Recap | Softball keeps up a streak in win over Memphis

Pitchers were the stars of the show in Friday’s two Memphis–Alabama games.

Robert Cortez, Staff Reporter

No. 4 Alabama softball swept the Memphis Tigers on Friday, behind dominant pitching performances from three different pitchers.

Game 1

The storyline of the Crimson Tide’s 8-3 game one victory over Memphis was the 16 strikeouts junior Montana Fouts (5-0; 1.86 ERA) and freshman Jaala Torrence (0.00 ERA) combined for on the evening.

“It was awesome for Montana [Fouts] and Jaala [Torrence],” head coach Patrick Murphy said.

Fouts got the nod in the circle for the fifth time and tallied 11 of the 16 strikeouts. This was her third game this season with double-digit strikeouts. Fouts struck out the side in the first and third inning while striking out two batters in the second and fourth. Fouts’ rise ball created several swings and misses from the Tiger bats.

“When it’s coming right in and it looks so good, it’s very hard to lay off and then all of a sudden, it pops up and you know you’re under it by the foot as a hitter,” Murphy said.

Torrence made her first appearance in Rhoads Stadium and her second overall appearance of the season. She replaced Fouts in the top half of the fifth but was quick to settle in. In a bases-loaded and one-out situation in the fifth, Torrence struck out back-to-back batters to retire the side and would go on to get the next six outs to finish off the game.

“I really felt the support of all the fans and just my teammates, and knowing that the defense was working hard behind me made it an amazing experience,” Torrence said.

In contrast to Memphis’s performance, Alabama’s offense was able to utilize its outs productively and get runners an extra 60 feet. If there was a batting average for productive outs, the Alabama bats would have collected a .333 average as six of its 18 outs advanced a runner. However, Murphy still would like to see the productivity average to be higher.

“That’s a good stat, but I wish it would be about .400 or .450 [average],” Murphy said.

Game 2

Alabama’s 5–1 win to complete the sweep of Memphis featured a Tuscaloosa native in the starting lineup, freshman Kat Grill, and a birthday three-run bomb over the left-center wall from senior Kaylee Tow.

“We had a big birthday home run from Tow. I’m glad she hit that,” Murphy said.

Grill roamed right field and was in Murphy’s “surprise spot” in the batting order, the nine spot, in her first collegiate start. Grill received a healthy applause from the Alabama faithful when her name was announced over the speakers and gave the crowd something to cheer about as she reached base on all three plate appearances with a hit and a pair of walks.

“[As] the ninth spot, she turned the lineup over, which is a very good thing,” Murphy said.

Torrence stated that seeing her roommate, Grill, get the start was “amazing,” and Torrence was proud of the effort she displayed.

Senior Krystal Goodman (1-0; .88 ERA) threw a complete game in her first start of the season. Murphy described her efforts as “one of the best games” he had seen Goodman throw in her time at Alabama. A statistic that stood out to Murphy in Goodman’s performance was she did not allow a walk, which was something pitching coach Stephanie VanBrankle-Prothro and Goodman spent a lot of time in the offseason working on.

“No walks with two strikeouts in a complete game, that’s a great outing for her,” Murphy said.