| BSB/SB 🥎 The Tide gets a HUGE win over LSU! Finishing the Easton Bama Bash undefeated

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2021 Easton Bama Bash Schedule
  • Friday, Feb. 19
    • Alabama vs. Liberty – 3 p.m. CT
  • Saturday, Feb. 20
    • LSU vs. Liberty – 11 a.m. CT
    • Alabama vs. Liberty – 1:30 p.m. CT
    • Alabama vs. LSU – 4 p.m. CT
  • Sunday, Feb. 21
    • LSU vs. Liberty – 10:30 a.m. CT
    • Alabama vs. LSU – 1 p.m. CT

 
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No. 6 Alabama softball (4-0) will host its 22nd annual Easton Bama Bash this weekend, Feb. 19-21. The team is slated with a pair of games against the ASUN conference preseason favorite, the Liberty Flames (6-0), and long-time conference rival, the No. 8 LSU Tigers (3-1).

The Easton Bama Bash was scheduled to be composed of a fourth team, but Gardner-Webb had players test positive for COVID-19 and will no longer be participating this weekend. Due to the absence of Gardner-Webb, a game between Alabama and LSU was added on Saturday, Feb. 20. But schedule changes like these don’t faze The Crimson Tide is not fazed, sophomore Lexi Kilfoyl said.

“I think what makes us [Alabama] one of the best teams in the country is our ability to adapt,” Kilfoyl said. “We’re ready for literally anyone who comes in our way.”

On Saturday, Feb. 20, the Alabama program will celebrate graduate Claire Jenkins for Senior Day. Jenkins, who was the starting shortstop for the 2019 SEC regular season championship and final four team, missed the 2020 shortened season due to an Achilles tendon injury. She made noise in her return to the starting lineup this season, holding a team to six RBIs.

From a young age Jenkins dreamt of playing for Alabama and saw herself “grow so much” during her time in Tuscaloosa.

“With this program I have grown as a person and I don’t think a lot of other programs can say that, which is why I love Alabama so much,” Jenkins said. “I’m gonna miss the people I get to be around each and everyday the most.”

Murphy attributed Jenkins’ success to her work ethic. Jenkins was humbled by his praise.

“It’s probably one of the highest compliments anyone can give me,” Jenkins said. “I take pride in everything I do, and it means a lot that he sees it in me both on and off the field.”

Alabama has the reigning SEC Pitcher of the Week in junior Montana Fouts, who will receive this honor for the second time. Fouts pitched 11 innings on opening weekend, punched out 20 batters and held opponents to a .029 batting average.

The pitching staff’s 24 scoreless innings to start off the season is the second-longest in program history, only behind the 2011 team, which had 29.2 scoreless innings. Kilfoyl, like Fouts, tossed 11 scoreless innings and held the opposition to a .128 batting average.


“We have to have good pitching in order [for the team] to succeed,” Kilfoyl said. “We have to be ready for anything and prepared in the right ways.”

Elissa Brown led the Alabama offense this past weekend with a .667 batting average and nine stolen bases. Aside from Brown, the Crimson Tide lineup showed consistency at the plate as six other starters held a .300 average or above. Three doubles and two home runs came off the bats of freshman Bailey Dowling and senior Kaylee Tow. Murphy stated the offensive game plan will be to win the “freebie war;” which usually consists of walks, hits by pitching, opponent’s errors, wild pitches and passed balls.

“We try to win the ‘freebie’ war every game,” Murphy said. “Whichever team wins that war in every game will win the game.”

Previewing the Opponents:
Liberty –
Last year Alabama defeated the Liberty Flames 7-1 in the St. Pete/Clearwater Invitational. The Crimson Tide should sweep Liberty this weekend, since the Flames don’t have the pitching staff to silence the Alabama offense. In Liberty’s opening weekend, it gave up nine runs in five games against unranked teams.

Coach Murphy has stated in the past that the other team’s best hitter can’t beat the team and decide the game. For Alabama, this hitter is Liberty’s senior Amber Bishop-Riley. Bishop-Riley was named to the “Top 50 Watch List” and leads the Flames in batting average, .444, and home runs, two. In last year’s matchup, Bishop-Riley went two-for-four against graduate student Krystal Goodman.

No. 8 LSU – The Alabama Crimson Tide versus the LSU Tigers is the only top 10 matchup scheduled. Despite both teams being in the SEC, these two games will not count toward conference records but have big implications in national rankings. In the preseason SEC coaches poll, Alabama was picked to win the conference while LSU came in as a close second.

Last year, the LSU pitching staff had the lowest ERA in the nation, .95, and D1 softball predicted Shelby Wickersham to the SEC Pitcher of the Year this 2021 season. But the pitching staff didn’t live up to its preseason hype in the opening weekend, as it gave up 11 runs and had a cumulative 2.24 ERA.

What makes a pitching staff special is that each pitcher provides a different look. But that’s not the case with LSU, whose four pitchers have mirror identical motions and pitches. If an offense is successful against the type of look LSU’s pitching provides, that might spell a long night for the Tigers.

A bright spot for the Tigers is its offense. LSU’s lineup has three hitters batting .500 and five players with a home run. The biggest threats against the Alabama pitching staff will be Amanda Doyle and Shelbi Sunseri. Doyle leads the team in both RBIs, 11, and five home runs, while Sunseri has the ability to hit the ball with power to all parts of the field.

The long ball has been the main source of scoring for the LSU offense, which can be a problem as Fouts and Kilfoyl, projected starters against the Tigers, tend to keep the ball in the yard when healthy.

First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. CT between Alabama and Liberty in Rhoads Stadium. All of the games this weekend will be on the SEC Network plus, which can be watched on ESPN app.
 

UA Press Release

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama softball opened play at the Easton Bama Bash Friday afternoon with a 6-3 win over Liberty at Rhoads Stadium.

The Alabama (5-0) offense started hot, scoring four runs in the bottom of the first. Liberty (6-1) cut into the deficit with a run in the third and two more in the fourth, but the Crimson Tide answered back with its own pair in the bottom of the fourth, bringing the score to 6-3, which ultimately proved final.

Kaylee Tow led the offense with a 3-for-3 day at the plate, including an RBI single in the first inning, while Elissa Brown and KB Sides tallied a pair of hits each. Brown extended her hitting streak to five games, as did Alexis Mack who drove in two runs on an RBI single in the bottom of the fourth.

The bullpen's scoreless innings streak to start the season ended at 26.1 innings, as a one-out solo home run from the Flames in the third inning plated the first run allowed this season by the Tide. The 26.1 scoreless innings to start a season is the second-longest such streak in program history, only trailing the 29.2 to start the 2011 season. Lexi Kilfoyl (3-0) earned the win with 4.0 perfect relief innings, while Liberty starter Megan Johnson (1-1) took the loss in the circle.

FROM HEAD COACH PATRICK MURPHY

"I thought both of our pitchers did a great job today. A two-hitter in a college softball game is a pretty good feat. It started to look like we weren't going to get anything in the first inning and then boom we put four hits up. Tow was great today going 3-for-3. Kilfoyl has continued to improve every year. Her ball has a lot of movement on it which makes it really hard to hit. That's what initially sold us on her."

HIGHLIGHTS
  • With a one-out solo home run in the top of the third, Alabama allowed its first run of the season ending the shutout streak at 26.1 innings which is the second-longest such streak in program history
  • Today's three-hit performance was the fifth of Tow's career and her first this season
  • Elissa Brown leads the team with three multi-hit games this season
  • Brown and Alexis Mack extended their respective hitting streaks to five games
  • The 10 hits are tied for the most this season by Alabama, previously doing so against Notre Dame (Feb. 13)
  • With four perfect relief innings Friday, Lexi Kilfoyl has not allowed a run in 15.0 innings pitched this season, striking out 20 with just five hits and one walk
SCORING SUMMARY
  • B1st | Bailey Dowling pulled an RBI single through the left side to score KB Sides from third (1-0, 2 Out)
  • B1st | Tow dropped a single into the right field gap, scoring Dowling from first (2-0, 2 Out)
  • B1st | Jenna Johnson chopped a single up the middle to drive in Tow from second (3-0, 2 Out)
  • B1st | A fielding error extended the inning and allowed Claire Jenkins to score (4-0, 2 Out)
  • T3rd | Savannah Channell hit a one-out solo home run (4-1, 1 Out)
  • T4th | Liberty scored on a fielding error with the bases loaded (4-2, 0 Out)
  • T4th | A passed ball brought a runner home from third (4-3, 1 Out)
  • B4th | Alexis Mack dropped a single into left, driving in Johnson and Brown (6-3, 2 Out)
UP NEXT - ALABAMA VS. LIBERTY/LSU
  • Saturday, Feb. 20 vs. Liberty – Tuscaloosa, Ala. – 1:30 p.m. CT
  • Saturday, Feb. 20 vs. #8/9 LSU – Tuscaloosa, Ala. – 4 p.m. CT
 

UA Press Release

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Fifth-ranked Alabama softball remained undefeated on the young season with a pair of wins Saturday over Liberty, 8-1, and No. 8 LSU, 5-2.

Alabama (7-0) continued to hit the ball well, tallying 10 hits in the win over Liberty (6-3) before bettering it with a season-high 12 against LSU (4-2). The Crimson Tide has now totaled 10 or more hits in four of the seven games played this season.

Kaylee Tow hit a blistering .714 on the day, going 5-for-7 with three runs scored and three RBIs. After hitting a two-run single in the first inning against the Flames, she added a fifth-inning solo home run. It was the second home run of the game for Alabama, following a three-run shot from Claire Jenkins, who was celebrating her senior day Saturday. The win over Liberty was the first multi-home run game of the season for the Tide. Elissa Brown went a combined 3-for-5, earning a hit in each game to extend her current streak to eight.

The hot offense was matched by a shut-down bullpen and defense, with Montana Fouts (3-0) and Lexi Kilfoyl (4-0) coming away with wins against Liberty and LSU, respectively. Fouts struck out a career-high 13 batters in 6.0 innings against the Flames while Kilfoyl pitched the complete-game victory against the eighth-ranked Tigers, allowing just two runs, one earned.

FROM HEAD COACH PATRICK MURPHY
"Eleven hits are a lot against a really good [LSU] team and I was very pleased with the two wins. For the team, Claire's home run was unbelievable. We want to make sure our young ladies know that we will love them whether they get a big hit or not on their senior night, but obviously its very special when they do. She hit the ball hard and consistently throughout the whole game."

HIGHLIGHTS
  • Alabama has scored in the first inning in four of its seven games played and is outscoring its opponents 16-0 in the opening frame
  • Elissa brown extended her current hitting streak to eight games, earning at least one in every game so far this season
  • Alabama has had at least 10 hits in four of its seven games this season, including a season-high 12 against LSU Saturday
  • Montana Fouts struck out a career-high 13 batters in her 6.0 innings against Liberty
  • The win against the Flames was the first multi-homer game this year for Alabama, its first since Feb. 22, 2020 against Penn State
SCORING SUMMARY
  • GAME ONE (ALABAMA 8, LIBERTY 1)
    • B1 | With the bases loaded, Kaylee Tow pulled a two-run single through the right side (2-0, 1 Out)
    • B1 | Claire Jenkins smacked a three-run home run to left field (5-0, 1 Out)
    • B1 | Elissa Brown poked a single through the left side to score Kat Grill from third (6-0, 2 Out)
    • T4 | A double to center field drove in the runner from first (6-1, 2 Out)
    • B5 | Kaylee Tow led off the half-inning with a solo home run to center (7-1, 0 Out)
    • B6 | KB Sides scored on a wild pitch (8-1, 1 Out)
  • GAME TWO (ALABAMA 5, LSU 2)
    • B1 | Bailey Dowling ripped an RBI double into the left field corner (1-0, 2 Out)
    • B2 | A fielding error with the bases loaded allowed a run to come home (2-0, 1 Out)
    • B4 | The LSU catcher dropped the ball on a tag attempt at home, allowing Elissa Brown to score (3-0, 1 Out)
    • T5 | LSU scored its first run on a fielding error (3-1, 1 Out)
    • T5 | An RBI groundout plated another for the Tigers (3-2, 1 Out)
    • B5 | A two-out fielding error extended the inning and allowed Kaylee Tow to score from third (4-2, 2 Out)
    • B6 | Maddie Morgan dropped an RBI single into right, driving in Kat Grill from third (5-2, 2 Out)
UP NEXT - ALABAMA VS. LSU
  • Sunday, Feb. 21 – 1 p.m. CT
 

Brandon Van de Graaff

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Was fun for the first time in a year, to just sit back and watch Bama all day. 4-0 on the day which made it more fun. Missed parts of the baseball game, but not too much. Been really impressed with Bailey Dowling so far at the plate and in the field.
 

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Today's game is streaming on the SEC Network. Bottom of the 3rd, Bama's up 5 - 3. Fouts is settling down a bit. She had a three up, three down 3rd.
 

TerryP

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They're getting what I expected from her this season; a little more actually. I hated to see Skylar choose to transfer but felt Bailey would do a good job filling in (especially with Jenkins there as well.) What I didn't expect? Bailey to be this big of a defensive upgrade.
 

rick4bama

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So far great one.
 

TerryP

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One more comment on last nights game (something also pointed out from BamaSB's Twitter feed.)

"They need one across." You know the phrase if you follow diamond sports. In that last game LSU put one on the board, T1. Bama responded with three B1. LSU plates two, T2. Bama, two in B2. LSU again with two, T4. Bama with four, B4.

The softball media team pointed out today how often the team responded with a run when scored upon in the previous half-inning; five of seven.

Oh, by the way. OPS, .920 as a team.

...and geez, all 13 runs with two outs?
 

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