Georgia Tech at No. 4 Alabama
When: Wednesday, 6:30 p.m.
Where: Rhoads Stadium
Records: Alabama 33-1, Georgia Tech 22-12
TV: SEC Network
Radio: 93.3 FM
It had to happen at some point.
The Alabama softball team lost its first game of the 2019 season this past weekend, ending a 33-game win streak, the longest in the nation.
“I had some guy write condolences to me,” Alabama head coach Patrick Murphy said of Alabama’s 4-3 loss to Texas A&M on Sunday.
While some Crimson Tide fans may be upset the streak is over, Alabama and Murphy are focused on Wednesday’s game with Georgia Tech.
“It was really fun and a great experience to have a new school record and SEC record,” Alabama first baseman Kaylee Tow said. “To be a part of that was a lot of fun.”
“We are just excited to come out here every day and try to win every single game and to win 33 games in a row is just crazy. We are taking it game by game and that’s how we have done it the whole season.”
While it was fun to be part of a perfect season, losing is a new experience for the Crimson Tide newcomers. The plan now is to move forward.
“For the new kids this is their first loss,” Murphy said. “So we are going to talk about resiliency. I told them that for 33 games things went our way. Then the softball gods caught up with us and they got a couple of calls and we made a couple of mistakes…and that’s what happens.”
“The thing is to do something different. Find a way to come back and get a win.”
The Crimson Tide, ranked No. 4 in the USA Today/NFCA and ESPN.com/USA rankings, has enough offensive firepower to win in the SEC, but generating it consistently will be key. In two SEC series Alabama has scored 28 (Missouri) and 27 (Texas A&M) total runs, scoring more than 10 runs in four games. In the each of the other two games, however, the Crimson Tide put up just three runs.
With 10 SEC teams ranked in the top 25, including three in the top 10, Alabama can’t afford to take a day off on offense.
“There were four games in the SEC last year where we lost the series, 2-1, by one run. It’s not some big thing we’ve got to fix. It’s getting a hit – one hit.”
There is reason for Murphy to be optimistic. Bailey Hemphill is leading the nation in RBIs (51) and is tied for fourth in home runs (15). Tow, the leadoff hitter, has reached base in 15 straight games and leads the nation in walks (38) and leads the SEC in slugging percentage (1.188).
Alabama has scored 249 runs, which ranks third nationally, and also leads the SEC with 54 home runs, which is fifth nationally.