When a team is playing flat at the end of a long season, it is tough to get the players motivated to put in that extra effort. Missouri coach Larissa Anderson found an excellent way to fire up her Tigers by manufacturing some drama that Bama somehow got preferential treatment on a hit off the wall last Sunday that was erroneously called a home run. There was no guarantee that UM would have won that game even if the home run had been ruled a double. In the stands Thursday, the Mizzou fans wore T-shirts that read “Justice Is Coming” as if the Crimson Tide had wronged them and gotten away with it. It was silly to blame Alabama but guess what: the ploy worked. Meanwhile across the diamond in the other dugout was sad sack Patrick Murphy and his listless little-effort team.
Regardless of what led to yet another dismal performance, this Crimson Tide team gets the dishonor of saying that they are the first Alabama team since 1999 to lose in the first round of the SEC tournament. How’s that for motivation, Murph?
MIZZOU 3, ALABAMA 0
You would think after just playing Mizzou four days ago that maybe the Bama staff would try to change things up for Montana Fouts in the circle. Maybe a different approach to batters who have seen her a great deal the past week? Nah. Too much work.
Right from the first inning, the top three Tigers had Fouts’s number. Jenna Laird led off the game with a single and was followed by Kimberly Wert, who hit a long shot to the deepest part of center field that Bama outfielder Jenna Johnson was able to corral at the wall.
Ashley Prange singled to lead off the bottom half of the inning but was erased by a weak Kaylee Tow fielder’s choice ground out. That was followed up by an Ally Shipman grounding into double play.
Fouts had no problem with the middle of the order in the second inning. In the bottom of the second, Abby Doerr singled and little used walk-on M’Kay Gidley stole second base. Bama went all last weekend without a single attempt. Finally some fire from someone not named “Prange”.
Nothing much happened for the next several innings until the third time through the lineup when Laird led off the sixth frame with a double. Pitching coach Stephanie VanBrackle Prothro must have been catching up on season four of Yellowstone on her phone because there were no adjustments made in the circle. As he had already done four times this week, Murphy intentionally walked Wert. So with no outs, The GutⓇ willingly put a second runner on base. Brooke Wilmes hit a little dribbler back to Fouts who let the ball scoot under her glove for an error. With the bases loaded, it might be a good time for a mound visit to settle everyone down, right? Oh, but wait! Rip is about to take off his shirt!
The next Tiger would hit a sac fly to score a run and put runners on the corners. This was followed by a ground out to Prange - the only Tide player who seems to be putting in full effort - who threw a strike to catcher Shipman to gun down a runner at the plate for out number two. A sharp single by a frickin’ freshman pushed a second run across.
The damage should have been over but Casidy Chaumont, who whiffed seven times last weekend, hit this softest easiest little lollipop bloop right to Kali Heivilin at second base. Who dropped it. Run number three.
Prange again led off the next inning with a single and never moved off first base. The final five Tide batters went down in order in a no-energy pathetic performance.
*** Lollipop unicorn rainbow chasers, stop reading here lest ye get your feelings hurt! ***
Again to repeat: RBR brings you nothing but honest analysis. If you want sugar-coated B.S. shoved up your youknowwhat, there are plenty of sunshine pumpers out there to choose from. TURN AWAY! NOW!
- Speaking of that 1999 first round SEC tournament loss, at least that team scored - a 6-3 loss to Mississippi State.
- We are closer to finding out who built Stonehenge than we are to finding out why Heivilin started at second base over Megan Bloodworth.
- As mentioned, Murphy intentionally walk Wert for the fifth times over the last four games.
- Bama has not scored more than four runs in the last nine games.
- Tow and Shipman had a collision on an infield pop-up. It was all so hilarious because Ally caught the ball, but it’s indicative of where this team is right now. Two upperclassmen playing in May should not be making mistakes such as this. They teach it in the lowest levels to yell “I got it! I got it! I got it!” I didn’t hear anything. Did you? Nice job, coaches. I hope you got a good laugh and some warm feels out of it.
- Jenna Johnson extended her hitless streak to nine games.
- Johnson, Shipman, Bailey Dowling, Jenna Lord, and Kat Grill did not reach base.
- Zero walks for the entire team.
- @Man. Too bad they don’t allow hitting coaches in softball.@
- Dallis Goodnight never left the bench, even to pinch run.
- For the fourth straight game, Bama totaled five hits.
- Prange raised her average to .356. Right now, I’d say the Jameson Williams of Bama softball is the Team26 Offensive MVP.
- Fouts had a season low five strikeouts. Only one earned run allowed but she did make an error that led to the other runs.
- At least Murphy won’t have the opportunity to overwork Fouts this weekend.
- The Gut® again inserted Woodard into right field in the sixth inning for Jenna Lord as if defense is more important than offense down 3-0 with three outs to go. Woodard hitting .180 fouled out in the bottom of teh seventh.
- I know these young ladies love Murph, but would they run through a brick wall for him like the Sooners do for Patty Gasso? Right now, I’m not sure they’d run through a shower curtain for him. Murphy needs to learn how to motivate girls aged 18 to 22 in the year 2022 real fast because the “golly gee let’s just have fun” approach ain’t working. Outside of a few players, this team acts like they don’t want to be here. I’d suggest going down the hall and make an appointment with Nick Saban’s secretary and get some advice.
- PRANGE - 2 for 3
UPCOMING ALABAMA SCHEDULE
Now, it’s sit around and wait time. The NCAA bracket will be announced on Sunday at 6pm CT.
Bama will 100% be in the NCAA Tournament and host an opening round Regional. If - and this is a BIG IF with no sarcasm - they can win the Regional, they probably still host a Super-Regional thanks to last weekend’s bizarre chaos.
This team is starting to remind me a lot of the 2010 team that lost to frickin’ Hawaii of all teams. Anyone remember that hot mess?