Day 2 of the Tuscaloosa Regional of the NCAA Tournament continues on Saturday with the Crimson Tide facing Stanford in the Winners’ bracket.
In case you were wondering what Bama should have done on Friday, here are some scores:
#1 Oklahoma 14, Prairie View 0
#2 Florida State, 8 Howard 0
#4 Arkansas 11, Princeton 0
#5 UCLA 12, Grand Canyon 1
#7 Oklahoma State 12, Fordham 0
- GAME 1: Alabama 3, Chattanooga 0
- GAME 2: Stanford 3, Murray State 1
Saturday, May 21:
- GAME 3: Stanford vs. Alabama - 2 p.m. CT
- GAME 4: Chattanooga vs. Murray State - 4:30 p.m. CT - Loser goes home.
- GAME 5: Game 3 Loser vs. Game 4 Winner - 7 p.m. CT - Loser goes home.
Sunday, May 22
- GAME 1: Game 3 Winner vs. Game 5 Winner - 1 p.m. CT
- (If Necessary) Gm. 6 Rematch - 3:30 p.m. CT
HOW TO WATCH... ALLEGEDLY
The Bama-Stanford game will be aired on ESPN2. Play-by-play man Alex Perlman clearly did not do much research on 2022 Alabama as he was constantly gushing over the Tide, and kept expecting some kind of explosion of offense against UTC. Former Florida Gator Francesca Enea was going along somewhat but pumped the brakes a bit.
ESPN blabberhead Jessica Mendoza, who has watched a good deal of softball, espoused her belief that Stanford would beat Alabama.
Murray State loaded the bases against the Cardinal (37-19) in the first inning with one out but only managed one run on a ground out. A Stanford walk, double, and single tied it up in the second. A double in the bottom of the fifth tallied two more runs for the Insane Tree Posse.
If you think the Crimson Tide offense is anemic, Stanford make Bama look like the 2021 Atlanta Braves. Despite playing three more games and having 129 more at bats, they trail the Tide by 50 runs scored and more than a full run per game.
Much like Alabama, the Cardinal do not hit a lot of round-trippers but the Tide has twice as many. Kaitlyn Lim (.311) leads the team with seven dingers and 40 RBI. Center fielder Taylor Gindlesperger is swatting .351 as the leadoff hitter. She leads the team in hits (59) but only has nine walks. Her 13 of 16 stolen bases is also tops on the team. Number two hitter Sydnee Huff (.314) has scored 31 runs but has knocked in only 17. Emily Young (.321) has 12 doubles and 36 RBI.
Again mirroring Alabama, Stanford relies on one pitcher. The Trees started All-Pac-12 ace Alana Vawter (23-11, 1.88 ERA) against Murray State. After a little trouble in the first frame, she went the distance, holding the Racers to three hits and no walks while whiffing eight. Will the Cardinal start her again in Game 3? Vawter has pitched 205.0 of the team’s 369.2 innings this year, so chances are good. Regan Krause (11-4, 1.83), who has tossed 99.2 innings, is next in line. Molly Millar (2-1, 2.06 ERA, 37.1 innings) is Plan C.
The team ERA is an impressive 2.01, compared to 2.18 for Bama. We many be looking at a 1-0 game here.
Stanford has a .975 fielding percentage which is good for a tie for eighth best in the nation among Power 5 teams. They have committed 41 errors. Shortstop Young was named to the Pac-12 All-Defensive team despite her 13 boots. With only three errors, second baseman Huff also made that team.
Alabama has 33 E’s with a .977 fielding percentage, sixth best among P-5.
Jessica Allister is in her fifth season at the helm of Stanford, her alma mater. Previous to this job, she spent seven seasons as the head coach at Minnesota where she guided the Gophers to five straight Regionals and one Super. Her Cardinal missed out on the postseason in Year 1 but has made it three straight seasons since (2020 was cancelled).
Did the NCAA Softball Twitter account just jinx the Tide?
If you are brand new to following Alabama softball, know that there is a 101.9% chance that Montana Fouts will start for the Crimson Tide.
With her home run on Friday, Bailey Dowling is the first Tide player to reach double digits (10) in home runs this season.