There’s a great line from the movie Bull Durham that seems appropriate for Alabama pitcher Lexi Kilfoyl.
Bulls pitcher Nuke Laloosh pauses on the mound and says, ‘don’t think, just throw.’
Kilfoyl was dominant for most of the seven innings she pitched against Arizona on Friday night, but one walk and a base hit was the difference in a 2-1 Alabama loss to No. 7 Arizona in the Crimson Classic at Rhoads Stadium.
“I was just overthinking things,” Kilfoyl said. “I kind of held up a little bit. For the future I just need to and trust myself and know what I’m doing and trust my defense behind me.”
No. 8 Alabama won the first game of the Classic, an 11-3 decision over UT Arlington. The Crimson Tide gets a rematch with both teams Saturday with a 1:30 p.m. game against UT Arlington and a 4 p.m. game with Arizona.
Kilfoyl, a freshman, tied her season high of seven strikeouts and allowed just four hits. She did walk four batters.
“The biggest thing was the walk in the eighth spot,” Alabama head coach Patrick Murphy said of the seventh-inning walk by Kilfoyl to Wildcat hitter Jenna Kean.
A pinch runner stole second and reached third on a groundout and with two outs Alyssa Palomino singled for the go-ahead run.
“That was the only mistake was the walk in the seventh,” Murphy said. “She will learn from it. She pitched a really good game. I don’t think they got one fly out the whole game. It was either a strikeout or a groundout, which is the name of her game.”
Alabama’s run came courtesy of Skylar Wallace, who is on a hitting tear the past eight games. She tripled to right field and scored off a KB Sides double in the first inning.
She went 5-for-7 in two games Friday with two doubles, a triple and four runs scored. She also added a stolen base. In her past eight games she’s reached base 13 times in 14 at-bats with a hit or a walk.
“I wasn’t counting, honestly,” Wallace said of her hit total Friday. “Right now I’m just keeping it simple. I feel like everything is working and I’m just seeing the ball and hitting the ball and not trying to do too much.”
She and Sides were the big hitters in the 11-3 win against UT Arlington. Both had three hits, scored three runs and Sides knocked in three runs.
Montana Fouts got the win against UT Arlington, allowing three runs on seven hits in five innings.
Reach Edwin Stanton at 205-722-0226, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter, @edwinstantonu2