The Crimson Tide defeated Chattanooga 3-0 on the first day of the Tuscaloosa Regional of the NCAA Tournament. It was another listless effort from Alabama against a barely-over .500 team from the Southern Conference. The Mocs outhit Bama 7 to 4.
It is noteworthy that Patrick Murphy went back the “classic” lineup with Goodnight leading off and pushed Tow all the way to sixth. Seldom-used Barnhart was the designated hitter.
1. CF Dallis Goodnight - K / Kali Heivilin - K (bases loaded) / Goodnight - K
2. 3B Ashley Prange - BB, BB
3. SS Bailey Dowling - HR, BB
4. C Ally Shipman - 1B, 1B
5. RF Jenna Lord - HBP, 1B-RBI
6. 1B Kaylee Tow - BB
7. 2B Megan Bloodworth - BB, SAC-RBI
8. DP Aubrey Barnhart - HBP
9. LF Jenna Johnson - BB
ALABAMA 3, UTC 0
Alex Salter got the start in the circle and lost her no-hit bid after one batter. She gave up a hit in each of the first four innings and was lifted for Montana Fouts after a walk and a hard single with one out in the fourth inning. Of course Fouts whiffed the next two batters.
Meanwhile, the Tide continued to swing wet noodles. The first Bama hit did not come until the bottom of the fourth when Bailey Dowling hit a solo shot on a pitch that was about eye-level.
Ally Shipman followed up with a sharp single, Jenna Lord was hit by a pitch and Kaylee Tow walked. Megan Bloodworth then got her first career post-season RBI with a sac fly to the deepest part of center field. Sadly, two runs were all Bama could manage as Aubrey Barnhart weakly grounded out, Jenna Johnson walked, and pinch-hitter Kali Heivilin (for Dallis Goodnight) struck out. Bravo, Murph.
Dowling walked in the fifth and pinch-runner M’Kay Gidley stole second base on her behalf. Shipman singled Gidley to third and Lord knocked her in with a one-bagger of her own. Of course Tow followed that up by making an out without advancing either runner. Barnhart ended the rally with another ground out.
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- After Barnhart was hit by a pitch to lead off the third inning, The Gut® had Johnson attempt a bunt. Luckily it popped foul because the third baseman was all over it. Next pitch, Gut® again called for another bunt and this one stayed fair - right into that same defender’s glove. The next batter, Goodnight, bunted as well and successfully moved the runner to second. But then there were two outs. What a strange strategy.
- Prange committed an error on a slow roller to third. Fortunately for Alabama, Fouts was in the circle.
- Again, I have to ask: Where is Kat Grill? Barnhart and Heivilin have not proved they deserve at bats over her.
- Tow and Johnson continue to stink it up at the plate.
- Fouts threw 54 pitches. How long until she hits 300 for the series?
- With her home run on Friday, Dowling is the first Tide player to reach double digits (10) in home runs this season.
- FOUTS - Was supposed to have the day off but threw 3.2 innings and had 7 Ks to earn the win.
- DOWLING - HR, BB
- SHIPMAN - 2 for 3, RUN
- LORD - 1B, RBI, HBP
- GIDLEY - SB, RUN
There was a good bit of struggle across the country with a few upset sprinkled in. Below are a few scores of interest.
- Mizzou barely escaped Missouri State 3-1.
- UGA was upset by Liberty 2-0.
- Notre Dame was obliterated by unheralded McNeese State 11-1. The Irish gave up 10 runs in the first inning without yielding a home run.
- Auburn and ULL were tied at 3 until Bri Ellis hit a go-ahead solo home run in the sixth for the 4-3 win.
- VaTech topped Saint Francis (PA) by an unimpressive score of 4-0.
- Michigan eked out a win over South Dakota State 2-1.
- Oregon State 4, Ohio State 3
UPCOMING ALABAMA SCHEDULE
Friday, May 20:
- GAME 1: Alabama 3, Chattanooga 0
- GAME 2: Stanford 3, Murray State 1
Saturday, May 21:
- GAME 3: Alabama vs. Stanford - 2 p.m. CT
- GAME 4: Chattanooga vs. Murray State - 4:30 p.m. CT - Loser goes home.
- GAME 5: Game 3 Loser vs. Game 4 Winner - 7 p.m. CT - Loser goes home.
Sunday, May 22
- GAME 6: Game 3 Winner vs. Game 5 Winner - 1 p.m. CT
- (If Necessary) Game 6 Rematch - 3:30 p.m. CT