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Alabama Softball: Opportunity Knocks... Again

The Crimson Tide head back on the road with yet another chance to improve their station against a struggling team.

Syndication: Tuscaloosa News
Larissa Preuitt greeted by the team automaton.

While You See A Chance, Take It.

~ Steve Winwood

For a third straight weekend, the Crimson Tide has an opportunity against a struggling SEC foe. They need to take advantage because things are about to heat up.


  • Friday, April 14 at Mississippi State 4 p.m. CT Starkville, MS
  • Saturday, April 15 at Mississippi State 1:30 p.m. CT Starkville, MS
  • Sunday, April 16 at Mississippi State 1 p.m. CT Starkville, MS - SEC Network


Unfortunately, only the third game will be aired on non-streaming TV. Lately, Patrick Murphy has been throwing Montana Fouts in the first two games. If that trend continues, viewers will miss seeing the Tide ace in that last game.

All games should be available on the SECN+.

TUESDAY RESULT: ALABAMA 6, SAMFORD 2 - 1,300th program win

Bailey Dowling started in the field for the first time since Feb. 22, a game which was against these same Samford Bulldogs (17-23). Manning second base must have inspired her because she was responsible for four RBI on two hits including a bases clearing double.

Lauren Esman started in the circle and gave up two singles and a run in the first inning. She got the hook after beaning the first two batters of the next frame. Alex Salter (5-2) completed the next 4.0 innings allowing back-to-back doubles in the fifth for a run. Jaala Torrence finished out the last two innings without a hit allowed.


When former Sooner Samantha Ricketts took over the Bulldogs in 2020, there was hope in Starkville that she would take them to the next level. Now in Year 4, MSU still languishes in the lower quarter of the SEC standings. Mississippi State is currently in deep doldrums having lost eight straight SEC games. It could be worse had they not had a game with UGA cancelled due to weather.

The ‘Dogs are last in the conference in batting average (.267) and runs scored (179). They are near the bottom in every other offensive category as well. Oddly enough, they are middle of the pack in home runs (33) and are the hardest in the SEC to strikeout. OF Paige Cook is hitting .330 and leads the team in home runs (8) and RBI (31). Right behind her are Aquana Brownlee (.321, 6 HR and 28 RBI) and Chloe Malau’ulu (.289, 6 HR and 27 RBI).

MSU’s team ERA is ninth in the league at 2.75 but third behind Auburn and Alabama in opposing batters struck out. They are the only team in the nation with four pitchers averaging 8.0 or more K per seven innings. The Bullies mostly start three different pitchers but have a fourth and fifth who regularly contribute. The best of the bunch might be talented freshman Josey Marron (7-2, 2.25 ERA) but she has not played since April 1. One would assume her absence is due to injury.

Mississippi State has godawful defense. Their fielding percentage is .950 which is tied for 238rd out of 295 DI teams. Needless to say, they are last in the SEC. The Bullies have an eye-popping 54 errors. Second worse in the conference is Texas A&M (.961) with 38 boots.

ALABAMA (29-12, 6-6)

For the second-straight week and the third time this season, Montana Fouts was named the NFCA D1 Pitcher of the Week. She was also once again named SEC Pitcher of the Week.

Three polls kept Bama where they are ranked at 14/15/16, but Softball America dropped the Tide a notch to 17. Alabama is commingled around #16 with Florida and Kentucky. The right to host a Regional might just come down to the SEC Tournament.

One telling stat is that Alabama is second to only Tennessee in the SEC in hits allowed. In most years, that would put a team near the top of the standings. But Bama’s 11th ranked SEC fielding percentage (.968) and third most errors push more runs across the plate for opposing teams. Add in the weak hitting and you end up in the lower third of the standings.

The Crimson Tide is 6-6 in the conference. They have not swept any opponent nor have they been swept. This MSU series is a vital one heading into a brutal back end of the schedule. After this weekend, Alabama takes a well-meaning but misguided midweek trip to West Virginia. Following that quick turnaround, the Tide faces #23 Auburn and #11 LSU in back-to-back weekends. Alabama really needs some momentum coming into this stretch.


Bama will win ___ games against MSU.

This poll is closed

  • 40%
    (60 votes)
  • 55%
    (82 votes)
  • 3%
    1 or less
    (5 votes)
147 votes total Vote Now

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