Softball dominates Easton Bama Bash

Dean Harrell, Contributing Writer

Over the weekend, the No. 7 Alabama softball team hosted the Easton Bama Bash in Tuscaloosa as it faced off against Kennesaw State University, Indiana State University and Southeastern Louisiana University. Beginning on Friday, the five-game stretch in three days resulted in a successful outing for the Crimson Tide as it picked up four wins in five games over the weekend.  

Impressive showings from everywhere in the lineup resulted in the dominating weekend performance from Alabama, such as Ally Shipman picking up nine RBIs over the five games, along with Kenleigh Cahalan extending her impressive hitting streak to 14 games, the highest freshman hitting streak in Alabama softball history.  

Game One: No. 7 Alabama vs. Kennesaw State 

In the first matchup of the weekend, Alabama (11-3) faced off against the Kennesaw State Owls (4-10) on Friday night. While the bats may have started off slow for the Crimson Tide, they certainly did not stay cold as the six-run fifth inning put the game out of reach for the Owls, and Patrick Murphy’s team would start the weekend with a 9-2 victory. 

Cahalan continued her stellar start to the season as she went 3-for-3, including a leadoff double to begin the game for the Crimson Tide. Cahalan did a fair share of putting herself in scoring position as well as she was able to score twice. 

Though the game started off slow for both teams, things changed dramatically in the fifth inning as Cahalan started off what would become a six-run inning for the Crimson Tide. The bases became loaded for Shipman as she blasted a double out into left field, driving home three runs. Shipman’s double was followed by a triple by freshman Larissa Preuitt that drove home two more and further extended Alabama’s lead. 

“That’s my goal every time I go up there is to do something for my team whether that’s being hit by a pitch, getting on base any way I can, or scoring those runs especially for our pitchers because they work their butts off,” Shipman said. 

Senior Lauren Esman started in the circle for the Crimson Tide as she allowed two runs off of four hits before being replaced by junior Jaala Torrence in the fifth inning, who would close the game by not allowing a hit and tallying four strikeouts as well. 

Game Two: No. 7 Alabama vs. Southeastern Louisiana 

In the second game of the Friday night doubleheader, the Crimson Tide matched up against the Southeastern Louisiana Lions (12-2). Though it took a little bit of time for the bats to get hot, once they did, they never cooled off for Alabama as it was able to grab a huge lead in the fourth and won the game 6-2. 

Both teams started off slow as they could only manage to scratch across one hit each through the first three innings. However, following two consecutive errors by the Lions in the fourth inning, the Crimson Tide took advantage and piece together a six-run fourth inning, including a massive three RBI double to the left field wall by Shipman. 

“We had two really good innings. A crooked number is awesome,” Murphy said. “I’ll take six for the game. That’s a big number, that’s hard to come back from. So kudos to them on that inning; they passed the baton down.” 

Montana Fouts had another solid outing in the circle for Alabama as she only allowed two hits and struck out nine. Fouts proved once again to remain the Crimson Tide’s most reliable pitcher with every game. 

Game Three: No. 7 Alabama vs. Indiana State 

To start off the Saturday afternoon doubleheader, Alabama went up against Indiana State (5-5) for the first game of the day. The Crimson Tide scored in every single inning of play which resulted in a fifth inning conclusion due to mercy rule with a final score of 14-4. 

The game got off to a sloppy start for the Crimson Tide as two outfield fielding errors resulted in Indiana State picking up two runs and started off with a 2-0 lead in the first. However, the trend of big offensive innings continued for Murphy’s squad as Shipman and graduate student Faith Hensley both went deep in the bottom of the first and started off their day with a two-run home run each. 

Home runs became almost contagious throughout the lineup as four different batters went deep for the Crimson Tide. Deep balls from Hensley, Shipman, Marlie Giles, and an inside the park home run by Cahalan helped propel the lead and keep the game in control. 

The bats remained hot all game for Alabama as Hensley celebrated her senior day by picking up three RBIs, along with Giles to lead the team. Giles hit the three-run home run to conclude the game in the fifth inning, capping off the second four-run inning of the game for the Crimson Tide. 

Game Four: No. 7 Alabama vs. Southeastern Louisiana 

For the second game of the Saturday afternoon doubleheader, Alabama played Southeastern Louisiana once again. The Crimson Tide had no trouble this time around as it cruised to a 11-0 shutout victory with Montana Fouts in the circle.  

It did not take long for things to start going in the right direction for Alabama, as Shipman started things off with an RBI single down the right field line to put the first run up on the board in the first inning. Following her was junior Bailey Dowling, who doubled off the left field wall and brought home two more. Once again, Murphy’s squad put together a high-scoring five-run early inning to put pressure on the opposing Lions. 

“We made adjustments from the first game. We were just getting it done,” Dowling said. “This game was all about our hits and it was really awesome. Murph had said that the first time through the lineup, we got through six batters and I thought that was pretty cool in the first inning.”  

From then on, runs became effortless for the high powered Alabama offense as it would score every inning. Leading the charge was Dowling as she tallied five RBIs which tied her career-high as well. The long ball was a powerful tool for the Crimson Tide as well, as Cahalan, Hensley and Dowling all went deep.  

Game Five: No. 7 Alabama vs. Kennesaw State 

For the final game of the weekend for the Crimson Tide, it faced off against the Kennesaw State Owls once again on Sunday afternoon. However, the late game scoring effort by Alabama was not enough as the Owls took the game 5-3.  

Alabama started off the game very slow, unlike the previous four games over the weekend. Only able to pick up one hit through the first four innings, the Crimson Tide was not clicking offensively as they were before.   

Cahalan showed some life for her team as ripped a double to the left field wall to lead off the fifth inning. Moments later, Preuitt brought her home by a sacrifice fly. Ashley Prange drilled a ball up and over the center field wall for a two-run homerun in the sixth inning to bring the Crimson Tide closer, but a scoreless seventh inning for Alabama would bring the game to a close. 

Alabama softball will be back in action for the sixth straight home game on Wednesday against Southern Miss at 1 p.m. C.T. 

Questions or comments? Email Blake Byler (Sports Editor) at [email protected]