How No. 3 Alabama softball closed out regular season with 10-game win streak
No. 3 Alabama softball (42-7, 18-6 SEC) ended the regular season with its sixth conference series win and fourth sweep of the year against No. 25 Ole Miss at Rhoads Stadium.
On Thursday, the Crimson Tide got hits from all nine starters to win 8-0. On Friday, Alabama used two-out hitting to win 11-7. On Saturday, a three-run home run by Kaylee Tow propelled Alabama to a 6-1 win.
"We were really good all weekend on the offensive side," said coach Patrick Murphy. "We have so many great hitters and smart baserunners with speed, and anytime you put the ball in play and make the other team make a play, sometimes it works in your favor."
Here are three things we learned:
Playing ahead and responding well
Since losing to Florida, the Crimson Tide ended the regular season with 10 straight wins. It has not trailed after a completed inning since the end of Game 2 in the Florida series.
Alabama fell behind or was tied just three times in the top of innings but rallied to tie or retake the lead in the bottom of those innings all three times during that span.
"The way we have responded has been great," said Murphy. "Anytime you take a lead is a good thing, but maintaining it is what is important."
HOME FOR POSTSEASON?:Alabama selected as regional host site for 2021 NCAA softball tournament
Hits, hits, hits
The Crimson Tide had 15 hits on Thursday, 16 on Friday and 10 on Saturday, 31 of which were singles. All nine starters earned a hit in each of the games Thursday and Friday and 13 of the 25 runs scored in the series came with two outs. The Crimson Tide scored two runs in each of the three first innings as well.
"At the beginning of the year we couldn't get a single run with two outs," said Murphy. "Hitting is contagious whether that is good or bad, and right now everyone is feeding off each other."
In 24 matchups against SEC opponents, the Crimson Tide lost six games, two series (Kentucky and Florida) and swept in four opponents (Auburn, Texas A&M, Georgia, Ole Miss).
The Alabama offense has eight batters hitting above .300 and ranks third in the league in batting average and fourth in on-base percentage. The pitching staff ranks third in ERA and is ranked first in strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Alabama will host the SEC Tournament at Rhoads Stadium beginning Tuesday at 6 p.m. CT. Wednesday and Thursday will have four games each day beginning at 11 a.m. CT. Friday will see semifinal action beginning at 3 p.m. CT. The championship game will begin at 5 p.m. on Saturday.