TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – They celebrated Senior Day at Rhoads Stadium Saturday with the University of Alabama hosting Ole Miss and the Crimson Tide looking to sweep the visitors.
Mission accomplished. Alabama downed the Rebels 6-1 behind another dominating pitching performance by junior right hander Montana Fouts [10-3], who went seven innings and allowed one runs, five hits, no walks while tallying 12 strikeouts.
Said Tide coach Patrick Murphy, “Fouts is so competitive. They’ve seen her. She didn’t walk anybody. That’s pretty impressive against a good SEC team.
“Just a very resilient group of young ladies. We’re just playing really well right now. We’re hitting on all cylinders.
““It was a continuous onslaught for three games. We had double figure hits all three games.”
Added graduate outfielder Alexis Mack [three hits Saturday], “It was important to me after leaving Oregon to fulfill my career with love and happiness. This team has done just that for me.”
Sophomore second baseman Savannah Woodard broke the ice with a two-RBI single in the bottom of the first inning. First baseman Kaylee Tow homered with two aboard in the fourth to push the Tide lead to 6-0. The bomb was her seventh of the season.
Next for No. 3 Alabama [42-7, 18-6 SEC] will be an SEC Tournament quarterfinal game Thursday at Rhoads Stadium, which is hosting the event. The Tide got a double bye by virtue of finishing the top four of the regular season standings. It’s exact seeding, likely a three or four, will be decided by games between Florida/Texas A&M and Missouri/Tennessee played Saturday and Sunday.
The SEC will release a full tourney bracket Sunday evening. Following that event next week, Alabama is in line to host an NCAA Regional and, if successful, a Super Regional. The Crimson Tide is ranked first in the latest softball RPI ratings.
Ole Miss dropped to 34-19, 12-12 with the loss.
Alabama is missing six reserve players due to contact tracing. Murphy said, “The hope is that they’ll all be back Thursday [for league tournament play].”
Note: two four-year players did not participate in Senior Day, leading observers to believe outfielder KB Sides and Tow will return for a final year of eligibility. The eight who were honored were Claire Jenkins, Elissa Brown, Kyra Lockhart [who got a hit in a rare start], Mack, Maddie Morgan, Taylor Clark, Bailey Hemphill and Krystal Goodwin.