The second ranked Alabama softball team put up an inexcusable pathetic performance in College Station. The series was already a failure after losing Game 1 to Texas A&M. But then the Crimson Tide got run-ruled by the last place Aggies. This debacle is right up there with the men’s basketball team giving Georgia their one SEC win of the year.
GAME 1: TEXAS A&M 6, ALABAMA 4 - Faceplant I
Just when we thought Montana Fouts had righted the ship and got back to her old self, comes another Jekyll and Hyde performance. The fifth pitch that she threw in the game was deposited on the other side of the left center field wall for an early 1-0 deficit. She then struck out four of the next five batters she faced.
Patrick Murphy came out with yet another lineup card combination. The most notable change was Jenna Lord batting second behind Ashley Prange. The pair both singled in the third inning. An error loaded the bases for Kaylee Tow who singled in two. Megan Bloodworth followed suit with a two-run single of her own. However up 4-1, the Tide quickly traded their bats for wet noodles and slathered up their gloves with suntan lotion.
In the bottom of the inning, a Prange throwing error and a two out muff by Tow at first in which she dropped a good throw resulted in two Aggies runs.
✌ errors by Bama gives us 2️⃣ runs back in the 3rd!— Texas A&M Softball (@AggieSoftball) April 23, 2022
: SEC Network+ pic.twitter.com/DaoUgtHEqA
Three fifth inning hits and a walk would give TAMU a 6-4 lead.
Alabama would record only two hits after the third. Ally Shipman, Bailey Dowling, Jenna Johnson, Kat Grill, and Dallis Goodnight all went hitless with no walks. Not a good way to start a series against a last place team.
GAME 2: TEXAS A&M 9, ALABAMA 1 (5 innings) - Faceplant II
It took only five innings for the SEC doormat to dispatch of the Crimson Tide. And it only took until the bottom of second inning of Game 2 for Lexi Kilfoyl to implode. After TAMU loaded the bases with one out, Kilfoyl gave up three consecutive singles followed by a three run homer to left field. It is hard to believe that this is the same pitcher who had a perfect game against Georgia just a few weeks ago. Alex Salter had to come in to get the last two outs.
Salter herself lasted until the fourth inning when she started to fall apart as well. A single, a walk, and a double plated an eighth run and Jaala Torrence was called from the bullpen.
It wasn’t until the fifth inning that Alabama recorded their second and last hit of the day when Jenna Lord singled in pinch-hitter Savannah Woodard who had walked three batters earlier.
Maybe Patrick Murphy was trying to light a fire when he started substituting: Abby Doerr for Ally Shipman, Woodard for Dallis Goodnight, and Jordan Stephens for Jenna Johnson. The ploy did not work out too well. After a two out walk, Aggie Makinzy Herzog hit a single to Stephens which was booted and allowed a ninth run and the walk-off run-rule victory for TAMU.
GAME 3: ALABAMA 4, TEXAS A&M 2
Alabama barely salvaged the series with a getaway game win on Sunday. Again Montana Fouts was not at her best and again the offense was meh. At least the Tide defense made only ONE error this game.
As the second batter of the game for Alabama, Jenna Lord put a charge into a ball and sent it over the left field wall and off the scoreboard for her second round-tripper of the season.
TAMU put together some singles to knot the score at 1-1 in the second frame. A Savannah Woodard walk and a Ashley Prange double put the Tide right back on top 2-1. A solo shot by Aggie tied it up again in the fourth. But Prange (the only consistent hitter over the last two weeks) took the lead right back with an absolute bomb OVER the scoreboard.
A sac fly RBI from Woodard in the sixth added an insurance run. The Tide loaded the bases in the seventh but could not produce a run. Bama left ten runners on base in innings three through seven.
Fouts (20-4) was not spectacular but good enough to earn her 20th win of the season while throwing 140 pitches. She allowed six hits and one earned run whilst walking a pair and whiffing eight Aggies.
*** Lollipop unicorn rainbow chasers, stop reading here lest ye get your feelings hurt! ***
I’m going to get a lot of whiny hate with this one, but if you want sugar-coated B.S. shoved up your youknowwhat, there are plenty of sunshine pumpers out there to choose from.
- It bears repeating that Murphy made a colossal mistake by not signing a elite pitcher for 2022 (or 2023). I don’t want to hear the whining about how difficult it is to get such talent. Alabama is a destination college for softball. If you don’t believe that notion, just check out the attendance numbers for Bama road games.
- As we have seen from opponents all season, deep pitching staffs and freshmen hurlers in particular bring an energy of competition and a newness to a team. Have Fouts, Kilfoyl, and the coaching staff become complacent? Is it boredom and tedium?
- We have all talked about this in past seasons. It is way past time for a change in the coaching staff. I’m not talking about Murphy. It is time to encourage one or both of his assistants to seek head coaching positions. Both would be quite desirable. If this program wants to get back to the top of the mountain, something needs to change. If you need proof, just look across campus at the football offices.
- After a disastrous weekend, Bama (39-8, 14-7) has squandered a commanding lead in the SEC to Arkansas (35-8, 14-4) who swept #9 Florida this weekend. The Tide likely takes a big dip in the national rankings as well. Don’t be surprised if Virginia Tech, UCLA, Florida State, and Arkansas all leapfrog the Tide. Keep playing like this and they will see themselves on the road if they can get to a Super-Regional.
- Without pouring over schedules for the last 26 seasons, this is probably the first time Bama lost two regular season games in a row to an unranked team with a losing SEC record.
- Bama committed five errors in the three games. Tow muffed throws in both Games 2 and 3.
- Aubrey Barnhart started as designated hitter for Saturday’s fiasco and whiffed in two at bats. Mark that as an ‘L’ for The Gut®.
- On Sunday, Woodard earned her first SEC start since April 2. She was 0 for 1 with 2 walks, but scored a run and converted a sac fly into an RBI. It was a better performance than many of her teammates.
- Jenna Johnson pulled another 0-fer (0-7, no walks, 0 runs, 0 RBI, 2 K). She has one hit (vs. Alcorn) over her last 26 at bats. Her last SEC hit was against UGA on April 4. In that span, her batting average had plunged from .370 to .299.
- Also pulling 0-fers was once-catalyst Shipman (0-8, 1 BB, 0 runs, 0 RBI, 1 K), Doerr (0-2, 0 runs, 0 RBI, K), and Grill (0-3, 0 runs, 0 RBI, 1 K).
- The team batting average has dipped below .300 by one point. Team ERA is up to 2.30.
- Bloodworth extended her hitting streak to seven games and has reached base in eight straight games.
- Friday’s game set an attendance record for TAMU of 2,231 fans. It was topped on Saturday with a count of 2,455. Sunday’s crowd fell to 1,777.
- LORD - 4 for 10 (.400), 2 RUNS, 2 RBI, 2B, HR, BB.
- PRANGE - 4 for 10 (.400), 2 RUNS, 2 RBI, 2B, HR, BB.
- BLOODWORTH - 3 for 5 (.600), 1 RUN, 2 RBI, 3 BB, HBP, 0 K.
UPCOMING ALABAMA SCHEDULE
Alabama will have a lot of time to think about the awful showing they had in Texas. They have one road game on Wednesday against WKU which was most likely put on the schedule to honor Kaylee Tow who hails from nearby Madisonville, Kentucky. Then it’s a week off to relearn how to hit and play defense.
- Wednesday, April 27 at Western Kentucky 4 p.m. CT
- Friday, May 6 vs. Missouri 6 p.m. CT
- Saturday, May 7 vs. Missouri 1 p.m. CT
- Sunday, May 8 vs. Missouri 1 p.m. CT