Across the Diamond: Alabama Softball Travels to the Bluegrass State
Coming off an exhilarating series win over Ole Miss, Alabama softball returns to the diamond as they put a crimson and white bow on the month with a three-game series at Kentucky.
Impact of Alexis Osorio’s Absence
Entering the 2018 season, Alabama counted on Alexis Osorio to be one of their most important contributors on the team.
Following her injury, the Crimson Tide won three of their next four games including a big series win over Ole Miss.
Junior college transfer Courtney Gettins won all three of her starts last week and position players such as Sydney Booker and Elissa Brown had arguably their best weeks from the plate as both players recorded six hits each over the last week.
During Tuesday’s visit with reporters, junior catcher Reagan Dykes discussed how she had to increase her presence as a leader with Osorio not available for the prior four games.
“With Lex (Osorio) being out this past weekend, I really had to step up and be that leader behind the plate because Lex (Osorio) is the leader to them in the pitching circle.” Dykes mentioned.
Emotional Lift from Ole Miss Series Win
After winning their first SEC series of the season, Alabama is tied with Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi State for sixth and is one game in the loss column behind LSU for fourth in the conference standings.
With no mid-week game for the Crimson Tide this week, Dykes looked back at how the dramatic walk-off win over the Rebels on Sunday provides an emotional lift for the team going into Lexington.
“It gives us an extra juice because just having to fight through that game, back and forth, back and forth and then coming out with a win in the seventh inning that’s huge for us just because it shows us that we can do it.” Dykes said. “We’re never out of a game. We’re never out of a situation and also that was key because with Lex (Osorio) being out, we had Coutney (Gettins) step up to fill that role and just to have her back and get that win for her is really important for our team.”
Kentucky Scouting Report
In the opposing dugout, Kentucky looks to rebound from a weekend sweep at the hands of the Auburn Tigers.
The Wildcats saw their mid-week outing at Ohio State postponed due to weather and field conditions.
In addition to the three losses at Auburn, Kentucky lost three games at Florida to start SEC play but rebounded to win two against LSU in their SEC home-opening series.
Offensively, Kentucky has six players with at least a .340 batting average with sophomore outfielder Bailey Vick possessing a team-high .432 batting average and .477 on-base percentage.
A big key for the Wildcats could be the impact of junior Abby Cheek. The Inman, South Carolina native is fifth in the SEC with eight home runs and leads the team with 29 RBIs.
Friday - 5 PM CDT
Saturday - 4 PM CDT (ESPN2)
Sunday - Noon CDT
College Softball Tidbits across Alabama
While Alabama faced Ole Miss last week, the Auburn Tigers put a six-game winning streak on the line at Ole Miss. Earlier this week, shortstop Makenna Dowell was named SEC Freshman of the Week by the conference office. The Sewanee, Georgia native filled-in for an injured Taylon Snow and recorded four hits in nine at-bats with two RBIs and four runs scored.
South Alabama and Troy hit the road for the Easter weekend in Sun Belt Conference play. South Alabama travels to Lafayette to face the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns. The Jaguars won at McNeese State Wednesday thanks to three home runs in the sixth inning from Kristian Foster, Lyric Cabral and Haleigh Lowe. After dropping two of three to the Ragin’ Cajuns, Troy heads to Atlanta for a three-game series against Georgia State.
UAB continues a busy week as they host Middle Tennessee for the weekend. The Blazers easily dispatched Alabama A&M 10-1 in five innings on Tuesday but lost to Jacksonville State 4-1 on Wednesday.
Jacksonville State resumes a lengthy road trip this weekend by going to Murray State for a Saturday doubleheader. The Gamecocks have played only two home games to date and have played every game away from campus since March 7.
Samford opens the home portion of Southern Conference play against Chattanooga. The Bulldogs lost 22 of their first 27 games of the season but have won five of their last seven games since March 17.
Alabama State dropped an 11-0 decision at home to Mississippi State earlier in the week. The Hornets host Mississippi Valley State for three games to finish the month.
Following their loss to UAB, Alabama A&M wraps up a nine-game road swing with three games at Jackson State.