Alabama Softball Preview: Easton Crimson Classic
The Alabama softball team returns home for their final non-conference home weekend prior to the start of SEC play as they host the Easton Crimson Classic.
Patrick Murphy’s squad will entertain Jacksonville, Drake and Stanford over the course of the five-game tournament.
The Easton Crimson Tide Classic represents the final non-conference weekend for Alabama before the start of SEC play next weekend. The tournament is also part of a season-high 12-game home stand.
While Alabama is 14-2, the 12-game home stand affords the team an opportunity to establish an impressive resume while giving a young team confidence going into the SEC schedule.
The Crimson Tide received another confidence builder Tuesday night as they escaped Birmingham with a 5-4 win in eight innings Tuesday night. Alexis Osorio improved her record to 7-1 by striking out nine, allowing one walk and surrendering three hits in four scoreless innings of relief.
The Crimson Tide scored four of their five runs with two outs including a bases loaded walk by Sydney Booker that drove in the winning run in the top of the eighth inning.
During Wednesday’s chat with local reporters, Murphy discussed how pleased he was with the characteristics shown by his team in Tuesday’s win at UAB.
“I thought it was good for us, and it shows a little character and a little grit, resiliency, and you need that.” Murphy said.
The veteran Alabama softball coach also commented on how the early-season close contests can pay off later in the season.
“I’d much rather have it now than the last game of the season, then we’d never know what to do. So I think if you experience it early, you’re going to understand what you need to do later on. I absolutely loved it. They had a nice crowd and played a really good game. You got to credit UAB. So I think it’s going to do some good things for us down the stretch.” Murphy stated.
Looking ahead to the Easton Crimson Classic field, Stanford and Jacksonville enter the weekend 10-5 while Drake comes into the tournament 12-5 through the first three weeks of the season.
The player to watch for this weekend is Stanford’s Teaghan Cowles. As a true freshman, Cowles leads the country with 29 hits and is in the top 15 in America with a .547 batting average.
Another slugger to keep an eye out for is true freshman Sarah Maddox for Drake University. Maddox is tied for seventh in the country with six round trippers including games against South Dakota State and Bowling Green where she belted two home runs.
Alabama begins the Easton Crimson Classic Friday at 4 PM against Jacksonville.
College Softball around Alabama
Auburn hosts their third straight tournament in as many weekends as Liberty, Texas State and College of Charleston rolls into town for the Wilson/DeMarini Classic. The Tigers retained their No. 2 status despite losing to James Madison last Sunday.
Coming off a narrow loss to Alabama, UAB makes the short bus ride to Kennesaw State to participate in the Bailey Memorial Tournament. It marks their final non-conference weekend before starting C-USA play. The Blazers battle UNCG, Dartmouth, Akron and Kennesaw State in the five-game tournament.
South Alabama dropped their second game of the year Tuesday afternoon in a 7-1 loss at McNeese State. The Jaguars opened the game with an RBI single from Haleigh Lane before giving up seven unanswered runs. South Alabama continues their road swing with a trip to the Diamond 9 Classic in Orlando, Florida. They will face James Madison, Kansas Purdue, Boston College and Bryant University during the trip to Orlando.
Samford and Jacksonville State face SEC opponents as part of non-conference tournaments this weekend. Samford travels to Starkville for the Bulldog Slamboree where they will face Central Arkansas, UMass and Mississippi State. Jacksonville State heads to Knoxville for the Tennessee Invitational where they will take on Bradley, Ohio, Southeastern Louisiana and Tennessee during the four-game weekend tournament.