Whenever the University of Alabama softball team has what Patrick Murphy considers a good win, the head coach gives the lineup card to the player he believes most deserves it.
After Wednesday night’s 2-0 home victory over Southern Miss, sophomore Madi Moore earned the makeshift MVP award. She threw 95 pitches over the span of 6 1/3 innings, giving up just three hits.
“It’s been our key to success the whole year; whoever has been in the circle has given us a pretty good shot to win,” Murphy said. “Tonight, she did that.”
Facing 23 batters, Moore struck out four and walked two. Murphy noted Moore’s change-up was on point against the Golden Eagles, which ended up being the cause of a number of strikes, and she had a handful of defensive plays that made a difference. There were a couple of ground balls that came her way, some that appeared rather tricky to field for a lefty.
Overall, it was a solid game for Moore.
“She should be sky-high,” Murphy said.
That high should be a familiar feeling. More than a week ago, Moore also shutout UAB, which was another mid-week home game. The team wanted to give her another shot.
It paid off.
“I just think she has a lot of confidence in herself right now, and that’s what we need as a team,” sophomore Reagan Dykes said.
Once Moore did enough damage to Southern Miss, senior Sydney Littlejohn relieved her and closed out the game without a single hit. Moore finished with a 3.22 era. Littlejohn had a 0.98.
Offensively, the Crimson Tide had just the two runs, regardless of its six hits and nine runners left on base. Murphy preaches to the team to do whatever it takes to get a runner in, but only one cashed in on that advice.
During the third inning, sophomore Merris Schroder was the first to cross home plate after Dykes’ flied out to left field. There was the sacrifice Murphy was referring to. Schroder had been on third.
The Crimson Tide’s only other run didn’t require giving up an out in the process. Senior Chandler Dare singled up the middle and Dykes scored from second.
Although Alabama would’ve preferred more movement around the bases, its work in the field was enough that it wasn’t necessary.
“If the other team never scores, we never lose,” Murphy said.