Alabama Softball Preview: Crimson Tide Travels to Missouri
After an historic Tuesday night in Tuscaloosa, No. 9 Alabama hits the road for a three-game weekend series at Missouri.
Patrick Murphy's 1,000th Career Win
Head coach Patrick Murphy accomplished his 1,000th career coaching win in a 5-3 victory over Kent State.
Similar to the South Carolina series, the Crimson Tide scratched and clawed their way to Tuesday night’s win. The two teams battled back and forth through much of the game until outfielder Mari Cranek blasted a solo homer to right field to give Alabama the lead. Sydney Booker followed that up with an RBI single to left field to cap the scoring.
Booker finished the game 3-3 with a run scored and an RBI. Senior hurler Sydney Littlejohn tossed a complete game allowing three runs on four hits with two walks and 10 strikeouts.
In addition to stellar pitching from Sydney Littlejohn and Alexis Osorio, the Crimson Tide offense has aided the team in most of their wins this season. Of Alabama’s 31 wins, 26 have occurred when they have scored first.
When they have scored first, Alabama is 26-0 and is 17-0 when they have scored a run in the first inning. In the opening inning, the Crimson Tide has outscored their opponents 29-9.
Missouri comes into their SEC home opener at 18-13 overall and 1-4 in the SEC. The Tigers dropped their first two conference series losing two games at Florida three weeks ago and two of three games at Texas A&M last weekend.
Missouri has struggled in part due to pitching and average fielding. The Tigers rank last in the SEC in team ERA (3.14) and have the fourth highest amount of errors in the conference (31).
Over his 11 seasons at Missouri, head coach Ehren Earleywine has been able to maintain Missouri’s level of consistency in the Big 12 and SEC. The Tigers have made an NCAA regional in each of his first 10 seasons and have appeared in an NCAA Super Regional in eight of their last nine seasons.
The player to watch for Missouri is freshman Braxton Burnside. The Paragould, Arkansas, native is second in the SEC with nine round trippers fourth in the league with 36 RBIs.
The series begins Friday with first pitch at 6:30 PM. Saturday’s game begins at 5 PM while Sunday’s series finale starts at noon.
College Softball around Alabama
No. 5 Auburn remains on the road this weekend with a trip to No. 16 Georgia. The Tigers did not play a mid-week game this week after closing their series at Florida on Monday. Carlee Wallace comes into the weekend tied for first in the SEC with 12 doubles.
Jacksonville State won both of their mid-week contests on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Gamecocks blanked Alabama State 4-0 while beating Ole Miss 5-4 in 11 innings. In the win over Ole Miss, JSU belted four home runs as a team including a walk-off homer from Hayley Sims in the bottom of the 11th inning. The Gamecocks conclude an eight-game home stand with a Saturday double header against Murray State.
South Alabama claimed an 8-0 victory in five innings at home over Troy University Wednesday night. Jaguars pitcher Devin Brown tossed a five-inning complete game shutout allowing two hits while fanning 10 batters. South Alabama’s Amanda Minahan hit her seventh homer of the season and drove in five runs in the win.
UAB finishes their 10-game road trip with a weekend series at Western Kentucky. The Blazers struggled offensive last weekend in Oklahoma as they posted two runs in their three games against Mississippi State and Oklahoma.
After dropping their first SoCon home series over the weekend, Samford fell 9-1 in five innings at home to Kennesaw State. The Bulldogs committed a season-high five errors in the loss. They return to conference play this weekend with a three-game series at Chattanooga.
Alabama State hosts Alabama A&M for a three-game series beginning Friday. The Hornets lost two of three games to the rival Bulldogs in last year’s season ending series.