Fifth-ranked Alabama softball sweeps No. 8 LSU, Liberty at Easton Bama Bash to stay undefeated at 8-0

Brett Greenberg
The Tuscaloosa News

Alabama softball is 8-0 after an undefeated weekend at the Easton Bama Bash.

On Friday night, the Crimson Tide defeated Liberty 6-3 behind four innings of relief work by Lexi Kilfoyl.

Alabama used the long ball against Liberty for game one on Saturday, coming away with an 8-1 victory. Kilfoyl continued to keep opposing batters guessing, beating No. 9 LSU 5-2 in Saturday's second game.

The Crimson Tide completed the weekend sweep Sunday afternoon with a 13-5 run-rule victory over LSU. 

Here are three things we learned:

Kilfoyl leads studded rotation

The sophomore out of Land O’Lakes, Florida, leads the Crimson Tide in innings pitched and is tied for wins. 

In four appearances, Kilfoyl is 4-0 with 22 innings pitched, 22 strikeouts and a 0.32 earned run average. 

The two-time Florida Gatorade Player of the Year (2018-19) in high school was pitching at the ESPN Wide World of Sports when Alabama coach Patrick Murphy saw her first. 

“They were playing on baseball fields, so the backstop was far away,” said Murphy. “Every time she pitched it looked like she was throwing a Wiffle Ball. That’s what sold me.”

UA pitching coach Stephanie VanBrakle Prothro’s work with Kilfoyl the past couple of years has gotten her to where she is becoming dominant, Murphy added. 

“She’s got a drop ball, changeup and other pitches,” said Murphy. “It is very difficult to get under her pitch because it has a down spin and it disappears before you get a chance to hit it.“

Power and speed one through nine

Murphy has plenty to work with in his roster of 22, and it seems like he can’t go wrong with anyone he puts in the lineup. 

“Maddie (Morgan) only had one at-bat before tonight,” said Murphy. ”She could have played Debbie Downer, but she kept her head in the game and when she got her opportunity, she took advantage of it.”

The first six of the lineup seems to be set with KB Sides, Alexis Mack, Bailey Hemphill, Bailey Dowling, Kaylee Tow and Claire Jenkins, five of whom are seniors or graduate students. Elissa Brown, with her speed, serves as the double lead off in the nine hole.

The Crimson Tide blasted three home runs this weekend displaying power to all fields. 

On Senior day Saturday, Jenkins hit a three-run home run. 

“That was probably one of my favorite home runs,” said Jenkins. “I had a lot of friends and family here and I it was so fun to celebrate with them and my teammates.”

Tow added to her season total (2) with one of her own Saturday afternoon against Liberty. Tow who totaled five hits in her first three Easton Bama Bash appearances, had 11 in this year’s tournament.

Dowling hit her second home run of her career Sunday afternoon.

Alabama is outscoring opponents 19-1 in the first inning. 

Alabama's Taylor Clark fields and throws to first to record an out. Alabama hosted Liberty in the Easton Bama Bash Friday, Feb. 19, 2021, in Rhoads Stadium. [Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]

Crimson Tide defense is versatile

In eight games, Murphy has shown that his team truly is two-deep at nearly every position. 

“We’re have some really good athletes this year,” said Murphy. “People can mix and match and play all different positions."

In Saturday’s game against Liberty, the Alabama infield consisted of three different combinations through out the game.

“We had three different players at three different spots,” said Murphy. “We’re blessed in that aspect.”

Freshman Dowling has been a welcome addition to the lineup and has shown versatility and athleticism in the infield. Dowling has played second and shortstop. 

“Bailey is very athletic and has great body awareness,” said Murphy. “She makes plays that you lose games on.”

The Crimson Tide has committed just four errors this season.

What’s Next

The Crimson Tide will be back at Rhoads Stadium Wednesday against UAB at 6 p.m. 

Alabama will host Memphis, North Carolina and Troy in the Easton Crimson Classic starting Friday.