Alabama Defeats Arizona 5-1 in WCWS: Advances in Winner’s Bracket
OKLAHOMA CITY — After defeating Arizona 5-1, Alabama advances in the NCAA Tournament as part of the winner’s bracket. This is the Crimson Tide’s first time in that position since 2014.
“It is huge,” Fouts said about winning. “It helps to stay in the winner's bracket. It gives us confidence… We can hang, and deserve to be here. For all the girls in 2019, it shows them we got this thing, too.”
A great performance from starting pitcher Montana Fouts and solid defense on the diamond held the Wildcats to just one run. Small ball in the first inning and a pair of home runs by the Crimson Tide’s offense allowed for the team to secure its spot.
In her second appearance at the Women’s College World Series Fouts dominated in the circle. She threw 16 strikeouts and struck out every batter in the lineup except for one.
The Grayson, Ky., native strikeout the side in four innings and pitched all three-up-three-down innings until the seventh.
She tied her career high of 16 strikeouts in her complete-game victory.
“That is a hell of a hitting team,” head coach Patrick Murphy said about Arizona. “For a kid to do that against an Arizona team that's legit, that was pretty special to watch.”
Pitching to Bailey Hemphill and even giving up walks to her are dangerous. In Hemphill’s first at bat of the night she drew a walk. The walk was her 234th and it puts her two away from tying the SEC career walk leader, Amanda Lorenz (Florida).
Once Hemphill was on base, her teammates did the rest of the work for her. KB Sides singled to left field, an error sent her across the plate.
After scoring one run for her team, she did it again in the third. After seeing three pitches Hemphill sent the fourth over the left field wall to put Alabama up 2-0.
With her home run she extends the Crimson Tide career home run record to 63.
In the bottom of the sixth inning Maddie Morgan added one to Alabama’s lead earning her third multi-hit game of the season.
Shortly after, Abby Doerr came in to pinch-hit for Taylor Clark.
In her first time appearing in the WCWS Doerr came up big for the Crimson Tide.
Doerr had an 0-2 count with two outs.
She sent the next pitch over the wall to left center field for her first ever home run in Oklahoma City.
Her two-run home run put Alabama up 5-0 over Arizona.
“She works so hard. She obviously doesn't get that much playing time, but she comes in every day and she gives everything to make this team better,” Hemphill said. “For her to succeed on this level, on this stage right now, that was, like, the coolest part of today, when she hit that. She was so happy. We were so happy for her.”
Arizona managed to avoid the shutout in the top of the seventh inning when Jessie Harper hit a two-out solo home run.
Fouts quickly shut down any hope that the Wildcats had to score more runs by throwing a five-pitch strikeout.
“She's just never satisfied,” Hemphill said about her pitcher. “She can have the best game of her life, the next day, How can I get better? That mindset I think is what makes her so great. She's never complacent with what she achieves on the field. She's always striving to get better.”
Alabama will play against UCLA on Friday, June 4 at 8:30 p.m. CT it will be broadcast on ESPN2.