How No. 7 Kentucky came back to steal a top 10 series from No. 3 Alabama softball

Brett Greenberg
The Tuscaloosa News

No. 3 Alabama (26-4, 6-3 SEC) lost its first SEC series of the year, dropping the final two games to No. 7 ranked Kentucky behind a costly error in the eighth inning in Lexington, Kentucky, on Monday.

On Saturday, the Crimson Tide powered its way to an 11-6 victory. But Alabama fell to the Wildcats 4-2 on Sunday. In Monday's deciding game, Alabama fell in extra innings, 5-4, after being up 4-0.

Here are three things we learned from the weekend:

Errors are concerning

In Alabama's two losses, the defense committed five errors. The Crimson Tide committed back-to-back errors in the bottom of the first inning on Saturday, allowing the Wildcats to score first and not give up the lead. 

In the bottom of the eighth inning on Monday, a throwing error allowed the eventual winning run to advance to third with less than two outs. 

Alabama left fielder tracks down a hit along the line. The Crimson Tide opened a weekend SEC softball series with Tennessee Friday, March 19, 2021, at Rhoads Stadium. [Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]

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Offense displaying power

Alabama’s top three hitters – KB Sides, Alexis Mack and Bailey Hemphill – combined to go 12-for-33 (.363) on the weekend. 

Hemphill continues to climb up the program's all-time career RBI (211) and home run (56) leader list with her performance this weekend. Hemphill is two home runs out of second place and four RBIs short of passing Kaila Hunt for second place. 

Hemphill is one shy of the Alabama career walk record (198) after the Kentucky series. 

Elissa Brown went 4-for-4 in Saturday's win, with five runs in the series. Her performance was the first four-hit game of her career and the first since Hemphill and Kaylee Tow did it in 2019. 

In her first full weekend back (injury), Sides totaled four hits, one RBI and two runs. She hit a career-high two doubles in Sunday's game and added another Monday.

Sophomore catcher Abby Doerr hit her first career home run on Wednesday night in a win against North Alabama. 

Pitchers struggle at points 

Lexi Kilfoyl (10-2, 0.82 ERA) picked up her first two losses of the year on Sunday and Monday. Kilfoyl gave up four earned runs in the losses, the same number she had given up all year. On Sunday, Kilfoyl gave up back-to-back home runs in the top of the seventh inning in relief.

Montana Fouts (10-2, 1.52 ERA) surrendered four earned runs on Saturday and two on Monday.

Bailey Hemphill congratulates Elissa Brown after she scored a run against Mississippi State Wednesday, March 3, 2021, in Rhoads Stadium. [Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]

What's next

Alabama hosts Texas A&M in a three-game series. Thursday and Saturday's games will be televised on the SEC Network, while Friday will be streamed on SEC Network+.