Recap | Softball drop SEC series against top-5 opponent

Robert Cortez, Staff Reporter

No. 3 Alabama (33-7; 12-6 SEC) drops its second series in conference play to No. 4 Florida (32-6; 12-3 SEC), but ends the weekend on a high note. 


For the second time in conference play and third time overall this season the Alabama offense was unable to have a runner cross home plate. The Crimson Tide bats were only able to collect a trio of hits, two from senior K.B. Sides, off of Florida’s Elizabeth Hightower (15-2; 1.22 ERA). 

Aside from Sides, graduate student Bailey Hemphill was the only other Alabama batter to have success on the night, as she reached base all three times with a pair of walks and a hit. 

Alabama only recorded two at-bats with a runner in scoring position and Sides was the only player to reach third base, which came in the second inning. 

Alabama had success putting the ball in play against Hightower, as she was only able to record four strikeouts, but the Gators showed why it is the top-ranked defense in the conference as it played an errorless game and turned two double plays. 

Not only did Alabama suffer its sixth loss of the season, but graduate student Claire Jenkins suffered an injury in the top of the fourth to what appeared to be to her right knee. 

Despite taking the loss, junior Montana Fouts (13-3; 1.67 ERA) made a valiant effort in the circle. The Kentucky native gave up six hits, tallied 11 strikeouts and one hit with runners in scoring position, 1-for-8. However, the one hit proved to be the difference as it allowed Florida to plate its two runs in the top of the second inning and came from an unlikely source, the eight-hole batter. 


Defensive miscues and wild pitches haunted Alabama on Saturday afternoon, as the team allowed for seven unearned Florida runs to score, which would prove to be the difference in the 9-2 loss. The loss marks the first time the Crimson Tide has lost both the first and second game of a conference series this season. 

Florida captured the final lead of the game in the top of the fifth due to a one-out walk, and the Gator base runner came on to score because of three wild pitches in the inning. That was not the only Florida run to come off of a wild pitch; the Gators’ ninth and final run did as well. 

The final blow of the game came off the bat of Gator Kendyl Lindaman as she sent a no-doubt grand slam over the left field fence to grab an 8-2 Gator lead in the top of the sixth. However, Lindaman’s grand slam should have never been—as a pair of two out errors were committed prior to her at-bat. 

For the second straight game, the Alabama offense was held to less than five hits, and the team struck out five times. The Crimson Tide hit for an .167 mark on the game and did not have a runner touch third base after the fourth inning. 

Sides’ base hit in the fourth inning extended her hitting streak to eight games, which ties a career best that came last season. 

Sophomore Lexi Kilfoyl (11-3; 1.56 ERA) was the projected starter, however, remained on the sideline due to a “nagging injury,” which was stated on the broadcast. 


In 2019, Alabama went into Gainesville and swept the Gators and it looked to return the favor. However, a dominant outing by Fouts and a couple of uncharacteristic defensive miscues for the Florida defense allowed for the Crimson Tide to cap off the weekend with a 4-2 victory. 

“It was a great game and just a matter of grit, competitiveness and resiliency,” head coach Patrick Murphy said. 

Fouts (14-3; 1.68 ERA) gave the Florida offense on Friday night, but topped that performance on Sunday. As with Friday night, the junior gave up a pair of earned runs, but gave up three less hits, two less walks and tallied a double-digit strikeouts, 10, once more. Fouts struckout a pair of batters in three innings and struck out the side to close out the game. 

“It was almost graceful, the way she was throwing and had the ball moving,” Sides said. 

Offensively it was not another great outing for Alabama as it collected less than five hits, four, for the third straight game and only one run was earned. However, the ability to put “the ball into play when there were runners on” and take advantage of the trio of Florida errors allowed it to be more successful than the first two games of the series head coach Murphy said.

Half off the hits came off the bat of Hemphill, who reached base in all three plate appearances due to a walk. Sides’ lone hit came in the bottom half of the first inning to lead off the frame and would come around to score. With the single, Sides extended her hitting streak to a career-best nine games. 

The final hit of the day came from Alexis Mack, snapping a four game hitless streak in conference play. Murphy stated it was a relief for the graduate student.

“She was really happy, and it was a big monkey off of her back,” Murphy said. “Hopefully, that will jump start her for the rest of the year.”

The Alabama defense did not let its defense miscues from Saturday afternoon carry into game three. The team committed no errors, turned a double play and senior Maddie Morgan made a diving catch down the third base line.