By: Cian Loher

In the first of two games on Friday, the Alabama Crimson Tide offense exploded against Longwood. After a 3-run, no-hit win over Villanova on Thursday, the Tide offense put up 13 runs in a 5-inning run-rule win.

Despite Kenleigh Cahalan’s solo home run in the first inning, almost all of the Alabama offense came from the bottom of the order. 8-hole hitter Kali Heivilin had one of her best games in an Alabama uniform.

Heivilin had a career-best 5 RBIs on a 3-run home run in the fourth and a 2-run double in the fifth.

Nine-hole hitter Lauren Johnson (freshman) made her first career start in this one, going 3-3 with a double, 2 stolen bases, and an RBI.

“Lauren has improved as much as anyone on the team so far this year. I might already vote her most improved from start to finish,” said Alabama head coach Patrick Murphy on Johnson.

In that big 5th inning, the Alabama bench came alive. Pinch hitters Emma Broadfoot, Kat Grill, and Lauren Esman all combined for 5 RBIs.

“Our offense is process-oriented this year, we are not looking at results. A big point of emphasis is doing our job with runners on base,” said Murphy on the offense.

On the other side of the ball, starting pitcher Jaala Torrence recorded her first win of the season. She only pitched 2.1 innings, having some trouble with walks, but she did enough to keep runs off the board.

Behind Torrence, Alea Johnson and Lauren Esman did fantastic jobs keeping the Longwood offense quiet. Unlike last night, Alabama only had two strikeouts in this one. Pitchers did a good job at letting their defense go to work.


Game 2

In the second game on Friday, Alabama took on tournament-host Georgia Tech and fended off a late rally to secure the 3-1 victory. In three games this season, the Crimson Tide pitching staff has only allowed 1 run.

Highly touted freshman starting pitcher Jocelyn Briski picked up the win, pitching a complete game. Briski’s final line: 7 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 5 K. Briski showed tremendous poise working through loud innings all game.

The defense was also spectacular behind her. In the 4th inning, Jenna Johnson showed off her defensive prowess with a tremendous leaping grab to hold off a Georgia Tech rally.

Later in the game, the Yellow Jacket offense started to find a rhythm before Briski slammed the door with a 1-6-3 double play.

As for the offensive side of the ball, the Crimson Tide was able to find much-needed hits with runners in scoring position. Abby Duchsherer, Kali Heivilin, and Lauren Johnson all tallied run-scoring doubles.

Abby Duchsherer was moved up to the 3-hole in the lineup and it seemed to pay off for coach Murphy.

“Abby is going to be in a big RBI spot today. We needed production from the meat of the order, so I decided to move things around,” said coach Murphy.


Up Next

Alabama continues play tomorrow in the final day of the Buzz Classic. They will face off against Longwood at 12:30 pm and Georgia Tech at 3:30 pm.