TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — New weekend, new opponent, similar results for Kaylee Tow and No. 4 Alabama softball.
Tow, the reigning SEC player of the week, continued her hot streak at the plate during the Crimson Tide's doubleheader sweep of Memphis in the Easton Crimson Classic. She went 1-for-1 with an RBI in Alabama's 8-3 win in the first game, and had a three-run home run in the bottom of the fifth in the 5-1 win Friday night.
With the home run, Tow leads the team with 16 RBIs, just ahead of freshman standout Bailey Dowling, who added two hits and two RBIs on Friday and is up to 15 total on the season.
Alabama coach Patrick Murphy said this is only the beginning of the competition between these two and hopes to see Bailey Hemphill and Claire Jenkins join in as the season progresses.
"Claire doesn't want the leftovers, and that's kind of what she's getting right now because Dowling and Kaylee Tow have been clearing the bases," Murphy said. "It's going to be fun when all three or four of them really start hitting, and it's going to be tough for an opposing pitcher to decide who to throw to."
The pitching was strong all day for the Crimson Tide, beginning with Montana Fouts getting the start in afternoon, followed by freshman Jaala Torrence making her home debut in relief. The two combined for 16 strikeouts in the first game.
"I really felt the support of all the fans and just my teammates and knowing that the defense was working hard behind me, it was an amazing experience," Torrence said on her first appearance at Rhoads Stadium.
Fouts didn't allow a hit through three innings until Kendall Lee sent a two-run home run to left center to put the Tigers on the board in the fourth inning.
The Alabama offense responded in the bottom of that inning with the two-RBI single from Dowling and another from Maddie Morgan.
Torrence entered in the fifth inning and pitched 2.2 scoreless innings with five strikeouts and one hit.
"I think as Jaala went along, it just got better and better and better," Murphy said. "Her velocity was really good, she was hitting her spots, and the ball was moving."
In only her second appearance of the season, Goodman pitched six scoreless innings in the evening before allowing a leadoff home run in the bottom of the seventh. At the point, it was too little, too late, for the Tigers as Goodman ended the inning with a fly out and double play.
"That's one of her best games she's thrown at Alabama," Murphy said. "No walks, two Ks, complete game that's a really great outing for, so really proud of her."
Alabama improved to 11-0 on the season. It will continue the Easton Crimson Classic on Saturday with another doubleheader starting at 11 a.m. against North Carolina