The Crimson Tide (22-8, 1-2) lose their first SEC series of the season. The three game set was at home against an Arkansas team (22-8, 3-3) who is in a massive rebuild. Over the three games, Alabama as a team went 18 for 83 at the plate for a .217 average. They scored six runs off three doubles and had one home run (solo).
GAME 1: ALABAMA 2, ARKANSAS 0
Officially, it was “Ally Shipman Day”. But the day really belonged to Montana Fouts and Jenna Johnson.
Jenna had the hot bat collecting three of the Tide’s five hits on the day. She singled in her first at bat in the 2nd inning. Then for some reason, Patrick Murphy had Jordan Stephens pinch-run for her. Stephens would later score the game’s first run on a passed ball.
Bailey Dowling doubled to lead off the 4th and advanced to third on an error by the centerfielder. Johnson knocked her in for a 2-0 lead.
Fouts was in the zone. Only two Arkansas batters reached base, both singles. The Super-senior struck out eight with no walks or HBP on a perfect 100 pitches.
GAME 2: ARKANSAS 5, ALABAMA 3
Just as hot as Jenna Johnson was in Game 1, she returned to the back of the freezer and it was Ashley Prange’s turn. The Tide third baseman snapped a five game hitless streak with a 3 for 3 game with two runs scored. Just like in the first game with Johnson’s 3-3, Prange’s hits made up 60% of Alabama’s hits on the day.
Unconventionally, Alex Salter got the start and was fine in the first frame. In the second, she walked two and gave up double and a single to put Bama in a three-run hole. Pat Murphy’s Gut® stuck with her until she walked the bases loaded in the third. Lauren Esman - who probably should have started - relieved and got out of the jam. She got through the next inning unscathed, but her defense let her down in the 5th. After a double, a collision by Johnson and Stephens on an easy pop up to the outfield allowed the ball to hit the turf and score an Arky run [Hmm. Remind me who coaches outfielders again?]. After getting an infield pop up out, The Gut® randomly decides this would be a good time to yank Esman for Jaala Torrence. An error by Stephens plated another Hog run.
After leaving the bases loaded in the first inning, Alabama had something going in the third. Prange doubled, Shipman singled, and Dowling singled for one run but was thrown out at second. After a Broadfoot walk and stolen base, Jenna whiffed and Heivilin singled in Shipman. But on the same play, Broadfoot was thrown out at the plate for the third out. In the next inning, Stephens was thrown out at home as well by the same outfielder. [Good scouting there, guys.]
The 7th started hopeful. Down 5-2, Bama loaded the bases with no out and Broadfoot singled in a run. Alas, Johnson, Kali Heivilin, and Stephens all struck out to end the game.
GAME 3: ARKANSAS 2, ALABAMA 1 - 10 Innings
Emma Broadfoot got the first Bama hit of the day on a golf shot to center field that just ticked off the Arkansas outfielder’s glove for a four-bagger.
Solo Shot for Emma Broadfoot! @emmabroadfoot_— Alabama Softball (@AlabamaSB) March 20, 2023
SEC Network | https://t.co/aEMd0L7FxA#Team27 #RollTide pic.twitter.com/SmVt1b2Eqq
Montana Fouts was not looking herself early on. She walked the first batter of the game, gave up a double and a single in the second, and a single in the third. In the 4th frame, the Razorbacks finally took advantage after Fouts uncharacteristically hit the leadoff batter who then advances to second on a wild pitch. A groundout and a single tied the game 1-1.
And then the donuts started piling up. It was Fouts versus the Razorbacks’ Chenise Delce matching goose egg for goose egg until the 10th inning. After a strikeout, Arky Rylin Hedgecock hit a solo home run off Fouts to give the Hogs the 2-1 lead.
Alabama loaded the bases in the ninth and the tenth but could not push a run across. Bama loses their first conference series of the year. Fouts (11-4) takes the hard-luck loss after throwing 173 pitches over ten innings.
*** Lollipop unicorn rainbow chasers, stop reading here lest ye get your feelings hurt! ***
The RBR softball coverage will call them as we see them and will not change because some reader(s) got upset because someone declared Patrick to not be a Saint. We are not going to blow sunshine up your backsides and pretend everything is all unicorns frolicking in a field of gumdrops and lollipops when it is not. If that is the sort of thing you want, there are plenty of sunshine-pumpers out there willing to fill your pretty little head with that sort of malarkey.
- The Gut® has been making some very bizarre substitutions. He very often hooks a pitcher in mid-inning after she makes an out. He also pinch-runs for competent baserunners like Prange (4-4 SB on the season), Shipman (4-4), Broadfoot (3-3), Dowling (who we have seen this year score from first base on hits) and Johnson (no SB attempts this year but 12-16 last season). These moves seem completely random and often happen in close games.
- In Game 2, The Gut® pinch ran Grill for Broadfoot even though the latter stole a base earlier in the game.
- Johnson was pinch ran for three times over the series. Assume there is a nagging injury?
- In addition, the Tide’s fastest runner, M’Kay Gidley, has not been called on to PR since March 4.
- In the series opening win, Abby Duchscherer pinch hit for Preuitt with one out and the bases loaded. She struck out swinging. It would be her only appearance of the weekend.
- As mentioned above, Game 1 was “Ally Shipman Day”. The Tide catcher had her whole family in attendance including her sister, former Vol and current ESPN personality, Madison Shipman hyping her podcast. ESPN/SECN chose to devote a whole inning to the family in the stands - DURING GAME ACTION! It is totally disrespectful to fans who (gasp!) actually tuned in to watch the game! Imagine that!
- This is the first mention of Kenleigh Cahalan in this wrap-up, which is disturbing. She went 0 for the week and her BA has dropped from .406 on March 10 to .330 today. The situation is eerily simalar to Megan Bloodworth last season in starting hot and slowly descending in success at the plate. It’s too bad Bama doesn’t have a true hitting coach. I wonder where Cahalan will be playing next season.
- Game 2 was only the second game this season that Cahalan did not reach base. In the first inning of Game 3, Cahalan struck out swinging but reached first on a passed ball but that was it. Not what you want from a leadoff hitter.
- Fouts had three wild pitches in the two game she pitched. She had only five coming into the series. The HBP on Monday was only her second of the year.
- In 2022, Fouts did not experience her fourth loss until April 22. She finished last season 24-8.
- On Monday, Kat Grill got her fifth start of the season manning right field (0 for 2) but was replaced by Kristen White (0-2) in the 6th.
- Despite hitting .333 in limited action, freshman Marlie Giles did not play. She has not see the field since March 12.
SUNSHINE LOLLIPOP UNICORN QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“In that last inning, we get three hits from our veterans back-to-back-to-back, and then maybe a younger player or someone who doesn’t have as much experience in those pressure situations comes up,” Alabama associate head coach Alyson Habetz said after the game. “However, that experience alone is going to help us down the road because the more they’re in those clutch situations now, even if they don’t come through, they know what that pressure and anxiety feels like and it will definitely benefit them in the long run.”
First off, what in the bleeping bleep is Habetz talking about?? Bama had the bases loaded in the tenth with one out. Super senior Faith Hensley and junior Emma Broadfoot both struck out swinging. Those are not young inexperienced players. Secondly, being young should not be an excuse. And thirdly, what kind of nonsense is this to be happy with a loss cuz doggone it, it might jes help us the next time. If this quote does not convince you it is time for her to move on, then you are too far gone into Heaven’s Gate land to think clearly.
- DOWLING: 4-8 (.500), 1 RUN, 1 RBI, two 2B, 4 BB
- FOUTS: 1 WIN, 1 LOSS, 17.0 INN, 9 HITS, 2 ER, 19 K
UPCOMING ALABAMA SCHEDULE
This is about to get ugly. The Vols are 24-1 and are coming off back-to-back sweeps of Ole Miss and LSU that include four shutouts in six games. UT has 17 shutout wins thus far.
- Wednesday, March 22 vs UAB 6 p.m. CT, Tuscaloosa, AL - SECN+
- Friday, March 24 at Tennessee 4 p.m. CT, Knoxville, TN - SECN+
- Saturday, March 25 at Tennessee 4 p.m. CT Knoxville, TN - SEC Network
- Sunday, March 26 at Tennessee 12:30 p.m. CT, Knoxville, TN - SECN+
This poll is closed
Time to move on.
Give her time.
She is a great coach!