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Freshmen Lead Alabama Softball to Doubleheader Sweep

Crimson Tide freshmen were responsible for six of Alabama's seven RBIs in the wins over North Alabama and Alcorn State.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — There wasn't a ton of offense on display from Alabama softball in  Tuesday's doubleheader, but there wasn't much required against North Alabama and Alcorn State. 

Thanks to strong performances in the circle from Jaala Torrence, Lexi Kilfoyl and Alex Salter, the No. 2 Crimson Tide beat North Alabama 6-1 in game one and Alcorn State 4-0 in game two at Rhoads Stadium.

With the break in conference action, Alabama head coach Patrick Murphy was able to experiment with different lineups in the doubleheader. Most of Alabama's regular starters were given one or both games to rest with a road series against Texas A&M looming this weekend. 

"This late in the year when you get to play everybody, and everybody gets at-bats, it's awesome, because I'm going to need a lot of these people down the stretch," Murphy said. "And if I don't play them now, I'll never know what they can do."

All six of Alabama's true freshmen got at least one start between the two games. Infielder Megan Bloodworth is a regular starter for the Crimson Tide, but she once again flashed her power in game one with a three-run home run in the first inning against North Alabama, her seventh of the year. She also tacked on another RBI with a sac fly in the second. Bloodworth is now second on the team with 27 RBIs. 

Kail Heivin knocked the first home run of her Crimson Tide career with a shot to deep center to lead off the second inning and gave Alabama a 4-0 lead. Murphy said she had over 70 home runs in her high school career, and she does it for the Tide in practice every day. 

"That was a good feeling for sure," Heivilin said. "I've kind of struggled a lot lately with going in there with confidence knowing I can do it out of high school,  and honestly I couldn't tell you why I did, but I've been working really hard. So being able to get that first home run was definitely a good feeling."

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Overall, Alabama struggled at the plate in the doubleheader. While they only struck out six times and were making contact with the ball, it only resulted in 10 hits. In game two against Alcorn State, only one of Alabama's four runs came on an RBI, and it was a bases loaded walk to Jordan Stephens. 

"We were swinging at the right pitch, we just didn't hit it, or we flew out or whatever," Murphy said. "We did have some good shots, but I don't care who's out there, I expect a little bit more offensively from whoever it is."

In the circle, Alabama handled business. Torrence responded from a rough outing against Mississippi State her last time out, where she gave up five runs in just 1.1 innings pitching, with four shutout innings of one-hit ball against the Lions before Kilfoyl came in from the bullpen to relieve her. 

Kilfoyl, who did not pitch at all this part weekend against Mississippi State, got the start in game two against Alcorn State. She threw five shutout innings, allowing just one hit with nine strikeouts. Salter relieved Kilfoyl in the sixth and did not allow a run with three strikeouts in two innings pitched. 

"Everybody who got in did great," Stephens said. "Salty had a big weekend last weekend, so it was good to see her come out again and pitch really well. Jaala pitched really well in the first game, didn't give up any runs. And Lexi as always, is on point."

With the two wins, Alabama improves to 38-6 on the season and will travel to Texas A&M for a three-game series beginning Friday. 

"This is a huge weekend for us," Murphy said. "We've got a lot left to play for still.  I think our team knows that, and it's huge for us. So we're going to take it on at a time and do our best."

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