The Crimson Tide (6-2) took an encouraging step forward in the Clearwater Invitational last weekend with four wins and a only one loss to second-ranked UCLA. Now comes the difficult task of staying the course against some real doormats. Complacency and having no respect for your opponent can do dangerous things to a favorite.
- Friday, February 24 vs Kennesaw State 4:40 p.m. CT
- Friday, February 24 vs Southeastern Louisiana 6:30 p.m. CT
- Saturday, February 25 vs Indiana State 11 a.m. CT
- Saturday, February 25 vs Southeastern Louisiana 1:30 p.m. CT
- Sunday, February 26 vs Kennesaw State 1 p.m. CT
* All games will be streamed on SEC+.
Ken comes in CLUTCH@CahalanKenleigh— Alabama Softball (@AlabamaSB) February 23, 2023
SECN+ | https://t.co/slAfXi485y#Team27 #RollTide pic.twitter.com/dN1o9abukC
Despite allowing only one hit, Bama eked by Samford 3-2. With two on and two outs in the 4th, an easy ground ball went under the glove of Kenleigh Cahalan at short followed by an errant throw home by centerfielder Kristen White for 2 run defecit. Bailey Dowling doubled in a run in the bottom of the frame to make it 2-1. Ally Shipman would come off the bench for an RBI single in the 6th. Two outs later, Cahalan singled in the go ahead run.
Alex Salter (4.0 innings) and Jaala Torrence (3.0 innings) combined for the one hit win. It was Head Coach Patrick Murphy’s 1,200th win at Alabama. The Tide had nine hits, three walks, and four stolen bases but struggled to come up with RBIs.
The Owls (3-6) are pretty lousy. The team batting average is .237 and team ERA is 4.98. Hitting and pitching stink but at least the defense is... Oh, wait. KSU has 14 errors and has committed at least one in all but one game thus far.
The Lions are undefeated in nine games this season, but the opposition has been rather kitten-like. Though not considered a Power team, they are an up and coming program.
Montana Fouts 3-hit the Lions last season in a 5-0 win played in Hammond, LA. SE La would go on to a 40-16 record in 2022 but missed out on the NCAA Tournament due to their soft schedule and a loss in the Southland Conference Tournament final.
This year, the Lions are hitting a robust .380 as a team, led by Lexi Johnson at .615 (16 of 26). She has two home runs and 13 RBI. SE La has used eight different pitchers this young season with six different hurlers getting starts. The team ERA is 1.23.
ISU is best known as the alma mater of one Larry Bird. The Sycamores are not known for much else than that. The softball team is 3-2 this year though they had five straight games cancelled due to crappy weather in Charleston and Chattanooga in early February.
The Sycs do have a no-hitter to their name, an 8-0 victory over Maine thrown by Lauren Sackett in her collegiate debut. Though they haven’t played tough competition, the pitching staff is pretty solid so far. Sackett is 2-0 with a 0.78 ERA with 13 strikeouts. Lexi Benko has a 0.95 ERA in 14.2 innings pitched in three games.
The Sycamores have two players hitting over .400 but the rest of the lineup is pretty weak, As a team, they have one round-tripper and have scored only 16 runs in five games (3.2 rpg).
After a successful weekend in Clearwater, the Tide received a bump in the polls up to #6/6/7/11. Can they keep the rat poison at bay or will they let it go to their heads? Anything less than a clean sweep of the next 14 games (Samford, Kennesaw State, Southeastern Louisiana, Indiana State, Southeastern Louisiana, Kennesaw State, Southern Miss, Robert Morris, Longwood, Robert Morris, Longwood, Mercer, Western Michigan, UAB) will be disappointing.