The Crimson Tide finally wrapped their road trip to the Mississippi Delta with one game in Hattiesburg, MS. The biggest challenge of the year comes this evening as #2 behemoth Florida State pays a visit to Rhoads.
ALABAMA 5, SOUTHERN MISS 2
A win is a win I suppose. Alas, this one will not be included in any highlight reels. The Crimson Tide eked out a win against a decent non-Power 5 team. Two of the Alabama runs were unearned and they had no multi-base hits until the seventh inning.
Bama picked up their first unearned run of the day in the second inning on a Megan Bloodworth single. USM struck back with two in the bottom of the frame on three singles and a walk given up by Jaala Torrence. Three Tide singles tied it at 2-2 in the fourth, but they left runners on second and third bases.
Torrence once again had a start cut short after the Golden Eagles put runners on the corners on a walk and a single. The Bama sophomore allowed at least one hit and one walk in the second, third, and fourth innings. She lasted 3.2 innings while allowing five hits, two earned runs and walking an unacceptable four G-Eagles. Of course, the bionic woman Montana Fouts had to pitch the final 3.1.
Jenna Johnson walked and stole second in the fifth. Ally Shipman singled her in. An unearned run crossed the plate in the sixth. And a pair of back-to-back doubles by Shipman and Ashley Prange completed the scoring in the seventh.
Fouts (12-0) recorded the win with five Ks and no walks while allowing a pair of singles. Alabama had another road sellout in Hattiesburg.
No. 2 FLORIDA STATE (24-1) SEC NETWORK 6pm CT
Be afraid. Be VERY afraid.
Alabama fans may recall this Seminoles team from last season’s World Series as they swept the Tide out of the semifinals. They are scary good and might just give Oklahoma another run for their money this year. FSU has already topped ranked teams Tennessee, Texas, Michigan, UCF, and UCLA. Their sole loss came to an unranked Pitt who they had beaten twice before.
The ‘Noles have a team batting average of .311 with 29 doubles and 26 round-trippers. They average 6.3 runs per game. Florida State is led by catcher Michaela Edenfield (.339, 8 HR, 20 RBI) and Illinois State transfer 1B Mack Leonard (.403, 4 HR, 16 RBI) who can also pitch (1-0, 0.00 ERA in 11.2 IP). They are joined by 2B Devyn Flaherty (.406, 2 HR, 14 RBI), and OF Kaley Mudge (.347). 3B Sydney Sherrill is an All-American but is only hitting .305 with one homer and 14 RBI thus far this year.
All-American Kathryn Sandercock (10-0, 0.96 ERA) is the likely starter in this showdown of Top 4 schools. Although, coach Lonni Alameda is not shy about using multiple pitchers in a game. FSU has used five different pitchers and has the capability of using as many as seven different players in the circle. Fifth year pitcher Danielle Watson (9-1, 1.28 ERA) is the ‘Noles second pitcher.
FSU is tied with Alabama for tops in the nation in fielding percentage at .985.
After two losses in Baton Rouge, the Crimson Tide did not fall too far in the polls.
Patrick Murphy has not yet announced his starter for tonight’s game.
Things don’t get much easier as ace pitcher Miranda Stoddard, All-American catcher Kayla Kowalik and No. 12 Kentucky (19-2) come to town on Friday.
By the time Sunday concludes, Bama will have played eight games in nine days against four different teams - three of them ranked.