Alabama softball wins series over Missouri behind three Montana Fouts appearances
Alabama softball ended the regular season with a series win over Missouri at Rhoads Stadium.
The No. 6 Crimson Tide (41-10, 16-8 SEC) fell to the No. 24 Tigers 3-2 in eight innings on Friday. Montana Fouts pitched a complete game with 14 strikeouts while allowing seven hits.
The Crimson Tide prevailed over the Tigers, 3-1, on Saturday. Abby Doerr hit a two-RBI single with two outs in the sixth inning to give Alabama the lead.
The series wrapped up with a 3-1 win for the Crimson Tide on Sunday against Missouri (33-19, 12-11). Ashley Prange had a three-run home run in the fourth inning, her second of the series, giving Alabama the lead.
The Crimson Tide locked in the No. 2 seed in the SEC Tournament in Gainesville, Florida. The Crimson Tide will start the tournament on Thursday (1:30 p.m., SEC Network) and play the winner of Wednesday's game between No. 7 Missouri and No. 10 Auburn (39-14, 11-13).
Hall of Fame:Alabama softball: Patrick Murphy had games to coach, but made time for Alabama Sports Hall of Fame
Kaylee Tow:Three things to know about Kaylee Tow before Alabama softball hosts Missouri
Alabama struggled to extend innings
In Friday's loss, Alabama struggled to get baserunners early, with the two hits going for home runs through four innings. When Crimson Tide players did get on base, they struggled to score; Alabama was 0-for-7 with runners on base.
"We just didn't continue innings," Alabama coach Patrick Murphy said after Friday's loss. "The most we had up to bat in one inning was five. We just have to have another person get on base. That's been the story all year long."
Alabama made some progress on Saturday, with Doerr'stwo-out sixth-inning single being the difference.
On Sunday, Alabama failed to score in each of the first two innings with runners on second and third. Prange's home run in the fourth seemed to be a deviation from the rest of the weekend.
Alabama limits damage
Alabama allowed the based to get loaded multiple times throughout the series and was able to avoid significant damage. On Friday, the situation allowed the winning run to be walked in.
On Saturday, Alex Salter had back-to-back strikeouts to end the threat. Fouts also got a strikeout to end the threat in the fifth inning.
Alabama didn't give Missouri many chances to take advantage of its 19 hits, as the Tigers went 0-for-20 with runners in scoring position.
Montana Fouts carries the load
Fouts pitched a complete game on Friday, throwing 140 pitches over the eight innings, but came in for relief on Saturday. She threw 2⅔ scoreless innings with six strikeouts and allowed one hit.
On Sunday, Fouts got the start again, going the distance with six strikeouts while allowing four hits. She threw more than 300 pitches on the weekend.
Alabama will need Fouts to replicate weekends like this going into the postseason with Lexi Kilfoyl limited or injured for the postseason.