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

Alabama softball’s season comes to end as team falls to Florida in Women’s College World Series

Courtesy of UA Athletics
Alabama softball player Kayla Beaver (19) pitches the ball against Florida at Devon Park in Oklahoma City, OK, on Sunday, Jun 2, 2024.

Alabama softball’s season came to an end Sunday after a 4-6 loss to the Florida Gators at the Women’s College World Series.

Kayla Beaver started on the mound Sunday. Beaver started the game off strong, shutting Florida out in the first two innings while allowing just two hits.

Alabama first took the lead in the bottom of the second inning. After Alabama put runners on the corners from a dropped fly ball for Florida that advanced infielder Bailey Dowling to second base, catcher Riley Valentine drove in the game’s first run off a fielder’s choice groundout.

Florida quickly fought back in the top of the third. A single and a walk put runners on second and first with one out.

Florida catcher Jocelyn Erickson’s single to deep right field put runners on the corners to tie the game. The Gators then took a 2-1 lead with a fielder’s choice RBI groundout to score the runner from third.

The game proved to be a back-and-forth battle in the bottom of the third inning. Florida walked outfielder Lauren Johnson while outfielder Kristen White grabbed a single to put two runners on base with no outs. Two batters later, catcher Marlie Giles singled up the middle to tie the game again at 2.

Pitcher Jocelyn Briski came into the game at the start of the fifth inning. Beaver pitched four innings, giving up six hits and two earned runs. Briski pitched 1.2 innings, allowing one earned run on three hits while striking out a batter.

Florida retook the lead in the top of the fifth inning off a walk and two singles made the score 3-2.

“They are such a good hitting team,” Alabama head coach Patrick Murphy said. “I think we had to show them some different looks at pitching.”

Pitcher Alea Johnson entered the game with two outs in the top of the sixth inning and runners on the corners.
On Johnson’s third pitch, Erickson hit a three-run home run to give the Gators a commanding 6-2 lead, ultimately putting the game out of reach.

However, Alabama did not quit. Alabama drew closer in the bottom of the sixth by loading the bases with one out. The Crimson Tide scored two runs off Valentine’s and infielder Kali Heivilin’s singles to bring the deficit to 6-4.

But in the final inning, the Alabama bats were unable to muster up any more runs.

The loss may have ended Alabama’s season but still showed the battle back after a 3-6 start to conference play, eventually coming back to 8th place in the SEC.

On top of that, Alabama hosted a regional in the first round of the NCAA Tournament while upsetting No. 3 Tennessee in the Super Regional round to make an unlikely appearance in the Women’s College World Series.

“This team squeezed every single ounce of being great teammates, great leaders, and great representatives of The University of Alabama,” Murphy said.

While Sunday’s loss was the seniors’ final game, they feel like they are leaving with a legacy to remember.

“We proved so many people wrong.” Beaver said. “We created a legacy for Alabama softball and for girls to come in and look up to.”

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