Recap | Softball motors past UAB

The team will face Memphis Friday afternoon.

Robert Cortez, Staff Reporter

No. 4 Alabama softball (9–0) remains unbeaten after a 7–1 victory over the UAB Blazers (4–5) in its first mid-week game of the season on Wednesday..

Freshman Bailey Dowling kept up the early season trend of first inning offense and two-out production. Dowling sent a two-out homerun to dead center to give Alabama a 3-0 lead in the bottom half of the opening frame. Dowling now leads the team in home runs, three, and is batting .571, 8 for 14, with two outs. Head coach Murphy said that Dowlings success in the box comes from the ability to spoil and good pitch until there is a pitch “she can drive.”

“She’ll foul off the in between ball and strike pitch that you’re worried the umpire might call,” Murphy said. “I think she did that tonight and then finally she got something she can drive.”

Before the season started Murphy talked about the depth of the team and how every position was “two players deep.” Senior K.B. Sides did not make the starting lineup because of a minor leg injury she suffered in the Easton Bama Bash and sophomore Jenna Johnson who filled Sides’ place in the lineup left the game against the Blazers due to injury. What looked to be a base hit up the middle turned into a huddle around home plate as Johnson was unable to run out of the box due to suffering a leg injury herself. This will look to open possible starting opportunities for junior Kayla Davis and freshman Kat Grill.

“It’s the next person up,” Murphy said. “That’s been the name of the game in our program for a long time.”

Despite a six-run victory, Alabama tied a season-low in hits, five, and garnered a season high seven strikeouts. Graduate student Bailey Hemphill has proved to be one of the toughest hitters in the country to strikeout through the course of her career and stated one must obtain a “battle mentality” in a two-strike count. Hemphill went 2 for 3 at the plate and one of her hits came with two outs.

Graduate student Sarah Cornell (1-0; 2.33 ERA) made her second start of the season and pitched five innings, allowed three hits and an earned run to capture her first win of the season. Cornell’s night did not get off to a hot start as she threw 25 pitches in the first inning and allowed two runners on base, but got better as the night went along. Cornell allowed no more than one base runner in each of the following four innings.

“I thought she did a nice job and her velocity was pretty good,” Murphy said.

Graduate student Elissa Brown went 0 for 3 at the plate Wednesday night, which put an end to her eight-game hit streak.
Alabama will resume action on Friday, Feb. 26, in a double header against Memphis with first pitch scheduled at 4 p.m. CT. All games for the Easton Crimson Classic can be streamed on the SEC Network plus on the ESPN app.