The Southeastern Conference long ago overtook the PAC-12 as the premier conference for women’s college softball. As it stands now, nine of the 13 SEC teams are ranked in the Top 25. Alabama is atop the heap at number two, but that can change in a hurry when the conference schedule begins this weekend.
@ally_shipman pic.twitter.com/NnSUkNKYDx— Alabama Softball (@AlabamaSB) March 6, 2022
- No national or SEC awards this week, but Ally Shipman was outstanding at the plate.
- Alabama is third in the nation in walks with 86 - number one among Power 5 teams.
- On that note, Kaylee Tow has reached base safely in 17 straight games, which is tied for the longest streak of her career.
- After a blistering start to the season, Alabama has cooled to 19 total homers, which is 40th in the nation and tied with South Carolina for 10th in the SEC. Oklahoma has 40. Yes, 40.
1. Georgia 37
2. Mississippi State 33
3. Auburn 31
4. Missouri 30
5. Tennessee 30
6. Arkansas 27
7. Kentucky 23
8. LSU 23
9. Texas A&M 22
T-10. South Carolina 19
T-10. Alabama 19
The second-ranked Crimson Tide (20-0) hits the road to face No. 21 LSU (12-5).
️Bad Weather in Baton Rouge forces Weekend Schedule Change ️— Alabama Softball (@AlabamaSB) March 11, 2022
Games 1 and 2 - Saturday, March 12 (DH) - 1 p.m. CT
Game 3 - Sunday, March 13 - 2 p.m. CT#Team26 #RollTide pic.twitter.com/ICWtWOnoYp
- Friday, March 11 at LSU 6 p.m. CT
- Saturday, March 12 at LSU 8 p.m. CT - SEC Network
- Sunday, March 13 at LSU 12 p.m. CT
HOW TO WATCH... ALLEGEDLY
Saturday’s game will be seen on good ol’ fashion cable TV. The other two games we assume will stream on ESPN+/SECN+. Once the men’s basketball SEC Tournament is over this week, we should see many more games on the SECN.
The Bayou Bengals (17-6) have been a little schizo this season. They twice defeated ULL and also run-ruled No. 12 Oklahoma State 10-2. However, the Tigers lost to Central Arkansas and Illinois in back-to-back games played in Baton Rouge and Clearwater.
Other losses have come from No. 7 Washington, No. 17 Michigan, unranked Notre Dame, and Troy.
Super-Senior DP/P Shelbi Sunseri (.288 BA, 2 2B, 8 HR, 21 RBI, 16 BB, 9 K) and RS-Junior 1B Georgia Clark (.277, 2 2B, 6 HR, 26 RBI, 13 BB, 9 K) are the big boppers for the Tigers. Center fielder Ciara Briggs is proving her freshman year was no fluke with a robust .432 clip at the plate. She has scored a team-leading 24 runs and has yet to be thrown out in seven base stealing attempts. Fellow sophomore Danieca Coffey is thriving in her second season. The third baseman is hitting .440 with 16 runs scored from the number nine spot in the order. The speedster has three doubles, two triples, 10 RBI, and 8 of 9 in stolen bases.
That is great for the Tigers but they have struggled with finding production from the other five batters in the order. LSU is hitting .295 as a team. Only Tennessee has a lower team average among SEC teams. They have 23 round-trippers (8th in the SEC).
LSU likes to run. They are 37-41 in stolen bases.
LSU’s top three pitchers are back in Red Stick this spring. Ali Kilponen (8-2, 1.16 ERA) and Sunseri (5-1, 1.63 ERA) are the one-two punch, along with Shelby Wickersham (1-3, 2.67 ERA) as the third pitcher. Opponents have a .189 BA against the top duo with only three home runs given up each. 12 of the 34 runs those two have given up were unearned.
Among SEC pitchers with at least 10 innings pitched, Alabama has three in the top 10 in ERA: Lexi Kilfoyl (0.36), Montana Fouts (0.77), Jaala Torrence (0.89). Kilponen is 16th.
The purple and gold have a .961 fielding percentage which is not good. That number places them 121st in the nation. As mentioned above, over a third (35%) of the runs given up by the top two pitchers have been unearned. The Tigers have 26 errors - most in the SEC. Third baseman Coffey has eight by herself. Shortstop Taylor Pleasants has booted six. Clark has five errors which is a lot for someone playing first base.
The Crimson Tide is tops in the league in low errors (7) and fielding percentage (.986).
This Tigers team is strong and the most talented one Alabama has faced to date. However, they have struggled with fielding and setting an everyday lineup.
Alabama is off to a roaring start but are dangerously low on pitchers after Montana Fouts. Someone somehow managed to coerce some vague injury information out of Patrick Murphy. Lexi Kilfoyl was scheduled to pitch at practice this past Tuesday. It sounds like she may make an appearance this weekend. Savannah Woodard has been practicing and taking batting practice. According to Murphy, the timeline for her return is “up to her.”
Are you concerned about the workload Murphy is putting on Fouts?
This poll is closed
No. She can handle it.
Yes. It’s only March for Pete’s sale!
Other (read my incisive assessments in comments.)