It had been too long.
The Alabama softball team hadn’t won the first two games of an SEC series all year. It hadn’t won three league games in a row either.
The 17th-ranked Crimson Tide had the opportunity to do both Saturday at Rhoads Stadium and made the most of it with a 10-4 victory over ninth-ranked Texas A&M.
After taking the first game against the Aggies (40-14, 13-10 SEC) on Friday, Alabama (31-17, 11-12 in SEC play) can sweep the series with a win in Sunday’s 1:30 p.m. finale.
Alabama brought out the big bats to pound A&M. Freshman Kaylee Tow hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the first inning to tie it after the Aggies had scored two in the top of the inning. UA hit back-to-back home runs as sophomore slugger Bailey Hemphill followed with a solo shot to give UA a lead it would never relinquish.
“Tow’s home run might have been the biggest hit of the year for us, really,” Alabama coach Patrick Murphy said, “because she kind of set the tone for us offensively.
“After that we had really good at-bats, a couple of little pop-ups here and there but for the most part I thought everybody hit the ball hard.”
Catcher Reagan Dykes led off the bottom of the second inning with her own solo home run to right field to make it 4-2.
Alabama was feeling it.
“We just haven’t put it all together,” Dykes said. “We’ve had good pitching or good defense but no hitting or vice-versa, but now it’s the end of the year, it’s the time to peak and I think that’s what our team is doing. We’re finally putting all those things together and we’re coming out with some good wins.”
A Crimson Tide team that has sometimes allowed opponents to come back in games after getting early leads didn’t do so this time. A&M got a run in the third, but Alabama scored three in the fourth and three more in the sixth, beating up three different Aggie pitchers along the way.
Shortstop Sydney Booker hit a two-RBI triple to right-center field in the fourth and was thrown out at the plate when Murphy waved her around to try to stretch it into an inside-the-park home run.
“I got greedy,” the coach said. “I shouldn’t have done that.”
Booker poked a single through the left side of the infield to drive in two more runs in the sixth, giving her four RBIs on the day.
The two wins over A&M came on the heels of a victory at sixth-ranked Georgia in the finale of last weekend’s series.
“We’ve just got a lot of momentum going right now,” Booker said. “We’re really all stepping up at the plate. It takes all of us and it’s been all of us. We’re picking it up at the right time.”
Courtney Gettins (12-4) gave up four runs (only two of which were earned) on 11 hits with two strikeouts and no walks for the win. A&M starter Samantha Show (11-5) allowed four run in one inning to take the loss.
Reach Tommy Deas at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 205-722-0224.