Alabama softball sweeps first fall weekendBy Cody Estremera | 10/10/2016 4:35pm
Saturday marked the start of fall games for the Alabama softball team. In the first set of double headers the Crimson Tide defeated Middle Tennessee State by scores of 6-0 and 13-0. In the weekend finale Alabama beat Spring Hill 12-1 and 12-0.
“I was just really pleased with all four freshmen and all three pitchers,” coach Patrick Murphy said. “Yesterday we didn’t walk a batter, which is the first time in school history on opening weekend. We’ve only had two weeks of practice, so as the games go on the at bats get better.”
The freshman class has already shown that they can help a team that went to the college world series a year ago.
Freshman Bailey Hemphill said that she was a little nervous in the first game, but after the first inning she was able to settled in. By her second at bat she settled in and hit her first college home run over the center field wall for a grand slam. She said the key was just staying calm until the ball went over the wall.
Other true freshman, Elissa Brown, created all kinds of problems for the Badgers, as she stole three bases in the games on Sunday, and beat out a couple of groundballs that turned into infield hits.
“I couldn’t be any prouder of our freshmen,” Chandler Dare said. “Their first weekend out here, and they really showed out. They add in all aspects, power hitting, speed and great fielders. They have come in and put on a show. It was really fun to watch them.”
According to Murphy the freshmen add value by being the types of kids they are with regards to their character, academics and what they do on the field. All four of them produced this weekend and he’s excited to see what they can do the next time they get onto the field.
In both Sunday games Alabama started off slow. In the first game, the score was close until Hemphill’s grand slam. In the second game Dare started off the scoring with a two-run inside the park homerun, which was the game’s only score till the fourth inning.
In both games the big inning for the Crimson Tide was the fifth inning. In the first game the team scored six runs to win by mercy rule. It put up eight runs in the fifth in the second game to finish the sweep on a mercy rule win. In total, Alabama outscored their opponents 33-1 this weekend, and the lone run allowed was unearned.
“Pitching and defense should be constant,” Murphy said. “The pitchers went right after hitters and our defense played really well. Everybody gets a shot, so it’s a different lineup every game. We do it that way so they [the players] can’t get comfortable. We want them to start feeling pressure no matter where they are in the lineup.”
Alabama gets back on the field next Saturday when Alabama State comes to Tuscaloosa to play a double header.