Across the Diamond: Alabama Softball Pulls off the Sweep at Florida
Alabama softball (45-4, 14-4 SEC) pulled off a big time sweep in Gainesville with victories of 3-1 and 6-1 Friday evening along with a 3-0 shutout Saturday afternoon over the Florida Gators (37-12, 9-9 SEC).
The sweep of the Gators allowed the Tide to jump three spots to No. 8 in this week's NCAA RPI rankings.
The Crimson Tide continued their stellar pitching with their finest performance of the season against the Gators.
The trio of freshman Montana Fouts, junior Sarah Cornell and sophomore Krystal Goodman each got a start and came through with quality outings.
Fouts started the series opener and set the tone for the weekend by allowing just one run on two hits in her complete game victory. In the night cap of the twin bill, Cornell also surrendered one run on two hits in her complete game win. Saturday afternoon, Krystal Goodman posted rock solid numbers with four scoreless innings. Fouts closed the series with three scoreless innings to notch her fourth save of the season.
Final Non-Conference Game of the Season
Alabama takes their show on the road Tuesday as they face the Belmont Bruins at Heritage Park in Cullman, Alabama.
For both Alabama and Belmont (26-18, 8-8 OVC), they will play their final non-conference contest of the regular season.
The contest marks the first meeting between the two teams since 2005 when Alabama blanked Belmont 5-0 in Huntsville. The Crimson Tide leads the overall series 3-0.
In his third season as Belmont's head softball coach, Brian Levin has lead the Bruins to two winning seasons including a 35-win campaign in 2017.
So far this season, Belmont owns the Ohio Valley Conference's top pitching staff with a team ERA of 2.76 along with a conference high 278 strikeouts. Individually, sophomore Alicia Veltri and junior Brooklin Lee rank third and fourth in the OVC with 124 and 116 strikeouts respectively.
From the plate, senior slugger Hayley Baker comes into the game as the team's top slugger with six home runs, 13 doubles and 40 RBIs.
Homecoming Trip for Claire Jenkins
For junior Claire Jenkins, Tuesday's game marks a trip back to her north Alabama roots.
Jenkins was a Max Preps All-American, 6A All-State Hitter of the Year and a Flo Softball Hot 100 player coming out of Cullman High School
The Cullman native has started in 48 of Alabama's 49 games this year and has put forth her a memorable season with a .287 batting average, 12 round trippers, 29 RBIs and 34 runs scored.
Among her highlights this season, Jenkins belted two homers in the series opener at South Carolina and a go-ahead grand slam against Georgia Tech.
SEC Championship in Sight
With just six SEC games remaining the final home series of the regular season less than a week away, Alabama' needs just four wins to clinch sole possession of their first conference title since 2014.
Following the sweep of Florida, the Crimson Tide sits atop the SEC standings three games ahead of Tennessee, 2.5 games ahead of Ole Miss and 1.5 games in front of LSU.
This Week's Schedule
Alabama vs. Belmont 6 PM (Heritage Park: Cullman, AL)
Alabama vs. Kentucky 6:30 PM
Alabama vs. Kentucky 8 PM (ESPN)
Alabama vs. Kentucky 2 PM (SEC Network)