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No. 4/5 Alabama Softball Faces No. 7/8 Florida

The Crimson Tide face the biggest challenge of the season in the Florida Gators.

Who gets the ball for Game 1?

The Crimson Tide (31-5) is flying high after two dominating efforts against the No. 15/18 Georgia Bulldogs. The fans were really into it as well.

The Sand Mountain Showdown against Jacksonville State in Albertville, AL scheduled for Wednesday was cancelled a second time due to weather. There will be no rescheduled spring date, though efforts are underway to play this upcoming fall.


It’s been awhile since the SEC recognized a Tide player with their weekly awards.

Surprisingly, Bama dropped to #5 in two polls but stayed #4 in the other two. Virginia Tech of all teams, leapfrogged them. The real goal is to be in the top eight so that your team can host a Regional and Super-Regional. At least two wins this weekend will help keep the Tide in that vicinity.


It’s another one of those odd Sat-Sun-Mon series that probably have come at the behest of the 4-letter network to give them Monday night programming that they KNOW people will watch.

  • Saturday, April 9 at Florida 4 p.m. CT - ESPN
  • Sunday, April 10 at Florida 3 p.m. CT - ESPN2
  • Monday, April 11 at Florida 6 p.m. CT - SECN


ESPN must be digging the TV ratings for Alabama softball because they moved Game 1 from 2 p.m. CT on the Deuce to 4 p.m. CT on the Granddaddy.


The Gators (30-7) are an elite. They are candidates for a return to the World Series. Florida is led by Natty Light-swilling Tim Walton now in his 15th season. Of note, both of his assistant coaches are men, one of whom was a baseball teammate at Oklahoma.

On Wednesday, Florida lost a ten inning nail-biter to FSU by the score of 4-2.

Last season, the Crimson Tide lost two of three to UF in the regular season but beat them in the SEC Softball Tournament Championship Game 4-0.


This year’s Gators team looks somewhat like Alabama’s Team26. UF is last in the SEC in home runs with 26 and tied with Bama in tenth place in extra base hits (XBH) at 87. They are hitting .334 as a team.

One way that the Gators make up for their lack of extra base hits is stealing bases. They LOVE to run and have swiped an outstanding 89 bases in 100 attempts. That is tops among Power 5 teams in the nation. The next closest stolen base total in the SEC is 67 by Texas A&M.

The offense is led by none other than former Tide player Skylar Wallace who is hitting .482 with 43 RUNS, 4 HR and 24 RBI. She also has swiped 31 bases, more than Arkansas (29) and Mississippi State (13) have as teams.

First team All-American Charla Echols’s average is down to .280 but she leads the team in RBI with 34. Freshman Kendra Falby (.418, 39 RUNS, 3 HR, 19 RBI, 25 SB) ignites the offense with her speed. Hannah Adams (.386, 27 RUNS, 3 HR, 22 RBI) was a second team All-American in 2021. Reagan Walsh (.292, 15 RUNS, 8 2B, 5 HR, 32 RBI) is also a force with the bat.

Alabama 0.307 36 893 221 274 47 7 33 87 197 0.486 139 140 25 5 0.409 46-58 19 0.980
Florida 0.334 37 988 234 330 46 15 26 87 207 0.490 125 136 25 7 0.415 89-100 17 0.983


Surprise surprise, UF had six pitchers. Two names who should be familiar to Alabama fans are seniors Natalie Lugo (7-3, 1.74 ERA) and Elizabeth Hightower (10-2, 1.84 ERA). Those two along with freshman Lexie Delbrey (9-2, 2.48 ERA) get the bulk of the innings. Walton is not shy about throwing his other three pitcher in the fray at any time.

13 Alabama 36 233 79 68 2.04
14 Florida 36 235 75 69 2.06


Also like Alabama, Florida is very clean in the defense department with just 17 errors. They top the conference in fielding percentage at .983, which is second best in the nation behind FSU. As a team, they have given up a remarkable six unearned runs. Bama has allowed 11.

Alabama has 19 errors and a .980 fielding percentage. That percent is the 4th lowest in the nation among Power-5s behind FSU, Florida, and Oklahoma State.


This three-game set will be the toughest one of the regular season for Alabama.

A big question for the Crimson Tide in this series is who will get the start in Game 1. Montana Fouts is the ace but Lexi Kilfoyl is red hot. That query also bring up the subject as to who will start Game 3.

#Team26 #RollTide