Alabama softball to host 23rd Easton Bama Bash

Javon Williams, Staff Reporter

This weekend, Feb. 18-20, No. 2 Alabama (4-0) will make its first appearance of the 2022 season at Rhoads Stadium. The Crimson Tide will host Evansville, No. 8 Virginia Tech and Middle Tennessee State in the 23rd annual Easton Bama Bash.

Last weekend Team 26 dominated in the Candrea Classic, which included an 11-0 run-rule win against No. 9 Arizona. Head coach Patrick Murphy said he was happy with the wins but still sees room for improvement before the first pitch this weekend.

“As a coach, I always want more walks and hit by pitches than strikeouts at the end of the year,” Murphy said. “This weekend the pitching is going to be better. We had a couple of three-pitch strikeouts, and that’s not acceptable either.”

Freshman Megan Bloodworth made her collegiate debut in Tucson, Arizona. In her first career at-bat, she hit a grand slam.

“When Bloodworth gets up with the bases loaded, first at-bat of her career, and she hits a grand slam. That’s pretty cool,” Murphy said. “Then, the next at-bat she hits a solo home run, which went farther than the grand slam.”

All in one weekend Bloodworth picked up seven RBIs and three home runs. 

“It was so exciting,” Bloodworth said. “There’s everyone telling you what they saw, and I think that’s what allowed me to hit the home run. They were telling me what they saw, it was like I already had an at-bat before I actually had an at-bat.”

Murphy said the teams coming to Tuscaloosa this weekend will be more aggressive on the basepaths than those that participated in the Candrea Classic. 

“Nobody tried to steal from us,” Murphy said. “I think this weekend there’s going to be a couple of teams that will.”


The Aces will come into this tournament undefeated. Last season they went 23-22 overall and 11-14 in the Missouri Valley Conference.

Senior pitcher Izzy Vetter is a player to watch as she struck out 199 batters last year, ranking 28th in the nation and third in the MVC.

Middle Tennessee

The Blue Raiders went 1-4 in their season opener last week. Against Cal Poly, they scored four runs, four RBIs and 11 hits.

Sophomore Amaya Harris had two RBIs, struck out three times and claimed a .438 batting average.

No. 8 Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech will be the second top-10 team the Crimson Tide will face in the young season. The Hokies will come to Tuscaloosa with a 5-0 record, including two wins against ranked SEC teams: No. 11 Missouri and No. 19 Kentucky.

“It’s going to be a battle,” Murphy said. “It’s going to feel like a super regional.”

The Hokies advanced to the NCAA Super Regional round for the second time in program history last season, but fell to UCLA. In the season-ending game against the Bruins, senior pitcher Keely Rochard allowed eight runs in 18 innings pitched and struck out 22 batters.

Rochard, alongside Alabama’s senior Montana Fouts, junior Lexi Kilfoyl and graduate student Kaylee Tow, was named to the 2022 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Watch List.

“Ms. Keely [Rochard] made a name for herself across the country,” Murphy said. “Then they have a freshman that’s very good as well. So, they have a one-two combination. You’re going to see a heck of a pitchers’ duel Friday afternoon and Saturday afternoon with two really good teams.”

Team 26

Murphy has sophomore Jaala Torrence starting in the circle for Alabama’s first game of the Easton Bama Bash against Evansville Friday afternoon. Torrence pitched a complete-game victory and struck out a career-high nine batters in the win over Southern Utah last weekend.

Fouts will be up to pitch in two of the five games this weekend, while the other games will go to redshirt freshman Alex Salter and junior Lexi Kilfoyl.

Catcher Abby Doerr is still being monitored by the staff following a minor knee injury, but may have the chance to play first base.

The first pitch of the Easton Bama Bash for the Crimson Tide will be against Evansville at 1:30 p.m. CT on Friday. The game can be watched on the ESPN app.