Ole Miss scored 4 runs in the bottom of the seventh to take the series finale against No. 14 Alabama 5-4 on Sunday.
The inning started with back-to-back home runs by the Rebels off Jaala Torrence, which lead to Montana Fouts coming in for her third straight game with the score 4-3. Two hits and two runs later, Alabama was heading back to the dugout with a loss.
Fouts was the losing pitcher on the day, making her record 22-9 on the year. She gave up two runs off two hits, while only collecting one out in the seventh. Alex Salter started the game for Alabama, and she gave up just one run on a home run in her four innings of work.
Alabama got the scoring started in the second inning with a Kali Heivilin single to score Emma Broadfoot. After Ole Miss tied it in the bottom of the inning, Alabama scored two in the fourth on a Broadfoot RB groundout and a Heivilin home run. The fifth inning was highlighted by a Laissa Preuitt RBI single to put Alabama a head 4-1 before the seventh inning collapse.
The loss puts Alabama in fifth place in the SEC, and now out of the double-bye spot for the upcoming SEC Tournament. It also adds to the growing concerns of the pitching staff outside of Fouts. Alabama has won just two SEC games where Fouts did not start, and Salter started both of those games.
Needing Fouts to come in and pitch on a third day in a row puts an emphatic stamp on the issue, and with tournament games coming up, there is no confidence that anyone else can help lead Alabama into a title charge.
The one positive from this game was the offense for Alabama. It was a double-digit hit day for the Crimson Tide and the team looked comfortable at the plate. There was a lot of hard contact early in the game, and all but two starters collected a hit.
Alabama finishes the season with a record of 38-17 on the year, and 14-10 in the SEC. It marks the first time since 2018 that Alabama lost 10 or more SEC games in a season, and just the second time in that span that Alabama has not won 40 regular season games.
With fifth place in the SEC Tournament meaning that there is only a single-bye, Alabama will have to most likely pitch Montana Fouts and see how far she can carry the team on the mound.