By: Braden Freedman
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – With Alabama’s Montana Fouts and Auburn’s Maddie Penta matched up, it was certain that runs would be scored sparingly, as the Auburn Tigers defeated the Crimson Tide 3-1.
The crowd at Rhoads Stadium was electric as Coach Murphy said he “couldn’t have asked for a better crowd” as Tide Softball fans were hoping for a series win.
The first two innings were highlighted by great pitching and defense. Alabama Left Fielder Jenna Johnson robbed an extra base hit away from Lindsey Garcia by crashing into the wall. Johnson has made a habit of highlight reel plays against the wall and when asked about it she said “Its just the give me the ball mentality, I wanted to be out there and catch everything, especially against a team like Auburn.”
In the third inning, the Auburn bats got going as Carlee McCondichie hit a solo home run into the right field corner off Fouts that gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead. Auburn pitcher Maddie Penta had a no-hit bid going until in the fourth inning. Coach Murphy before the fourth said he told his team “to look for the hard stuff first because when you get to two strikes she’s throwing a-lot of changeups” His advice worked as Jenna Johnson singled and eventually scored on a fielders choice off the bat of Bailey Dowling tying the game at 1.
Fouts continued to deal as she struck out 11 batters total, and bounced back from the homer back in the third inning. but in the sixth the Tigers strung a few hits together with Bri Ellis, and Denver Bryant coming up clutch with the final two runs of the game.
In the 7th the tide had runners on and were threatening to score, but came up short and the Tigers took the game and series. Coach Patrick Murphy is optimistic about the teams future after dropping the series as he believes that “our best game has yet to come.”
The Tide have the week to prepare for their matchup against LSU and are looking to finish the season strong.