No. 3 Alabama Softball (30-4, 10-3) brought down the No. 8 Arkansas Razorbacks (32-4, 12-1) 5-3 Friday night to take game one of the weekend series. 

This loss was the first for the Razorbacks in SEC play, handed to them by another solid pitching performance from junior Montana Fouts (12-2). Fouts retired 12 batters, holding the hogs to only one inning of scoring where they produced all three of their runs. Already this season, Fouts has seven games with 10 or more strikeouts, totaling 149 on the season. 

Alabama’s bats were quiet to begin and end the game, but put up runs when they needed to. KB Sides began the scoring with a double to the gap to drive two runs in in the third inning, playing completely fine even after leaving last weekend’s game against Texas A&M with an ankle tweak. 

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Shortly after, senior Bailey Hemphill launched a two-run homer to give Alabama the 4-0 lead with one out in the top of the third. The home run was Hemphill’s 58th of her career, tying her for second all-time in home runs with former Alabama softball standouts Kaila Hunt and Charlotte Morgan. She needs only two more this season to reach Kelly Kretschman’s school record of 60. 

Despite an error and some effective hitting from the Hogs in the bottom of the third, Alabama held a 4-3 lead heading into the fourth and wouldn’t look back from there. Sophomore Savannah Woodard blasted a solo home run to give Alabama some insurance, her second of the season. 

With the score 5-3, Fouts held off the remaining batters and Alabama sealed the win, holding Arkansas to only five total hits on the day. 

With a win Saturday, the Crimson Tide can clinch their fourth SEC series of the season. Catch games two and three of the weekend series Saturday and Sunday at 11:00  and 1:00 p.m. CT respectively on Praise 93.3, with game two on ESPN 2.

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