By Sami Harb
Special to TideSports
After struggling for the majority of the game, Alabama softball’s bats broke through late but couldn’t do enough as the No. 10 Crimson Tide fell to No. 7 Florida State 3-1 Saturday at Rhoads Stadium at the Easton Bama Bash.
The loss meant a split in the pair of games for Alabama (9-2) against FSU (11-4).
It was a frustrating start at the plate for the Crimson Tide, as Alabama registered only one hit in the first five innings.
Alabama put the ball in play, but couldn’t get it to drop where it needed.
“Sometimes, you’ve just got to say that’s part of the game if you hit it hard and it just goes right at somebody,” Alabama sophomore Bailey Hemphill said. “You can’t steer the ball to go one way so if you hit it hard that’s all you can really ask for.”
In the sixth, there was finally a spark as Gabby Callaway recorded Alabama’s second hit of the before Sydney Booker removed the goose egg from the scoreboard with a single. However, on the scoring play, Carrigan Fain was tagged out in an attempt to advance to third, ending to the Tide’s brief momentum.
The Crimson Tide made one last attempt in the seventh as Kaylee Tow walked to start the inning and pinch runner KB Sides advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Carrigan Fain was then hit by a pitch and Booker singled to load the bases and give Alabama the opportunity. However, the Crimson Tide couldn’t capitalize as Caroline Hardy flew out to foul territory to end the game.
“We had bases loaded in the bottom of seventh and the winning run at the plate.The more they do that the sooner somebody is going to come through,” coach Patrick Murphy said. “When it happens again later down the season it’s not going to be a big deal. But right now it is a big deal because nobody’s done it yet.”
In her first start against a ranked opponent, Alabama freshman Madison Preston surrendered three runs on only five hits, including two solo homers.
“I thought she gave us a chance to win and that’s the thing I always ask for a starting pitcher,” Murphy said. “Really, (she threw) only two bad pitches, maybe, the two home runs.”
In Alabama’s first game of the afternoon, Alabama overcame a shaky start before taking control against Northern Iowa, eventually winning 11-3 in six innings.
Alabama concludes play at the Bama Bash on Sunday against Georgia State at 1:30 p.m.