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Alabama Softball: It’s Fouts Or Nothing

Two big offensive innings and two shutouts by the Bama ace earns two wins but a Sunday clunker quells the celebration.

NCAA Softball: Arkansas at Alabama
Classic Montana Fouts.
Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

The Crimson Tide (26-11, 4-5 SEC) win two out of three at Missouri thanks to fantastic shutout pitching by Montana Fouts. The rest of the pitching staff did not put up as good of an effort.


On a blustery day in CoMo, Montana Fouts blew away the competition (sorry, not sorry). It was classic Fouts with the Super-Senior scattering two singles and a walk while striking out 12.

The Tide’s runs all came in one inning - and on one swing.

The big pop was freshman Larissa Preuitt’s first career home run and first hit in conference play.

Alabama finished with seven hits and only one strikeout. Kenleigh Cahalan and Ally Shipman had two apiece.

GAME 2: ALABAMA 4, MISSOURI 0 - 9 Innings

Desperate for a “series win”, coach Patrick Murphy went back to Fouts for a second straight game to which she put up a gutsy performance. Over nine innings, the Tide ace threw 131 pitches, allowing five singles and two walks while striking out 14 Tigers.

Mizzou pitcher Laurin Krings (7-8) went toe-to-toe for eight innings, but it fell apart in the ninth.

Ashley Prange burst through the scoreless dam with an absolute bomb to right center.

After two outs, Abby Duchscherer was hit by a pitch and Kristen White singled. Cahalan doubled them in for a 3-0 lead. Dowling singled her in to complete the scoring.

GAME 3: MISSOURI 11, ALABAMA 3 - 5 Innings Run Rule

Rolling the dice perhaps one too many times, Murphy again took a chance on Alex Salter as the starter. The game started off well enough with Shipman solo homer in the second inning and Prange knocking two in with a four-bagger in the third. But then the wheels began to fall off.

A Missouri walk and an error in the bottom of the third was followed by two doubles and a home run. With the Tide now down 5-3, Jaala Torrence entered the fray in relief of Salter. In the top of the fourth, Bama looked to answer but Kali Heivilin struck out with the bases loaded. In the bottom of the frame, the Tigers added on two more runs on a wild pitch and a fielder’s choice.

Torrence could not induce an out in the fifth as Mizz added two more runs. Lauren Esman [who I guess is now the No. 4 pitcher on the team] tagged in at pitcher and generously donated two more runs to Mizz Mizery which enacted the run rule victory for the home team. The 11th run scored after Patrick Murphy’s Gut® ordered the walk of two straight batters and the next hitter singled in the winning run. Bra.Vo.

Bama had two costly errors and a few other poor decisions in the field.

In short: pitching stunk, the offense missed opportunities, and the defense was sloppy - a recipe for disaster.


*** 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.

  • Who saw this coming? Murphy could not hold onto Lexi Kilfoyl and did not go out and get a proper No. 2 pitcher during the off-season. So, now we have this. If Fouts is pitching, Bama has an excellent chance of winning depending on whether the Tide can just score a run or two. If she is not in the circle, it is a roll of the dice.
  • I just know what Murphy is gonna say. He is going to pump the notion that Alabama “won” the series which is such an annoying ideology. A sweep clearly would have made so much better of a plane ride home than a humiliating run-rule defeat.
  • Winning two of three will get a team through a Super Regional and can work in the WCWS. But Fouts cannot expect to be perfect twice every weekend.
  • In Game 1, Murphy hit Shipman fifth for some reason. Maybe I’m crazy, but I would want my best hitter to get the most at bats possible.
  • Speaking of Shipman, the Tide catcher hit her 13th double of the season and is one off the SEC lead. Cahalan is third in the conference with 11.
  • Also in the first game, Lauren Esman made only her second appearance since March 19 but it was as a pinch hitter. Her last three appearances were 2.1 innings pitched against Arkansas, subbing in for one inning at first base in a blowout over UAB, and this PH. She also pitched on today Sunday and added fuel to the fire that was the run-rule defeat. Do you get the feeling that Murphy has soured on this little experiment?
  • On Sunday, Marlie Giles made her first appearance since March 25, subbing in for Shipman who was hit in the thumb in the bottom of the third. No news on the senior catcher’s condition.
  • Fouts struck out at least one batter in each inning of both Friday and Saturday’s games. She threw 245 pitches.
  • With 26 strikeouts over the weekend, Fouts has passed Shelley Laird in Alabama career whiffs:
  1. 1,219 Kelsi Dunne 2008-11
  2. 1,113 Stephanie VanBrakle 2003-06
  3. 1,063 Alexis Osorio 2015-18
  4. 1,056 Montana Fouts 2019-pres.
  5. 1,045 Shelley Laird 1999-02
  6. 976 Jaclyn Traina 2011-14
  • Missouri’s softball stadium is named Mizzou Softball Stadium. Their mascot is the Tigers, so there is not much expectation of originality from them.
  • There were plenty of crimson-clad fans in the stadium the whole weekend. ^^^


  • CAHALAN: HITS IN ALL 3 GAMES, 5-10 (.500), 1 RUN, one 2B, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 0 K
  • PREUITT: HITS IN ALL 3 GAMES, 3-8 (.375), 2 RUNS, 4 RBI, 1 GRAND SLAM, 1 SB, 0 K


Finally back home at Rhoads, the Tide takes on the Gamecocks (26-9, 3-6 SEC). SC is coming off winning two of three against Florida.

  • Thursday, April 6 vs South Carolina 6 p.m. CT Tuscaloosa, AL
  • Friday, April 7 vs South Carolina 6 p.m. CT Tuscaloosa, AL
  • Saturday, April 8 vs South Carolina 1:30 p.m. CT Tuscaloosa, AL


What does this "series win" mean?

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    The Tide is about to go on a roll.
    (9 votes)
  • 18%
    I’m still not sure. Ask me in a couple of weeks.
    (54 votes)
  • 78%
    Not much. Mizzou is not that great of a team.
    (230 votes)
293 votes total Vote Now

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