The Crimson Tide’s (32-12, 9-6 SEC) sweep over sad little Missy State (23-19, 3-11) vaults Bama into a three-way tie for third place in the SEC.
GAME 1: ALABAMA 4, MISS. STATE 3
Patrick Murphy continues to tinker with the batting order. This weekend, he had Ashley Prange and Kenleigh Cahalan swap positions at the top of the order. Bailey Dowling started in the field for the second straight game at second base while Kali Heivilin rode the pine.
Bama took an early 1-0 lead scoring on a passed ball. The Tide added two more in the third on a Jenna Johnson RBI single and a sac fly by Emma Broadfoot. MSU struck back in the bottom of the frame with a run on a sacrifice. Johnson singled in another run in the seventh for a 4-1 lead and it’s a good thing she did.
Montana Fouts (16-6) was having one of her typical starts. Everything was rolling along until two outs in the seventh when the Tide ace walked a Bulldog. Stop me if you have heard this one before: The next batter hit a home run. This is not a new thing this year. Fouts had a stretch in mid-February and again mid-March in which she would have that one bad spell for two or so batters in a row. Let’s hope this one ends here.
GAME 2: ALABAMA 6, MISS. STATE 0
Alabama got back to being Alabama collecting 11 hits. Jenna Johnson stayed red hot at the plate, going 3 for 3 with an RBI. They also got a solid start from Alex Salter who was aided by some sparkling defense.
In the first inning, Bailey Dowling was called out on a close play at first that would have ended the inning. However after video review, the play was overturned and she was awarded a single. It was fortunate for the Tide because Johnson would single and Ashley Prange - who had walked and advanced to third - would score on a MSU error. Emma Broadfoot would single in a second run for an early 2-0 advantage.
Bama would get two more runs in the fifth on a Dowling single and a Johnson sac fly. A Prange sac fly in the sixth and an unearned run in the seventh rounded out the scoring.
Your weekly scheduled Larissa Preuitt diving catch highlight@larissa_preuitt— Alabama Softball (@AlabamaSB) April 15, 2023
SECN+ | https://t.co/UgsPZYeBOE#Team27 #RollTide pic.twitter.com/8ILUS2PlK3
Salter (6-2) got the complete game shutout, yielding only three singles. At one point, she retired 10 straight Bulldogs. MSU did not get a hit over the last four innings. Oddly enough, Salter had only one strikeout.
GAME 3: ALABAMA 1, MISS. STATE 0
Alabama was REALLY lucky to complete the sweep because the bats did not do much of anything. Once again after a masterful dominating win, the Tide followed it up with wet noodles for bats. This win is owned squarely by Montana Fouts who had a good performance of a complete game shutout but only struck out five while allowing five singles and a walk.
The Crimson Tide also managed five singles and had four walks. Kristen White led off the third inning with a walk and stole second. Ally Shipman picked up her first and only RBI of the weekend on a single. And those are your offensive highlights...
Prange caps a defensive clinic with the final out@a_prange— Alabama Softball (@AlabamaSB) April 16, 2023
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*** 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.
- Alabama is now 38-5 all-time against Bully in softball.
- Bama left nine runners on base in Game 1, eight in Game 2, and five in the finale.
- Going back to the South Carolina series, Alabama did not have an error over five games. That streak ended with a boot by Cahalan on Sunday.
- In all three games, Prange (1-8, 3 walks) led off and Cahalan (2-9, 2 walks) hit second. It might be worth reevaluating that lineup.
- Dowling started all three games at second base. It is a complete mystery why it took this long to reinsert her back in the field.
- Kat Grill started as DH for all three games and went hitless in five at bats with three Ks. Gut®.
- Lauren Esman struck out in her one at bat. Gut®.
- With 14 strikeouts over the weekend, Fouts now has 1,095 in Alabama career whiffs. Stephanie VanBrakle’s total could be within reach by next weekend:
- 1,219 Kelsi Dunne 2008-11
- 1,113 Stephanie VanBrakle 2003-06
- 1,095 Montana Fouts 2019-pres.
- 1,063 Alexis Osorio 2015-18
- Fouts earned her 91st and 92nd career victories this weekend. She trails VanBrakle by five wins in the Alabama record book. [Note: Fouts recorded 3 wins in panic-shortened 2020.]
- 115 Shelley Laird (115-35) 1999-02
- 113 Kelsi Dunne (113-23) 2008-11
- 106 Jaclyn Traina (106-21) 2011-14
- 97 Stephanie VanBrakle (97-30) 2003-06
- 92 Montana Fouts (92-27) 2019-pres.
- Fouts is one of 16 athletes named to the 2023 USA Softball WNT roster competing at this summer’s WBSC World Cup in Ireland.
- JOHNSON: 5-10 (.500), 3 RBI
- FOUTS: 2 WINS, 14.0 INNINGS, 10 HITS & 3 RUN ALLOWED, 14 K, 2 BB
- PREUITT: HITS IN ALL 3 GAMES, 4-10 (.400), 1 RUN, SB
First up, Alabama takes a well-meaning but misguided midweek trip to Huntington, WV to the Marshall University campus for a pair of games. At some point, the team will take a 30 mile trek west to Montana Fouts’s hometown of Grayson, KY for a big ol’ country-style celebration. Patrick Murphy has done this homecoming scheduling for certain players in the past and they don’t always turn out so well. A few years ago, Bama almost lost to Belmont in Cullman, AL for Claire Jenkins Day. Last year was a disastrous and draining late-season trip to Bowling Green, KY to honor Kaylee Tow. The Tide would meekly lose to WKU and basically burn out on the rest of the season.
- Tuesday, April 18 vs Liberty 12 p.m. CT Huntington, WV - Probably no TV
- Tuesday, April 18 at Marshall 2:30 p.m. CT Huntington, WV - Possibly ESPN+
- Friday, April 21 vs Auburn 8 p.m. CT Tuscaloosa, AL - SEC Network
- Saturday, April 22 vs Auburn 3 p.m. CT Tuscaloosa, AL - SEC Network - Also A-Day
- Sunday, April 23 vs Auburn 11:30 a.m. CT Tuscaloosa, AL - ESPN
Can Alabama use this sweep as a springboard to better results?
This poll is closed
Yes, it’s just what the doctor ordered.
No, MSU is godawful.