Recap | Alabama tramples non-conference opponent

Kent State was no match for the undefeated Alabama team.

Robert Cortez, Staff Reporter

No. 2/3 Alabama softball (17-0) collected a pair of run-rule wins against Kent State (2-4) on Friday night to open up its final pre-conference tournament, the Easton T-Town Showdown.


Alabama collected its fourth run-rule win of the season with a 9-1 six-inning contest against Kent State. It was the team’s first run-rule win since a 13-5 win against No. 11 LSU.

For only the second time this season, Alabama faced a deficit as Kent State scored an unearned run in the top of the third inning to take a 1-0 advantage. The run broke sophomore Lexi Kilfoyl’s scoreless inning streak, which dated back to her start on Feb. 20 against LSU. Kilfoyl shutout the Kent State offense in the next three innings and finished the game with six strikeouts and no walks.

The Crimson Tide offense was hitless in the first two innings, but graduate students Elissa Brown and Alexis Mack changed that with back-to-back bunt singles to open the third.

With that momentum, freshman Bailey Dowling turned in a single to center field to score Brown and tie the game at one run a piece. The RBI marked Dowling’s 17th of the season, which moved her into the team lead. And graduate student Bailey Hemphill, known for her home run talent, went against her nature with an RBI bunt single that gave Alabama a 2-1 lead.

The Crimson Tide would go on to score one more run in the third and tack on runs in each of the other three innings.

“Good hitting is contagious, and that’s the way it was tonight,” Murphy said.

Mack finished the game with a 3-for-3 performance at the plate, drawing a walk, scoring twice and bumping her batting average to .500.


Kent State returned to the field with more energy. Alabama cruised into a 2–0 lead in the first inning, but Kent State was quick to respond with three runs in the second. But State’s lead was short-lived. Mack tripled in the bottom of the second, scoring Brown and posting three more runs in the following frame. Mack sent the score up to 6–3 and would prove to be the final leadchange of the day.

“Anytime a team scores against us, we have been very intentional this year in a response inning,” Mack said. “The coaches have been very good at preaching that to us, and we’ve done a really good job.”

Six Alabama players had multi-hit performances: Hemphill and Mack led the way with three a piece. Both Mack and Hemphill were a homerun shy of the cycle.

With sophomore Jenna Johnson and senior K.B. Sides out due to injury, right field has been a position up for grabs. Grill got the start in right field and gave Murphy a reason to not take her out of the lineup as she was one of the six hitters with multiple hits, 2-for-3, and had a team-leading two RBIs in the game. Grill is hitting for a .500 average after the conclusion of Friday’s contests.

“Kat Grill was impressive,” Murphy said. “I think she’s really taking advantage of her opportunities.”

Senior Krystal Goodman (2-0; 2.33 ERA) got the nod to start. Goodman gave up seven hits, two walks, struck out five batters in four innings and was relieved by freshman Jaala Torrence (0.00 ERA). This marked Torrence’s fourth relief appearance. She made quick work of Kent State’s offense in the fifth and sixth innings as she struck out three and allowed a single hit on 21 pitches.