Alabama Softball Upsets No. 7 Florida State
On the final day of the TaxAct Clearwater Invitational, the 12th-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide softball team beat the No.7 Florida State Seminoles 2-1.
This was not a one-time thing between these two teams. In 2021, the Crimson Tide and the Seminoles met in the semifinals of the Women's College World Series. In a best-of-three series, Florida State swept Alabama to move to the finals where they would lose to the Oklahoma Sooners. Last year, Alabama had a chance to get its revenge at Rhoads Stadium but an Ashley Prange fielding error helped the Seminoles win 6-5.
Unlike their last three matchups, this game was a tightly contested pitching battle. Coach Patrick Murphy decided to start the ace of the Alabama pitching rotation, Montana Fouts, while Florida State started Kathryn Sandercock.
Both pitchers played great, but Sandercock was on track for a perfect game through four innings. No one on Alabama's roster could get even a hit, but the thing about softball is that one swing can change an entire game. In the bottom of the fourth inning, on a 0-0 count, freshman Kenleigh Cahalan hit a solo shot to center field to put Alabama up 1-0.
Two batters later, junior infielder Bailey Dowling added to Alabama's lead by hitting a solo home run into left field, extending the Crimson Tide total to 2-0.
Even though Florida State was down two runs, they never give up. In the top of the fifth inning, sophomore Jahni Kerr hit a solo home run into left field to cut the Alabama lead down to 2-1. Even with giving up a home run, Fouts did not panic, and shut out the Seminoles for the rest of the game to pull off the upset. This is Fouts fourth win of the young season and a statement win for the Crimson Tide. She ended the game with seven strikeouts, only allowing four hits and one run.
Alabama's next game will be on Wednesday, as the team returns to Rhoads Stadium, to take on the Samford Bulldogs, at 6 p.m. CST.
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