Alabama Softball Preview: One More SEC Road Trip for 2017
No. 13/14 Alabama concludes their final road trip of the regular season at No. 20/21 Ole Miss this weekend.
Tuesday’s Win at Samford
After losing twice to Washington last weekend, the Crimson Tide took their frustrations on the Samford Bulldogs with an 8-1 victory Tuesday evening in their final non-conference game of the season.
A pair of three-run homers powered Alabama early as Reagan Dykes smashed her third round tripper of the season in the top of the first inning while Bailey Hemphill sent a rocket shot over the protective netting in left center field.
During Thursday’s chat with reporters, head coach Patrick Murphy described how the early explosion on offense at Samford reminded him of past Alabama squads.
“We did our job over at Samford. I thought our offense looked like some old Alabama offenses with two three-run home runs and just up and down the lineup, everybody got on base.” Murphy said.
After gaining a 7-0 advantage through two innings, Madi Moore took the Tide the rest of the way as she allowed only one run on two hits in picking up a complete game victory.
One of the Alabama’s primary pinch-runners over her three seasons in Tuscaloosa made her first start in a Crimson Tide uniform. Junior Rachel Bobo started in left field and was 0-4 with two putouts defensively.
Although Bobo has just four at bats on the season, Patrick Murphy elaborated on her importance to the team.
“She is kind of the energy spark plug right now. Everybody loves her. She’s just a ball of positive energy. She’s a chemical engineering major and she was a walk-on onto the softball team. I know I couldn’t do it.” Murphy said. “She’s just been one of the neatest kids to be on the team that we’ve ever had here.”
Trip to Oxford
SEC play resumes for the Tide they prepare for their final SEC road series of the year at Ole Miss.
The Rebels failed to score a run in three losses at Florida last weekend but rebounded Wednesday night with a 2-1 victory over Jacksonville State.
After Stephanie Lewis’ RBI double in the top of the first inning for JSU, Ole Miss starting pitcher Kaitlin Lee held the Gamecocks in check by not allowing a run over her final six innings in the complete game victory.
Miranda Strother drove in the winning run with an infield single in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Ole Miss has won nine of their last 10 games in Oxford including an active seven-game home winning streak. In their past 10 home games, the Rebels have allowed four runs in 10 games while recording six shutout wins.
In addition to pitching, the Rebels rank third in the SEC with 86 stolen bases and have one of the top speedsters in the conference in Elantra Cox. The junior outfielder comes into the weekend tied for third in the SEC with 23 stolen bases.
With a big weekend approaching, head coach Patrick Murphy laid out his keys to victory in Oxford.
“I think number one, get a good start from whomever is starting on the mound. Control their offense. We have to control their running game.” Murphy said. “Offensively, it’s been the key all year long is to get that key hit.”
The series gets underway Saturday with first pitch at 2 PM. The final games on Sunday and Monday will be aired on the SEC Network with first pitch for both games at 6 PM.
College Softball around Alabama
The Auburn Tigers took a short trip to Montgomery Wednesday evening and easily handled Alabama State 14-1 in six innings. Eight of Auburn’s nine starters recorded at least one hit while Casey Cooper belted a three-run homer in the victory. The Tigers wrap up their home schedule against Mississippi State with the three-game series beginning Friday evening. Alabama State finishes the regular season with a four-game road trip beginning with a Friday evening clash at Mississippi Valley State.
South Alabama saw their four-game winning streak snapped Tuesday night in a 6-0 loss at LSU. Megan Harris led the Jaguars going 2-3 from the plate. South Alabama returns to Mobile to complete their regular season home schedule against Georgia Southern for a Saturday twin bill and a single game Sunday on Senior Day.
After falling to Alabama Tuesday evening, Samford begins a five-game road trip Saturday with a doubleheader at Georgia Tech.
Following their 2-1 loss at Ole Miss, Jacksonville State heads to Kentucky for a pair of weekend doubleheaders. The Gamecocks take on Morehead State on Saturday while traveling to Eastern Kentucky on Sunday.
UAB wraps up their home schedule with a Saturday doubleheader and a single game Sunday against UTEP. The Blazers will honor the contributions for eight senior on the roster during Senior Day festivities on Sunday.