What: Alabama softball
Where: Rhoads Stadium
UA Friday: vs. UT Arlington at 4 p.m., vs. Arizona at 6 p.m.
UA Saturday: vs. UT Arlington at 1:30 p.m., vs. Arizona at 4 p.m.
UA Sunday: vs. McNeese State at 1:30 p.m.
Radio: All Alabama games on 93.3 FM
Alabama fans got to see the Crimson Tide softball team in action at home for the first time this season.
The usual suspects stepped up and played well – Bailey Hemphill, Skylar Wallace, Montana Fouts.
But there were also some new faces that made contributions in a five-game sweep at the Bama Bash at Rhoads Stadium.
That makes Patrick Murphy a tad bit happy.
“We run-ruled four of the five and Bailey really wasn’t one of the major contributors. I thought that was one of the best stats of the weekend,” Murphy said.
“The key that surprised me this weekend was Jenna Johnson. I think she had three doubles in a row between two different games. Might have been the first extra-base hits of her career, and they were a shot to right-center and a couple down the line.”
The Crimson Tide is back in action this weekend for the Crimson Classic and opens with two games Friday against UT Arlington and Arizona.
Johnson wasn’t the only big star last weekend.
Wallace was the tournament MVP, leading the team with nine runs scored and 12 RBIs. KB Sides led the team with a .667 average, going 6-for-9 with six runs scored and eight RBIs.
Maddie Morgan broke loose with a six-RBI performance against the Nittany Lions highlighted a productive week at the plate, driving in at least one run in four of the five games.
“KB Sides was awesome, Skylar Wallace was terrific,” Murphy said. “Maddie Morgan I think had 10 RBIs, Skylar had 12. KB, seemed like every time she got out there it was second and third or bases loaded and she got a hit or a RBI sac fly. (Alexis) Mack was awesome.”
After a rough start to the season Fouts appears to be getting back on track. The SEC Freshman of the Year started the season 0-2 but has bounced back with 2-0 record this past weekend.
“She’s hitting her spots a little bit better,” Murphy said. “She could still get ahead of some batters some more, first-pitch strikes were really her thing last year. She’s a little off this year, but I thought she was much better.”
Part of that rough start had to do with the competition Alabama faced. The Crimson Tide took on top-10 teams Florida State, Washington and UCLA and No. 16 Oklahoma State. Alabama won just one of those matchups (Washington).
“I’m sitting there on the flight home from Tampa thinking, ‘I hope I didn’t overdo it,’ because sometimes there’s years where we face like for pitchers of the year in the opening weekend and our batting average is like .110. That takes a while to recover,” Murphy said. “I think we had two games where everybody in the lineup was on base at least once. That hasn’t happened for a while this early in the season, you know, maybe in in April and May, and it was back to back. It was fun to watch.”
Reach Edwin Stanton at 205-722-0226, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter, @edwinstantonu2