Alabama Softball Stays Perfect, Defeats No. 8 LSU
Alabama softball picked up two more wins at the Easton Bama Bash remaining a perfect 7-0 on the 2021 campaign. The Crimson Tide also picked up its first top 10 victory of season over LSU, defeating the Tigers 5-2.
Game 2: 5-2 win vs. No. 8 LSU
In its first top 10 matchup of the season and first of two meetings against LSU, Alabama got its first taste of playoff softball where clutch hitting and solid pitching would be the difference maker.
The Crimson Tide got both but was catapulted by another dominant pitching performance by Lexi Kilfoyl. The sophomore mitigated an LSU offense that has tallied the fourth-highest home run total in the country as she allowed one earned run on six hits and tallied two strikeouts.
"I don't think she pitched her best game, but she gave us enough to beat a very good team," head coach Patrick Murphy said.
The solid start allowed the Crimson Tide offense which struggled to capitalize with runners in scoring position, going 5-for-17 in the game, to maintain a lead even with little offensive production. Murphy said that he was happy that the team recorded 12 hits in the win but called hitting with runners in scoring position "the hardest thing to do."
However, as the game wore on, the Alabama bats came alive thanks to a clutch RBI-single by senior Maddie Morgan. Morgan, who started her first two games of the season on Saturday, hit a line drive to right field allowing freshman Kat Grill to score from third base.
"That was really good base running by Kat Grill and then Maddie [Morgan] got the RBI," Murphy said. "When you're faced with really good pitching and defense, obviously the two-out RBI is the toughest thing to do in softball or baseball, it's a battle of wills between pitcher and hitter. I think it's a little bit of nerves and we need to be more [relaxed] in the box and see ball, hit ball."
Game 1: 8-1 win vs. Liberty
Similar to Friday night's 6-3 win over Liberty, Alabama's offense jumped out to a big lead in the first inning, which propelled them to an 8-1 win in the rematch on Saturday.
Morgan, Kaylee Tow and KB Sides all registered two hits in the win but the day was for fellow senior Claire Jenkins. The Cullman, Alabama native, who celebrated her senior night against Liberty, hit a three-run home run to increase the lead to five in the bottom of the first inning.
"There's so much pressure involved and obviously the young lady probably has a lot of friends to family from her hometown," Murphy said. "We're going to love them no matter if they get a hit or not on their senior day and we want to make sure they realize that. Obviously when they do well, it's really special for everybody in the program."
Jenkins' home run on her senior day becomes another in a long line of memorable long balls for the infielder, which includes a solo home run against Oklahoma in the 2019 Women's College World Series.
This is also the first senior day home run since Taylor Clark's two-run homer against Penn State in 2020.
"It was great, it was probably one of my favorite home runs for sure," Jenkins said. "Knowing that a lot of my friends and family back home got to be here in person for it and all of my teammates were so excited for me. I just felt the love and energy from everybody around me."
The early lead allowed junior Montana Fouts to settle into a groove in the circle. The Grayson, Kentucky native picked up her third win of the season allowing one run on four hits and struck out 13 in six innings of work.
Alabama will finish the Easton Bama Bash with a rematch with LSU on Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.
Alabama's Top 10 Athletes: Spring 2021