TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Facing three kinds of big cats (two tigers and 1 wildcat) in SEC play is apparently not enough for the Alabama Crimson Tide Softball team. The No. 5 team in the nation took the field against the Georgia State Panthers Wednesday evening.
Krystal Goodman took the mound for the Tide and started the evening off right, with three easy outs to set the Tide’s offense up for an opportunity to take control of the game, which they took advantage of. Elissa Brown started the Tide off with a single and then stole second and third on Kaylee Tow’s at bat. Brown was also the first player to score for the Tide, running in after a Claire Jenkins single. Maddie Morgan was walked to set up bases loaded with two outs, but a Skylar Wallace single sent Jenkins and Bailey Hemphill into home. Bases were loaded again after Skylar stole second and a KB Sides walk, but the team was unable to capitalize and took a 3-0 lead into the 2nd inning.
Following a second inning that saw the Tide stretch its lead to 4-0, Georgia State made a pitching change, and the Crimson Tide offense was silenced.
The Panthers would not go down without a fight, and had a chance to tie the game in the fourth inning.
Alabama’s KB Sides was injured after attempting to dive for a foul ball. The Tide seemed somewhat rattled after the injury, as they uncharacteristically allowed back to back errors which scored one Georgia State runner and set two more up on 2nd and 3rd. Krystal Goodman and Claire Jenkins denied any further attempts at a comeback in that inning with a combination of strikeouts and good catching to retire the Panthers for the inning.
Elissa Brown led the Tide going 2-3 and driving in Sylar Wallace on a sacrifice squeeze to set up a 5-1 victory.
“It was a good overall performance, I kept everything simple tonight I think so I was just excited to play another game,” Brown said.
“The three runs in the first inning were the highlight for me,” said head coach Patrick Murphy following the victory, who was somewhat disappointed with the way his team’s offense performed following their first SEC series loss to South Carolina. “Other than that it was about a C-.”
Murphy made sure to also emphasize the positives of the game.
“Positive, Kloyee got a start, Davis played, got a hit, great at-bat, Caroline got an at-bat and Taylor Clark played third, so that’s the positives in a midweek game.”
Both Brown and Murphy are looking forward to the weekend series, as the Crimson Tide look to complete their seasonal sweep of the state of Georgia. Alabama hosts the Bulldogs with games on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.