By: Adam Baranovsky
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. –It was a bittersweet morning for Alabama during Saturday’s 6-1 victory against in-state foe, Auburn, as it was Alabama’s star pitcher Montana Fouts’ senior day in the first game of the doubleheader.
The capacity crowd at Rhoads stadium did not seem to bother Fouts as she recorded her incredible 17th complete game of the season in front of her friends and family, picking up her 18th win of the season behind seven strikeouts, just three hits, and one earned run on 96 pitches.
Fouts was reminiscent of her time at Alabama.
“I’m extremely grateful everyday for this place. This is my family, and I’m really grateful that I’m going to love and miss something so much as I am going to when this is over,” Fouts said
Head coach Patrick Murphy praised Fouts for her performance and applauded everything that she has done for the softball program during all her years in Tuscaloosa.
“It’s a very reciprocal relationship between the fans and her. Young, old, and in between she can speak to anyone of any age, not many people can do that. She was raised the right way and her demeanor is incredible, she’s very including, and she’s just the perfect face for college softball,” Murphy said.
The offense was clicking on all cylinders in game one, led by Ally Shipman who went 3-3 with a home run and three RBIs to lead the way for Alabama. She began with an RBI double in the first inning, continued with a solo home-run in the fourth inning, and finally an RBI in the fifth to close out her terrific game. Ashley Prange and Bailey Dowling help break the game open for Alabama in the bottom of the fifth inning as well, each recording RBI doubles.
Six runs ties Alabama’s season-high in SEC play this season, after previously recording six runs in their last SEC series against Mississippi State last weekend.
Alabama improves to 34-13 (10-6 SEC) and looks to win their fourth straight SEC series win later today or tomorrow morning at 11:30 a.m. C.T. on ESPN at Rhoads Stadium.
Alabama vs Auburn Game 2
The second game was a bit of a different story for Alabama, as they fell to rival Auburn by the score of 5-1 at Rhoads Stadium.
In another capacity crowd, Alabama came out of the gate struggling defensively with two errors and two missed throws leading to four early runs for the Tigers.
Alex Salter made the start on the mound for Alabama and went four innings without actually giving up an earned run, but Auburn still managed to get four unearned on Salter.
Jaala Torrence came in in the fifth inning to replace Salter and gave up home run while striking out two in three innings pitched despite the loss.
However, head coach Patrick Murphy was pointing out how Alabama’s defense struggled in the second game.
“Four unearned runs, and only one earned run. You just can’t give a good team five outs in an inning like we did in the first inning. It just comes down to us not giving them extra outs,” Murphy said.
Offensively, it was freshman sensation Kenleigh Cahalan who hit an RBI single in the bottom of the first inning to secure her 25th RBI of the season, good enough for third on the team. Allie Shipman continued to carry over her dominant OBP by going reaching base twice on fielding errors. Besides that, the Crimson Tide offense was virtually shut down by Auburn ace and All-SEC Maddie Penta, who went the whole way.
Alabama falls to 34 -14 (10-7 SEC) and will face Auburn tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. C.T. on ESPN in the series finale at Rhoads Stadium, as the team looks to win their fourth straight SEC series.