How No. 3 Alabama softball bounced back to take series from No. 21 Tennessee

Brett Greenberg
The Tuscaloosa News

No. 3 Alabama rallied to win the final two games in a weekend series against No. 21 Tennessee.

The Volunteers took advantage of Crimson Tide errors taking the opener 4-3. But Alabama (24-2, 5-1 SEC) responded Saturday with a 7-1 win and then Sunday a 3-0 series-clinching victory. 

Here are three things we learned from the weekend:

1-2 punch bearing down under pressure

After suffering her second loss of the season Friday, Alabama pitcher Montana Fouts (10-2) responded Sunday with her fourth shutout of the season (eight strikeouts). Lexi Kilfoyl picked up her 11th win of the season and pitched her fourth shutout Saturday. 

The 1-2 punch for Alabama softball coach Patrick Murphy leads the country in wins/losses (21-2), ranks first in strikeouts and third in ERA. 

On Saturday, Tennessee had six runners in scoring position but only managed one run. On Sunday, the Volunteers had three runners in scoring position but failed to take advantage. 

Alabama starting pitcher Montana Founts gives high fives after completing and inning against Tennessee. The Crimson Tide opened a weekend SEC softball series with Tennessee Friday, March 19, 2021, at Rhoads Stadium. [Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]

HOW ALABAMA CAN WIN THE SEC: Six things No. 4 Alabama softball needs to do to win the SEC starting this weekend

Bench on alert; staying ready

Freshman Bailey Dowling suffered a non-contact injury trying to cover first base on Saturday. Dowling left the game and did not return for the weekend. Murphy says she will get an MRI on Monday.

Sophomore Savannah Woodard went 2-for-4 with a run. In her seventh start on Sunday, Woodard got the first Crimson Tide hit of the game and added a run in the fifth with aggressive baserunning.

Senior KB Sides returned from her injury suffered against Liberty earlier in the season. Sides went 2-for-5 with two runs and an RBI combined on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, Sides used a nine-pitch walk to score the third run in the fifth.

Errors, Errors, Errors

In the one-run loss Friday, the Crimson Tide committed three errors. On Saturday, they committed one. They currently rank 54th in the nation with 22 errors and a .970 fielding percentage.

The Crimson Tide committed an error in its only loss of the season before this weekend (South Alabama; March 7). 

On Sunday, the Crimson Tide committed no errors.

The Crimson Tide opened a weekend SEC softball series with Tennessee Friday, March 19, 2021, at Rhoads Stadium. Bailey Dowling hugs Savannah Woodard before the game. [Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]

What's Next

The Crimson Tide hosts North Alabama on Wednesday at Rhoads Stadium.

Alabama will travel to No. 9 Kentucky for a three-game series next weekend (Saturday-Monday).