Alabama Softball Four-Run Inning Wins Game 1 of Super Regional
With a trip to the Women’s College World Series on the line, the Crimson Tide didn’t give up after being down 2-0. This season the team’s hitting has been contagious and that certainly didn’t change against the Kentucky Wildcats.
KB Sides came up big for Alabama when she hit a three-run triple to put her team up 3-2 in the fourth inning. Two batters later, Maddie Morgan finished out the inning with a two-out RBI single to extend the Crimson Tide’s lead.
“Just a hell of a Super Regional opening game,” head coach Patrick Murphy said. “I don’t think it could have gotten any better. Many twists and turns and ups and downs, I mean you name it, I’m very proud. We’re just happy to get away with the win and game number one. A lot of grit and resiliency by our team.”
The fans at Rhoads Stadium don’t lay off on voicing their opinions when it comes to strikes, balls and definitely check swings.
This was especially the case when the umpires called Kentucky’s Renee Abernathy safe on a full count check swing.
Montana Fouts’ next pitch to Abernathy was sent over the center field wall to put the Wildcats up 2-0 in the top of the fourth inning.
“We had a couple calls that were unfair in my opinion,” right fielder KB Sides said. “I thought they swung.”
Kentucky’s starting pitcher Autumn Humes was dealing in the circle, throwing a perfect game for three innings until Bailey Hemphill stepped up to the plate.
On a 1-1 count, Hemphill broke up the no-hitter to get things started for the Crimson Tide.
“When Bailey got up there and got that hit I knew we were going to score,” Sides said.
Kaylee Tow followed Hemphill with a single of her own.
Jenna Johnson hit what Murphy described as a “rocket up the middle” to load the bases for Alabama.
“[She] couldn’t score anybody on that, she hit it so hard,” Murphy said.
Sides was down in the count but came up big for her team by clearing the bases on a triple to put her team up 3-2.
"I don't think I would've done that without Kaylee Tow," Sides said. "She came up to me before and said, 'I don't want anybody else in the box but you right here' so, all credit to her for that to keep me up."
Alabama didn’t stop there…
On a 2-2 count Maddie Morgan singled through the right side to send Sides home to extend her team's lead to 4-2.
“That was the winning margin,” Murphy said. “So that was a big hit. At the time maybe people didn’t think that but obviously that was the difference in the game.”
Kentucky was down to its last three outs in the top of the seventh inning.
Abernathy hit her second solo home run of the day to put the Wildcats within one run.
Two singles and an intentional walk loaded the bases for Kentucky with two outs.
Montana Fouts delivered her 11th and final strikeout of the game to secure the first win of the Tuscaloosa Super Regional.
Alabama will face Kentucky again tomorrow at 1 p.m. CT for Game 2 of the Tuscaloosa Super Regional. This game will be broadcast on ESPN. If Alabama wins tomorrow they will advance to the Women’s College World Series.