The Crimson Tide offense showed some signs of life on offense but the pitching was atrocious without Montana Fouts.
TENNESSEE 10, ALABAMA 5
This game was doomed from the beginning when the Crimson Tide put runners on the corners with no outs in the first inning and could not push a run across.
Jaala Torrence got the start for the Tide and found trouble in the second inning. After getting the first two batters out, the Vols produced two singles, and a double for a 2-0 advantage. After All-American Kiki Milloy was intentionally walked, red-hot Zaida Puni doubled in two more runs.
Bama quickly responded in the third. Ashley Prange walked (for the second time; UT clearly wanted nothing to do with her hitting). Following an out, Bailey Dowling walked. Ally Shipman singled in Prange and Kenleigh Cahalan singled in Dowling to cut the Tennessee lead in half.
But that score was short lived. A two-run homer in the bottom of the frame from Jamison Brockenbrough made it 6-2.
Alex Salter entered to pitch with one out and got out of the inning but would be rocked in the next frame.
Lauren Esman gets her names in the record books when she entered the game for Salter and got the last two outs. She pretty much cruised the rest of the way.
In the top of the 5th, Bama held off the run rule by closing the gap to 10-4, good buddy. A pair of singles were followed by a Cahalan double to left field.
In the bottom of the 5th, Tennessee has the bases loaded with two out, but Cahalan made a nice leaping grab to end the inning.
In an odd moment in the 6th inning, pinch-hitter Marlie Giles appeared to be hit by a pitch on the wrist. Tennessee challenge the call and it was reversed. The Tide freshman stepped back in the box and proceeded to hit a solo home run to close the gap to 10-5. Chalk one up for coach Patrick Murphy’s Gut®.
- CAHALAN: 2-3, 1B, 2B, 3 RBI, CATCH ^^^
- ESMAN: 2.2 INNINGS, 0 RUNS, 2 HITS, 0 BB, 0 K, 34 PITCHES
*** Lollipop unicorn rainbow chasers, stop reading here lest ye get your feelings hurt! ***
- The Vols have beaten the Tide three straight times and four out of five on the season.
- It seems odd that Murphy - who LOVES little ball - refused to instruct his team to bunt in the first inning to try and get the first run on the scoreboard.
- While Malloy is a dangerous batter, the intentional walk of her was another backfire of an IBB for The Gut®. It seems to happen a lot.
- When Murphy put in Salter for Torrence down 6-2 in the 3rd inning, it either signified that Montana Fouts is not available to pitch and/or that he had conceded the loss and was playing for tomorrow.
- Kristen White crashed into the centerfield wall (see above) but stayed in the game.
- Brockenbrough is a kick ass last name. Jamison Brockenbrough plays for the Irish National team. Not to be too creepy, she is an attractive young lady.
- Today’s game was the first time UT’s Ashley Rogers gave up two or more runs this season since playing... Alabama back on March 26. In that game, the Tide scored three on her but fell 5-7. It is only the third time all season she has done such a thing. The third time was the first game of the season, a 9-2 complete game win over Illinois. Maybe Vols softball coach Karen Weekly has a Gut of her won...
With the loss, Bama heads to the Losers’ Bracket and will play the loser of today’s next game that involves No. 1 Oklahoma and No. 9 Stanford, 2:10-ish p.m. CT on ESPN.
UPDATE: Stanford does indeed lose to Okie, 2-0. Cardinal ace pitcher NiJaree Canady pitched 5.0 innings and gave up one earned run and four singles. It is not outside the realm of possibilities that she pitches against Bama.
Friday, June 2
Potential weather issues could change game times:
- Game 4: No. 7 Washington vs. No. 15 Utah, 12 p.m., ESPN2
- Game 5: No. 5 Alabama vs. No. 9 Stanford, 6 p.m., ESPN
- Game 6: Loser of Game 4 vs. No. 6 Oklahoma State, 8:30 p.m., ESPN
Can Murphy find a way to motivate his wounded team in the next game? If it is indeed Stanford, there is a storyline of revenge. Bama lost the Super Regional against the Cardinal last season. That was a decent team they faced but they are so much better this year, thanks mostly to National Freshman of the Year NiJaree Canady who has the lowest ERA in the nation at 0.48. They also have Alana Vawter who twice shutout the Tide last year.
The most pressing question is, will Fouts pitch?
Can Bama exact revenge on Stanford?
This poll is closed
No, it’s over and done for the Tide.
Only if Fouts pitches.
It doesn’t matter who pitches, Bama will roll.