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Alabama Softball Takes Two of Three From No. 11 Kentucky

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The Crimson Tide win the first two but end the weekend on a sour note.

Ashley Prange is greeted at home after a two run blast in Game 2.

I have never understood the pride of “winning a series” in baseball or softball. The term refers to taking two out of three games in a 3-game series against one opponent. To me, it is an acceptance of defeat. But I digress. If you like such headlines, then you are in luck because the Crimson Tide won their series against the Kentucky Wildcats.


The Wildcats took a gamble and started freshman Alexia Lacatena in the circle. As the second batter of the game for Alabama, Ashley Prange greeted her with a triple and was knocked in by an Ally Shipman sac fly for an early 1-0 lead.

The Crimson Tide countered with Montana Fouts in the circle. In the third inning, she had one of those hiccup innings in which she allowed three singles that scored one earned run and one unearned run on a throwing error by Prange - her fifth of the season and third in two games. Fouts would get the third out and settle back into dominating form by not allowing a UK base runner while whiffing eight of the final 12 ‘Cats batters.

The Tide bats finally got going in the fifth inning, loading the bases for - GUESS WHO - Shipman who doubled in two runs. Kaylee Tow followed with a single for the 4-2 lead.

Seven Tide batters recorded hits in the game. Bailey Dowling was the only Bama strikeout victim.


Lexi Kilfoyl was handed the ball for Game 2 and the second batter she faced, Lauren Johnson, hit a solo homer.

The score quickly changed in the bottom of the first inning to 2-1 Bama after Jenna Johnson led off with a single and Ashley Prange kept her hot-hitting going with a 2-run four-bagger off Miranda Stoddard.

From that point it became a pitcher’s duel between Lexi Kilfoyl and Miranda Stoddard. for the middle innings until Jordan Stephens scored a vital third run on a Johnson sac fly in the fifth. Vital because the ‘Cats would retaliate in the next frame with a run of their own but the scoring ended there at 3-2 Bama.

Alabama was out-hit seven to five but made the most of their opportunities - which seems to be the Tide’s M.O. over the past decade or so. Kilfoyl (4-2) struck out seven for the complete game win (and did not have any plate appearances - YAY!). Amidst the recent rash of errors by the Tide have been a few defensive gems.


Since Alabama has no other choice, Montana Fouts was once again called on to pitch. You have to wonder if the pressure of carrying the team is getting to her.

After giving up a solo home run to Miranda Stoddard in the second inning, Alabama struck back with a Bailey Dowling dinger, a double and unearned run by Kat Grill, and an RBI double by Ashley Prange for a 3-1 advantage.

And then the bottom dropped out.

In the third inning, UK produced a single, single, walk, double, single, and four runs before Patrick Murphy took the ball from Fouts (13-1). Lexi Kilfoyl stopped the bleeding for the moment but yielded a sixth run in the fourth, and two in the fifth - one unearned on yet another errant throw by Prange. After walking two in the sixth, Jaala Torrence took over ang allowed an inherited run. That outburst made it 9-3 Kentcuky.

Seventh inning singles by freshmen Dallis Goodnight, pinch-hitter Megan Bloodworth - making her first appearance of the weekend - in addition to a Kali Heivilin pinch ground out pushed a fourth and final run across the plate for the Tide.

Kentucky scored at least one run in innings two through six.


*** Lollipop unicorn rainbow chasers, stop reading here lest ye get your feelings hurt! ***

  • Friday’s win was the 1200th victory of Patrick Murphy’s career.
  • Megan Bloodworth did not play until the final inning of Game 3. It will take an act of congress to learn if it was due to injury, performance related, or other.
  • The designated hitter spot in the lineup is not getting the kind of production it should be. Abby Doerr (.228 BA) has been the main DH. She started the season off strong but has only three RBI in the last 16 games and only two extra base hits on the season: a double back on Feb 25 and a homer Feb 12. She has struck out a dozen times and grounded into two double plays. Others have occasionally DH’d as well but to even lesser success. However, there are other options that have not been used.
  • Prange has been having some issues in the field as of late. She fielded her position cleanly in the first 14 games before her first error Feb 27 against ULL. From that point on, she committed six errors in 14 games including two catastrophic boots against FSU that led to four unearned runs and a loss. She has four errors in the last four games. The reactionary take is to bench her. However, she has been ripping the cover off the ball at the plate. She leads the team in doubles (8) and is tied with Shipman for second in home runs (4). Prange is htting .348 and is fourth in RBI.
  • All that said, it is time for Murphy to address these two issues at hand. There is a solution that could cure both ills: move Prange to designated hitter for a few games and give Jenna Lord or Kali Heivilin a shot at the hot corner. Or move Lord to third and use Heivilin or Woodard at second base. The Tide has UAB, three games against South Carolina, Alabama State, and Jacksonville State before UGA comes to town. It’s the perfect opportunity to experiment.
  • Bama came into the series with one of the best defenses in the nation but committed four errors and at least one in all three games versus Kentucky, plus three in the one game against FSU. Johnson committed her first error of the season.
  • Tow’s average has sunk to .231. She has only two round-trippers and two doubles. She leads the team in strikeouts with 14.
  • We are starting to see a trend of opposing teams not going with their ace in their first game or single game against Alabama. It seems like they want to throw someone at the Tide that they have not seen before, or very often. It is a strategy that has not worked out too well this season for Bama foes. UK went with a freshman in Game 1. She pitched okay but it is so important to win Game 1 in a series.
  • In a real rarity this season, Alabama had zero walks in Games 1 and 2 (wins). The Tide had three in the finale.
  • Torrence only made the one appearance in Game 3. In 1.2 innings, she only allowed one single but still walked two.
  • Game 3 had an odd final inning. Goodnight batted for herself but each of the next four starters were lifted for pinch-hitters. Bloodworth pinch hit for Johnson and Heivilin pinch hit for Prange. With one out and a runner on second, KJ Haney (1 for 6 on the season) pinch hit for Tow, and then Woodard (0 for 6 on the weekend) pinch hit for Shipman. They both made quiet outs. The Bloodworth PH was understandable since Johnson was hitless on the day. But Prange is the hottest hitters on the team and Shipman is the most clutch. Did Murphy throw up a white flag before the game was over? Was he letting his gut make decisions again? Was he trying to send his starters a message (doubtful)?
  • You cannot blame Alabama fans for any losses this season. They once again had Rhoads Stadium rocking, giving it a post-season feel.


  • Goodnight - 3 for 7 (.625), 3 RUNS, 1 SB, 1 BB, 0 K.

* Normally, I would include Prange for her performance at the plate (4 for 7, 3 RBI, 3 RUNS, 2 2B, 3B, HR) but she also had costly two errors.


As mentioned in the NOTES section above, the Crimson Tide has a pretty cushy week and a half ahead of them though South Carolina should not taken lightly.

  • Wednesday, March 23 at UAB 6 p.m. CT - in Bham. Let’s pack that place crimson!
  • Friday, March 25 at South Carolina 5 p.m. CT
  • Saturday, March 26 at South Carolina 1 p.m. CT
  • Sunday, March 27 at South Carolina 12 p.m. CT
  • Tuesday, March 29 vs. Alabama State 6 p.m. CT
  • Wednesday, March 30 vs. Jacksonville State (Sand Mountain Showdown) 6 p.m. CT in Albertville, AL

#Team26 #RollTide