Alabama continues their home stand with a four-game set. But first...
Alabama’s Montana Fouts was again named Pitcher of the Week by the SEC for the second week in a row. She recorded three wins and one save, while striking out 28 and sporting a .091 opponent batting average over 17.0 shutout innings. She walked six and gave up only five hits over four appearances.
[Scheduled Tweet]— Alabama Softball (@AlabamaSB) February 28, 2022
Montana Fouts is this week's SEC Pitcher of the Week
: https://t.co/vw20BtYSV6#Team26 #RollTide pic.twitter.com/hK58KTvEDM
The second-ranked Crimson Tide (16-0) will host the Longhorns and RedHawks in the annual Crimson Classic at the Rhoads House. The weather should be spectacular.
- 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
HOW TO WATCH... ALLEGEDLY
All games should be available on ESPN+/SECN+ if anyone can be bothered to flip the right switch.
GAMES 1 & 2: TEXAS LONGHORNS (10-7)
What happened to Texas? With a consensus Top 10 ranking coming into the season, the Longhorns got off to a roaring start with a 4-0 win over a ranked Clemson team. But then they lost to Florida... oops, check that... Florida Gulf Coast. After the ‘Horns won their next four, most would have thought it was just an anomaly. However, consecutive losses to FSU, Auburn, UCLA, UCF, and Notre Dame in Clearwater and a home loss to Arizona State said otherwise. UT have won five straight since then, but all came at the expense of non-Power 5 schools.
This early season slump is no reason to take Texas lightly. The Longhorns finished 43-14 last season and was barely eliminated by Oklahoma State in the Super Regionals.
Fifth-year super senior 2B Janae Jefferson is already the school’s career leader in batting average and hits, and was recently selected to the 2022 USA Softball national team World Games roster. She batted .446 a year ago with 49 runs and 26 RBI. This season she is at .340 with a team-leading 12 runs scored to go with 9 RBI. First Team All-Big 12 catcher Mary Iakopo is also back. She had 16 round-trippers last season with a .322 average. She is currently is hitting .310 with two homers and 7 RBI. Freshman Katie Cimusz has a .346 BA and leads Texas with three four-baggers and 11 runs batted in.
The only returning hurler for UT is Shea O’Leary and she is struggling mightily. 16-6 with an 1.82 ERA a year ago, she is already at 0-3 with a 7.00 ERA. However, she has not yielded a home run and has only given up one triple and two doubles. Lefty Estelle Czech (2-1, 1.57 ERA) transferred from NC State. Being a southpaw, she could give batters trouble. Hailey Dolcini was 2021 Mountain West Conference Pitcher of the Year at Fresno State. At UT, she is 4-2, 2.80.
Defense might be an issue as 13 of the 59 runs UT has allowed were unearned.
GAME 3 & 4: MIAMI-OH REDHAWKS (4-6)
Miami-OH is a tough nut to crack. They have lost to the likes of Troy, Tennessee State, IUPUI, and Bradley (x2) but have defeated South Carolina and Louisville - both solid teams. Brianna Pratt (3-2, 2.44) started and won both those games but has been shelled a few times. Courtney Vierstra has a 1.22 ERA but has been hung with four losses due to 18 unearned runs out of 22 allowed. And therein lies the rub. These young ladies have committed 15 errors resulting in 23 unearned runs in only ten games. That is not good. Alabama’s Dallis Goodnight is likely to coerce five by herself!
2B Karli Spaid is batting a robust .515 and has had four balls leave the yard. Her ten RBI lead the team by a margin of five. Despite Spaid’s numbers, the RedHawks have a .238 team BA.