Softball wins nail-biter on the road in dominant pitching performance

Adam Baranovsky, Contributing Writer

In its first in-state road game of the season, the Alabama Crimson Tide softball team squeaked past in-state rival, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, 2-1.  

 Shortly after, Alabama scored a second run after a sacrifice ground out by junior Bailey Dowling to wrap up their scoring night with two.  

It was a sensational pitching performance for Alabama yet again, led by senior Lauren Esman and graduate student Montana Fouts combining for eight strikeouts and only giving up one run, unearned. Fouts ended the game in typical fashion, earning the save in the victory with a 1-2-3 seventh inning.  

The only run that UAB scored was in the first inning on an RBI single. Alabama started off trailing the game after two quick hits by UAB and a throwing error by freshman Marlie Giles. 

Fouts now has 13 career saves, just three shy of tying the Alabama record for second most saves. She is just 28 strikeouts away from becoming only the fifth Crimson Tide softball player to reach the 1,000-strikeout mark. 

Pitching has been the catalyst for Alabama in recent games, after a bit of a struggle from that department at the start of the season. The Crimson Tide pitching unit has only allowed two runs in their last eight games, including a no-hitter and a perfect game, while scoring double digits only once in that span.  

Offensively, however, the Crimson Tide struggled a bit. The team only amassed a season-low  two runs, both in the third inning. A couple of base hits from freshmen Kristen White and Larisa Preuitt, who also stole a base, contributed to the first run after graduate student Ashley Prange hit an RBI single to left field.  

On the very next at-bat, an RBI groundout for Dowling gave the Crimson Tide its second run and the lead. Outside of that, it was a silent night in the batter’s box as Alabama was struck out nine-times, second highest mark all season.  

All eight of Alabama’s hits came from different players, and freshman sensation Kenleigh Cahalan extended her hitting streak to six games. 

Up next for Alabama is the Bevo Classic in Austin, Texas. The team will face the University of Texas on March 10 and 11, Texas State University on March 11, and University of Wisconsin on March 12 for the Crimson Tide’s second road trip of the season.  

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