Alabama softball's Lexi Kilfoyl throws perfect game to close out series win over Georgia
No. 4 Alabama softball picked up a series win over 15th-ranked Georgia at Rhoads Stadium, highlighted by Lexi Kilfoyl's first career perfect game in Monday's finale.
"My drop was going right, the curve felt good and (pitching) coach Steph (VanBrakle Prothro) was calling all the right pitches at all the right times," said Kilfoyl. "I noticed in the third inning, but I kept the thoughts out of my head and got it done."
The Crimson Tide (31-5, 8-4 SEC) beat the Bulldogs (31-7, 5-4 SEC) in the final two games 9-3 and 9-0 after falling on Saturday 5-3. A six-run sixth inning on Sunday and six run fifth inning Monday paved way to both victories, with the series finale win coming via the mercy rule in six innings. It marked Alabama's third consecutive SEC series win.
"All the credit to Lexi, it was supposed to be a group effort tonight," said coach Patrick Murphy. "I told the team we were going to throw a wrinkle in tonight and go with her to start, and it worked out."
Alabama's 2012 national championship team was honored ahead of Saturday's matchup, and all three games were announced as sold out bringing the total to 12 sellouts.
FIRST SEC SERIES WIN:No. 3 Alabama softball takes Kentucky series but can't sweep Wildcats
FIRST SEC SERIES SWEEP:How a pinch-hit grand slam powered Alabama softball to series sweep at South Carolina
Here are three things we learned:
More Lexi, less Montana
Lexi Kilfoyl (7-2, 2.00 ERA) picked up her seventh and eighth complete games of the season over two starts (13⅔ innings pitched). Kifloyl struck out eight Sunday, a season high, but set a new high with 10 on Monday. On Saturday, Kilfoyl pitched two outs of relief with a strikeout.
Montana Fouts (15-2, 2.00 ERA) suffered her second loss of the season Saturday, but picked up her 37th career 10-plus strikeout appearance, her eighth of the year.
"We (Fouts and Kilfoyl) have gone through the struggle together," said Kilfoyl. "We're so alike and so different, and we use each other for someone to lean on."
More power and Prange
Alabama added three more home runs in the series bringing the season total to 32. The Crimson Tide homered 41 times in 2021.
Ally Shipman hit her team-leading sixth on Saturday, while Jenna Johnson hit a sixth-inning, go-ahead, two-run home run on Sunday, her fourth of the year. In the finale, Shipman hit a three-run home run to give Alabama the run-rule victory.
Johnson picked up her ninth multi-hit game of the season while Shipman picked up her team-leading 14th multi-RBI game of the year in the series. Bailey Dowling recorded her fourth multi-hit game in the finale. Nine different batters recorded a hit during Sunday's win, while eight scored a run or more.
Ashley Prange's 11-game hitting streak came to an end. She was 14-for-33 (.424) with 10 runs scored, five RBIs and a home run during her streak.
No quit, atop the SEC
Alabama was in eighth place following the opening SEC series loss to LSU in Baton Rouge. Since then, roughly a month ago, Alabama is in first place in the conference after winning seven of its last eight games overall.
The Crimson Tide trailed for the first 10⅔ innings of the series before tying the game 3-3 in the fourth inning Sunday.
The Crimson Tide's matchup with Jacksonville State in Albertville, postponed last week, is scheduled for Wednesday at 6 p.m..
Alabama travels to Gainesville, Florida, for a three games series against the Gators beginning Saturday , April 9 on ESPN2.
Reach Brett Greenberg at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow @74talk on Twitter.