Stanford had the perfect strategy coming into this Day 2 of the Tuscaloosa Regional: Score. That is all they needed to do against this punchless Alabama offense. Score one run and the game is theirs. The Cardinal did better than that. In the first inning, they scored three runs which might as well have been 300.
Montana Fouts got off to a terrible start allowing a triple to the first batter of the game. The next batter grounded to third and the Tide had the runner in a rundown but screwed that pooch.
It got worse as a single and a hit-by-pitch loaded the bases. Fouts uncharacteristically walked in a run, followed by allowing a sac fly that put Bama is a chasmal 3-0 hole. Stanford added two more runs on Fouts in the fifth inning to push the lead to 5-0.
Fouts seemed spent from the very first pitch. She appeared hot and red-faced, and did not look herself in the circle. She did not even get her first - and ONLY - strikeout until the sixth inning. Indicative of how the entire day was going, Stanford had a runner on first base attempt a steal in the sixth inning. Fouts ducked down, but Shipman still managed to bean her pitcher with the throw down to second. It appeared to hit Fouts’s mask and she said she was okay, but Patrick Murphy took her out anyway. Alex Salter got the final out of the frame but allowed a sixth run in the seventh inning.
It didn’t help that the rest of the team weren’t pulling their weight.
The Crimson Tide showed a little life in their half of the first with an Ally Shipman single and a Bailey Dowling walk but that is as far as it got. After that, it was out-out-out-out-out-out-out-out-out-out-out-out-out-out. AshleyPrange reached on a throwing error in the third but was erased on a Shipman double play. The game was basically over at that point. What fight the Tide had seemed to dissipate at that moment. The double play made them all mopey and sad. The truth is Murphy cannot inspire this team. There is no getting them fired up or mad.
Jenna Johnson led off the sixth inning with a single and the crowd got back into it. But out-out-out.
For Stanford’s part, they started their ace Alana Vawter and she was flawless. Truth is, she is a big girl. The heat did not seem to bother her at all, even though she pitched seven innings less than 24 hours earlier. She was energetic and looked fresh from beginning to end.
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- Everybody with a Twitter account tweeted out that Alabama had won 44 straight NCAA Regional games before the start of the game. Thanks for that.
- At one point, Lexi Kilfoyl was seen throwing in the bullpen. I’m not buying it, Murph.
- There is no blaming the fans. It was a big loud crowd, but the Tide gave their fans little to cheer for.
- Jenna Johnson made an excellent catch at the centerfield wall.
- Johnson almost made a phenomenal diving catch on another play but could not hold on. Although, the play did keep a runner at first from going all the way to third.
- Bama looked like they had a chance at a double play but Megan Bloodworth didn’t even attempt a throw to first.
- Kaylee Tow again did nothing.
- Dallis Goodnight did not play. Kat Grill started in left field.
- Aubrey Barnhart went back to the bench. Abby Doerr was the DH.
- This series and season is over. Enjoy your Memorial Day week.
UPCOMING ALABAMA SCHEDULE
Friday, May 20:
- GAME 1: Alabama 3, Chattanooga 0
- GAME 2: Stanford 3, Murray State 1
Saturday, May 21:
- GAME 3: Stanford 6, Alabama 0
- GAME 4: Chattanooga vs. Murray State - 30 minutes after conclusion of Game 3 - Loser goes home.
- GAME 5: Alabama vs. Game 4 Winner - 7 p.m. CT - Loser goes home.
Sunday, May 22
- GAME 6: Stanford vs. Game 5 Winner - 1 p.m. CT
- (If Necessary) Game 6 Rematch - 3:30 p.m. CT