Despite win, players, coach look for more momentum


Kelly Ward

After winning a weekend series against Missouri 2-1, Alabama beat Mississippi Valley State 8-5 Tuesday night. Leslie Jury (12-3) received the win after taking over for Lauren Sewell in the top of the fifth inning.

The Crimson Tide had eleven hits and five strikeouts. Head coach Patrick Murphy said it was not the game he expected after the Missouri series.

“I’ve never had a team that didn’t sustain momentum like this team,” Murphy said. “[They] haven’t done it all year. I mean, as a group and individually. [Danielle Richard] hits a home run and then nothing. It just flabbergasts me that they can’t keep that confidence going.”

Alabama started the scoring in the bottom of the first inning. Molly Fichtner hit in Kayla Braud. With two outs, Danielle Richard hit a two-run home run over the center-left field wall.

The Delta Devilettes answered in the top of the fourth, scoring two runs off a base hit. In the top of the fifth, they tied up the game 3-3 and chased Lauren Sewell from the game. Leslie Jury took the mound after her.

“I thought we came out great, scored three runs, got ahead, and then we kind of stalled,” Braud said. “We don’t want that stall in the middle of the game. We need to make an adjustment quicker and have a little bit of a sense of urgency to put teams away.”

The Tide put another four runs on the board in the bottom of the fifth. Fichtner doubled in Haylie McCleney. Jadyn Spencer doubled in Fichtner and Kaila Hunt. Then Ryan Iamurri reached second on an error, scoring Spencer. In the bottom of the sixth, the Tide scored its last run on a double steal to make it 8-3.

In the top of the seventh inning, the Delta Devilettes put the game within three with a two-run home run just out of the reach of Braud’s glove.

“I’ve been working on that a lot, just going back hard and giving the best effort that I could,” Braud said. “Unfortunately, I needed to get back a little bit, but that happens, and that’s softball. It’s a game of inches definitely.”

The home run was not enough in the end, and Alabama won 8-5. The Tide will host the University of Alabama at Birmingham Wednesday at 6 p.m.