With a runner on second and an open base, the Georgia pitching staff had a decision to make in the third inning of Friday's game against Alabama. They could pitch to Bailey Hemphill, the Crimson Tide's home run leader, or intentionally walk her and pitch to Kaylee Tow.
The Bulldogs chose the latter, and it turned into a major positive for Alabama. On a full count, Tow hammered the ball deep to left field for a three-run home run to give Alabama the lead.
The home run was more than enough support for starter Montana Fouts as No. 4 Alabama (37-7, 13-6 SEC) beat No. 21 Georgia (29-15, 7-12 SEC) 4-1 in the series opener in Athens.
With the home run, Tow is now the Alabama leader in RBIs with 39. Tow was hot at the plate all game, adding two other hits for the Crimson Tide including a double in the first inning.
Alabama's other run came on a Maddie Morgan single in the third, her first RBI hit in conference play since April 3 against Texas A&M.
All four of Alabama's runs came in that third inning, but the Tide had baserunners in every inning except the second and sixth. The Alabama bats were consistently putting pressure on the Georgia defense and left nine runners on base in game one. This could be a difference maker in games two and three.
Georgia hitters had trouble timing up Fouts all night. The Bulldogs produced back-to-back doubles in the fifth to score their lone run, and then did not have another baserunner for the rest of the game. Fouts only allowed one run on three hits and finished with nine strikeouts in the complete game effort.
Alabama will go for the series win and try to keep up in the SEC regular season race on Saturday at noon as the regular season winds down. The game will be televised on ESPN2.