Across the Diamond: SEC Champion Alabama Crimson Tide
Prior to the start of the season, Alabama softball was picked to finish eighth out of 13 teams. After a clean sweep of the LSU Tigers, the Crimson Tide is the Southeastern Conference's champion for the regular season.
History Making Sweep at LSU
For the first time since 2005, Alabama not only won a series but swept the LSU Tigers in Baton Rouge.
Just like their sweep at Florida two weeks ago, three starting pitchers notched victories in their starts against the Tigers. After a shaky start to her Friday night start with three walks in the first inning, true freshman Montana Fouts handled the LSU batting order with a complete game performance as she allowed only four hits and walked one batter after the first inning.
In Saturday's 4-3 win, junior Sarah Cornell retired nine of the first 10 batters she faced with just a hit batter as the only base runner allowed through her first three innings. LSU gradually chipped away at Cornell with single runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth including a Shemiah Sanchez home run before Fouts entered the game. After her entrance, the Grayson, Kentucky, native retired all six batters she faced including a strikeout of Aliyah Andrews to clinch the SEC title.
Krystal Goodman capped the weekend with a complete game victory as she surrendered just one run on five hits with two walks and strikeouts.
From the plate, Kaylee Tow provided clutch hits including a two-run double in the seventh inning Friday, a bases loaded RBI walk in the second inning Saturday and a solo homer in the fourth inning to put Alabama on the board in Sunday's regular season finale.
Alabama softball received plenty of postseason honors with five All-SEC selections and individual honors for Sarah Cornell, Montana Fouts and head coach Patrick Murphy.
Patrick Murphy earned the SEC's Coach of the Year while Sarah Cornell took home Pitcher of the Year honors and Montana Fouts was named SEC Freshman of the Year.
Of the five All-SEC selections, first baseman Bailey Hemphill joined Cornell and Fouts as first team selections while junior center fielder Elissa Brown and sophomore Maddie Morgan were named to the second team.
SEC Tournament Journey Begins Thursday
Thanks to their SEC title in the regular season, the Crimson Tide will enjoy a first day bye in the 2019 SEC Tournament in College Station, Texas. The Crimson Tide will look to win their first SEC Tournament title since 2012.
Alabama will await the winner of eighth seeded Georgia and ninth seeded Arkansas. Both Arkansas and Georgia finished 12-12 against SEC competition. Both teams are looking to solidify a top 16 national seed as Bulldogs are projected as a 16 seed while Arkansas is a 14 seed in the latest College Sports Madness NCAA Regional bracket projection.
For Alabama, a top eight national seed is a practical certainty as College Sports Madness has the Crimson Tide projected as a No. 4 national seed.
SEC Tournament Schedule (All games are single elimination)
12. Mississippi State vs. 13. Texas A&M 10 AM (SECN)
6. Florida vs. 11. South Carolina 12:30 PM (SECN)
7. Missouri vs. 10. Auburn 3 PM (SECN)
8. Georgia vs. 9. Arkansas 5:30 PM (SECN)
5. Ole Miss vs. 12. Mississippi State/13. Texas A&M 8 PM (SECN)
Alabama, Tennessee, LSU and Kentucky - Bye
3. LSU vs. 6. Florida/11. South Carolina 11 AM (SECN)
2. Tennessee vs. 7. Missouri/10. Auburn 1:30 PM (SECN)
1. Alabama vs. 8. Georgia/9. Arkansas 4 PM (SECN)
4. Kentucky vs. 5. Ole Miss/12. Mississippi State/13. Texas A&M 6:30 PM (SECN)
Semifinal 1 3:30 PM (ESPN2)
Semifinal 2 6 PM (ESPN2)
Championship Game 7 PM (ESPN2)