Softball looks to build momentum against No. 15 Georgia

Blake Byler, Staff Reporter

Alabama softball has turned things around, but it will be tested this weekend at Rhoads Stadium.

No. 4 Crimson Tide will take on No. 15 Georgia in a three-game weekend series starting Saturday.

Alabama is coming off an 8-0 run-rule victory over Alabama State on Tuesday. Redshirt freshman pitcher Alex Salter threw the first no-hitter of her career. Alabama started seven freshmen, resting many seniors such as Montana Fouts, Kaylee Tow, Ally Shipman and Ashley Prange.

In mid-March, Alabama went through a slump, losing four games in eight days. Those losses came against nationally ranked teams in LSU, Florida State and Kentucky, but nonetheless the losses were uncharacteristic for the Crimson Tide.

Over a week and a half removed from Alabama’s last loss, the Crimson Tide look to have regained their confidence. Head coach Patrick Murphy suggested that’s thanks in part to a grand slam against South Carolina last weekend.

“[KJ] Haney’s pinch-hit grand slam, I don’t know if it put a fire under us or what, but the next day was 10-2. Sunday was 6-1, but we had 13 hits, so it could’ve been worse. [Alabama State] was 8-0,” Murphy said. “During the middle of the first South Carolina game, we challenged our players to really get after it, and I think they did. Obviously, we won the series and swept them, but I saw a little more fight in them than I had seen all year.”

The fight Murphy saw from his team will need to be on display this weekend. Alabama will get a real test against a team with a winning SEC record. Georgia sits at 30-5 overall, with a 4-2 record in the SEC. 

The Bulldogs are a top-15 opponent as well. Although Alabama holds an undefeated record against teams in the top 15, the challenge will be imminent.

“We’ll be watching a lot of film. It’s another really good team in the SEC, everybody is capable of beating anybody,” Murphy said.

Many Alabama batters are having great seasons. Among those batting above .300 are Shipman, Prange, and freshmen Dallis Goodnight and Megan Bloodworth.

Tow, however, will be one of the most crucial keys against the Bulldogs..

With some incredible batting, Tow has raised her average to .289 after going 7-for-11 last weekend, including five RBIs. Tow’s ability to get on base and bring runners home makes Alabama an even more threatening offensive team.

Alabama will have a national audience watching them this weekend. Every game of the Georgia series will be nationally televised, on either ESPN2 or the SEC Network. 

Game one of the series will be on ESPN2 on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. CT.