Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Softball finishes under .500 in SEC play for first time in team history

Courtesy of UA Athletics
Alabama softball player Emma Broadfoot (12) swings at the ball against Auburn at Jane B. Moore Field in Auburn, AL on Saturday, May 4, 2024.

For the first time in program history, Alabama softball finished the season with a sub-.500 record in SEC play.   

With a 4-3 loss against Auburn in Game 1 Thursday night, Alabama’s losing record was set in stone. The losing effort dropped the team’s record to 9-13 with just two games left.  

The Crimson Tide split the final two games of the series to finish the regular season with a 33-16 overall record and a 10-14 record in SEC play.   

In Game 1, the team fell behind in the first inning when Auburn designated player Amelia Lech launched pitcher Kayla Beaver’s pitch over the right-center wall to grab a 2-0 lead. The Tigers added a pair of runs in the second and third innings with a duo of RBI singles.  

Alabama had to play catch-up, and the offense was quiet until the seventh inning when first baseman Emma Broadfoot led things off with a single before second baseman Kali Heivilin brought her home with a two-run home run to center field.  

Right fielder Larissa Preuitt scored the third run of the game on an Auburn error. Preuitt, who would’ve had the tying run, advanced to second with just one out. The Crimson Tide’s top of the lineup was up, but Auburn pitcher Maddie Penta slammed the door, with back-to-back strikeouts to end the rally.   

Game 2 was a pitcher’s gem for all 11 innings of play, as the score was still 0-0 entering the top of the 11th. Freshman Jocelyn Briski started for Alabama while senior Shelby Lowe was in the circle for the Tigers.    

No runners made it past second base until the bottom of the sixth when Auburn loaded the bases. Beaver entered in relief and struck out the next batter in three pitches.   

In the 11th inning, the Crimson Tide broke through against Penta. Preuitt again came up with a leadoff single, and third baseman Bailey Dowling followed with a single of her own.   

Shortstop Kenleigh Cahalan stepped up to the plate with two outs, hoping to avoid another scoreless half inning. Cahalan rolled a grounder to the right side, but it squirted through the four-hole as Preuitt and Dowling dashed home to take the lead.  

In the bottom of the 11th Beaver retired the side in order to secure the Game 2 victory.   

Despite the loss, head coach Patrick Murphy felt pride in the competitive nature of the game and the team. 

“That was a great example of bend but don’t break,” Murphy said. “The pitching and defense were awesome. I just felt like Beaver was in control and we just needed one lucky bounce or a key hit to break it open and Kenleigh Cahalan came through.” 

Alabama couldn’t keep the momentum rolling in Game 3, as the Tigers stole the rubber match by a score of 3-0.  

Auburn pitcher Annabelle Widra shut down the Alabama offense, closing the Crimson Tide’s regular season with a complete game shutout.   

With the team’s 3-0 defeat in Game 3 Saturday afternoon, Alabama lost the series against its chief rival for the second consecutive year.   

Alabama, the No. 9 seed, will have three days of rest before returning to Jane B. Moore Field in Auburn for the SEC tournament Wednesday night.   

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