped into the early goings of this final game in the boot-shaped state. The Crimson Tide had no hits through the first 12 batters through three innings against Kandra Lamb. For some reason, ULL changed pitchers to start the fourth inning. In that frame, Bama produced a walk and an error to put runners on second and third bases with no outs. With the Rajuns overthinking things, Kaylee Tow was intentionally walked and Abby Doerr was unintentionally walked for the first run of the game. Just as in Game 4, it was Bailey Dowling who broke Alabama’s hitless funk with a two RBI single to put the Tide up 3-0.
Alabama broke it open in the fifth inning courtesy of a ULL error and a barrage of singles by the crimson and white. Megan Bloodworth, Tow, and Dowling all singled in runs to push the score to 7-0. At this point, Laffy reinserted their starting pitcher, Lamb who had a no-hitter going earlier in the game. Unfortunately for her, she could not keep Dowling from singling in the death blow eighth run.
Montana Fouts (6-0) retired the non-Ragin’ Cajuns in the bottom of the inning to clinch the weekend sweep. She added seven more Ks to her season total while allowing two singles and four walks.
*** Lollipop unicorn rainbow chasers, stop reading here lest ye get your feelings hurt! ***
ALABAMA TEAM HOME RUNS
- 104 - 2010
- 97 - 2012
- 91 - 2011
- 89 - 2019
- 79 - 2007
- 77 - 2008
- 73 - 1998
- 68 - 2014
- 63 - 2013
- 62 - 2009 & 2000
- After 15 games a season ago, Alabama had seven round-trippers and 41 for the season. Following Sunday’s game, the Tide dinger count stands at 17 four-baggers for 2022 which comes to 1.13 per game.
- It is unclear what Alabama gains from playing in a tournaments such as this one. Fans, friends, and family have no way of watching the games. Nobody on the Alabama team is even remotely from the area (the two Tuscaloosa girls are actually the closest and it is still 400 miles). God bless the lovely folks of Lafayette, but it isn’t exactly a destination city. And finally, the weak competition does not adequately prepare for the rough and tumble SEC slate that is ahead of them. The only good it does is perhaps allowing some reserves some innings to play.
- Murphy needs to work on keeping his team engaged when the Tide builds an early lead. Too many time we see Alabama score early runs and then drop the intensity level. No lead is too big when the SEC schedule kicks in.
- The Most Difficult Accomplishments in College Softball: 1) Triple Plays; 2) Hitting for the cycle; 3) Getting an injury report out of Patrick Murphy.
- Johnson reportedly had a minor injury and sat out both of Friday’s games and the first game Saturday. Woodard did not play at all. They better watch out or some of these young-uns will Wally Pipp them. Kilfoyl did not return to action after her incident against Northwestern State.
- Dowling broke out of her slump at the plate with 5 hits in 14 at bats. Twice her hits seems to wake the team up and spur a cavalcade of runs. However, she did ground into a rare double play.
- The Tide was doubled up three times this weekend.
- For a second time on the young season, Goodnight was called out for leaving first base early in Game 1. Just a freshman, there is no reason to think she will not get her timing down.
- Behind the plate in Game 2, Doerr was one for two throwing out runners. Shipman allowed four stolen bases in five attempts over the six games, but did have a big strike ‘em out throw ‘em out double play in the finale.
- Something you don’t see everyday: the final out of Game 1 was recorded when a ULL runner left first base prematurely and was called out.
- ULL won the rest of their games this weekend. They have two against LSU next weekend.
- BIRMINGHAM FOLKS! Alabama plays AT UAB on Wednesday March 23 at 6:00PM - get your tickets while they last.
- Fouts - 4 appearances, 3 wins, 1 save, 16.3 innings, 5 HITS, 0 RUNS, 6 BB, 28 K.
- Doerr - 6 for 14 (.429), one 2B, 4 RBI, 2 RUNS, 4 BB.
- Tow - 4 for 16 (.250), one 2B, 1 HR, 7 RUNS, 6 RBI, 5 BB.
- Goodnight - 7 for 17 (.412), one 2B, 1 RBI, 5 RUNS, 3 BB, 3 SB.
- Dowling - 5 for 14 (.357), 6 RBI, 1 RUN, 2 BB.
- Oh, my lawd. What has happened to Texas? After starting the season 5-0 including a win over a ranked Clemson team, the Longhorns lost five in a row to FSU, Auburn, UCLA, UCF, and Notre Dame in Clearwater. They followed that up with a home loss to Arizona State on Friday. Fortunately for UT, they have a double header tonight against UTSA and Tulsa.
- This weekend, Ole Miss and Florida topped last year’s Cinderella, James Madison (3-4). The glass slipper done broke.
- Speaking of the Gators (15-0), they continue to roll and score and score and score. They have outscored opponents 115-13 so far. Up next later Sunday is scary dangerous UCF.
- Mizzou took down Oregon and Washington this week before running into the UCLA steamroller on Sunday.
- Tennessee lost three straight to Oregon State, Oklahoma, and UCLA in a tournament played in the Palm Springs, CA area.
UPCOMING ALABAMA SCHEDULE
It’s back home to Tuscaloosa for the Crimson Tide before the SEC schedule kicks in on March 11.
- Wednesday, March 2 vs. UAB (7-8) - 6 p.m. CT (ULL beat UAB 23-0 earlier this season)
The below games are part of the Crimson Classic:
- Friday, March 4 vs. Texas - 6 p.m. CT
- Saturday, March 5 vs. Texas - 2:30 p.m. CT
- Saturday, March 5 vs. Miami (OH) - 5 p.m. CT
- Sunday, March 6 vs. Miami (OH) - 12:30 p.m. CT