Alabama Softball Preview: Crimson Tide Heads to Rocky Top
After securing a crucial SEC series against LSU and dispatching UAB in mid-week play, the Alabama Crimson Tide travels to Knoxville for another big SEC series against the Tennessee Volunteers.
Mid-Week Win vs. UAB
While UAB battled Alabama to extra-innings in their February contest in Birmingham, the Crimson Tide needed only five innings to discard the Blazers 8-0 Tuesday night from Rhoads Stadium.
Madi Moore needed only 44 pitches to earn her shutout victory. The sophomore from Winfield, Alabama, did not record a strikeout but also did not walk a batter.
After a scoreless first inning, Meris Schroder put the Tide on the board in the bottom of the second inning with an RBI-triple. Two batters later, junior Carrigan Fain lofted a sacrifice fly to right field to increase the lead to 2-0.
Peyton Grantham blew the game open in the bottom of third inning thanks to her grand slam to left field.
Two more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning sealed the mercy rule win for Alabama.
After the game, Moore described the mindset of the team going into Tuesday’s game.
“We were really excited about this past weekend taking two of three against LSU. That’s huge! We just rolled right into today, and we were just ready to play and came out on top.” Moore said.
Eastern Weekend at Tennessee
Alabama makes the trip to Knoxville for a huge three-game series against Tennessee.
While Florida (38-2, 13-1 SEC) is comfortably leading the SEC with a 13-1 league record, Tennessee (37-5, 9-3 SEC) is one game in the loss column behind Texas A&M (35-3, 9-2 SEC) for second in the conference while Alabama (36-7, 10-5 SEC) is fourth in the SEC and a few percentage points behind Tennessee for third.
This weekend marks the first trip to Knoxville since the 2013 NCAA Super Regional Volunteers took two straight from the Crimson Tide.
Tennessee carries a 16-game winning along with a 20-1 home record into the weekend. The most recent loss for the Vols came on March 18 as Arkansas got a 2-1 win in Fayetteville.
A primary reason for Tennessee’s success is their prolific offense. The Volunteers lead the SEC in runs scored (310) doubles (73) and are second in the conference in batting average (.343), hits (361) and steals (85).
Individually, the two players to watch are shortstop Meghan Gregg and pitcher Matty Moss. Gregg leads the league in RBIs (62) and doubles (18) and is third in batting average (.470).
From the circle, Moss has a 19-1 record with a 1.35 ERA. The sophomore right hander has been efficient against opposing batters by fanning 126 batters while issuing only 27 walks in 124 innings pitched.
The series begins Saturday with first pitch at 5 PM CT. The start time for both Sunday and Monday is at 6 PM CT. All three games will be televised by the SEC Network.
College Softball around Alabama
Auburn notched their 34th victory of the season by beating Georgia State 6-3. Junior designated player Carlee Wallace doubled home three runs in the second inning while freshman right fielder Alyssa Rivera launched a two-run home run an inning later. The Tigers resume the home stand with a three-game series against Missouri.
After being blanked by Alabama in Tuscaloosa, UAB returns home for a three-game series against North Texas beginning Friday. The Blazers carry a five-game losing streak into the weekend and have failed to score in three of their last four games.
Jacksonville State opens their final home stand of the season with a Friday twin bill against Austin Peay. JSU brings an 11-game winning streak into the doubleheader and a one-game lead atop the Ohio Valley Conference standings. After facing Austin Peay, the Gamecocks will not play another game until April 22.
Samford saw Tuesday’s trip to Lipscomb cancelled due to rain but quickly substituted that single game with a Wednesday twin bill at Tennessee Tech. Junior Lexie Higgins recorded her best day of the season going 4-6 with two round trippers, six RBIs and two runs scored in the doubleheader. Samford travels to UNCG for a critical three-game series with a twin bill on and a single game on Saturday. Both teams are statistically tied for second in the Southern Conference entering the weekend.
Troy and South Alabama open Sun Belt Conference series Friday. The Trojans open an eight-game home stand with a Friday doubleheader against ULM while South Alabama kicks off a seven-game road swing Friday with two games at UT-Arlington.