TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – No. 16 Alabama came out hot, scoring in each of the first three innings to open its final home series with an upset win over LSU, 4-0.
The Tide freshmen made a statement against the Tigers, with all four Alabama runs coming across off of freshman RBIs.
Starting in the bottom of the first inning, with two outs and catcher Ally Shipman on base, freshman shortstop Kenleigh Cahalan blasted a two-run homer over the wall in right field, earning her seventh home run and 27th RBI of the season.
The Tide continued to roll in the second inning when freshman right fielder Larissa Preuitt hit a blooper single that LSU catcher Ali Newland overthrew to first.
The error by Newland allowed Preuitt to put on the jets and show off her speed to the fans, sprinting across the plate for an unofficial inside-the-park home run, giving Alabama a 3-0 lead.
“It was awesome, I don’t think I’ve ever had anything like that happen before,” Preuitt said.
“I was like if that stays fair I can probably get a hit, but honestly I didn’t know [Alabama head coach Patrick Murphy] was going to send me when I was rounding third and he just didn’t stop. It was cool to see how excited everyone got.”
The freshman plate composure continued to show in the bottom of the third when Marlie Giles punched an RBI single up the middle, bringing in Kristen White and Alabama’s fourth run of the night.
Alabama ace Montana Fouts kept the Tigers tamed the entire night, allowing just five hits, along with six strikeouts and zero earned runs. Fouts improves her season record to (19-8) while dropping her ERA to 1.43. She is now just seven strikeouts away from tying her previous season’s total.
After the game, Murphy discussed what the team needs to do to keep the momentum going.
“We need to get a good start from whoever it is tomorrow and then play really good defense,” Murphy said.
“I thought Cahalan played great defense, the double early in the game was huge, that was a momentum boost for us.”
Entering this series, Alabama and LSU were tied in the SEC standings at 10-8. With the win the Tide improve to (35-15, 11-8 SEC) while the Tigers fall to (37-12, 10-9 SEC).
Alabama is back in action tomorrow for game two of the three game series. Saturday’s first pitch is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. CT, while the final regular season game in Rhoads Stadium on Sunday is set for 11:30 a.m. CT.
Follow Alex Chasen on Twitter @Alex_Chasen.