Softball run-rules Louisville and Penn State in Saturday doubleheader


CW / Hannah Saad

Robert Cortez, Contributing Writer

Clutch hitting propelled Alabama softball to sweep Saturday’s doubleheader against Louisville, 9-0, and Penn State, 14-6. The Crimson Tide improved to 8-5 overall and extended its win streak to four games, which is its longest of the season.

Junior outfielder K.B. Sides highlighted the Alabama offense on Saturday, going 3 for 4 with a couple of sacrifice flies and collecting seven RBIs throughout the day. Five of her seven RBIs came in Game 1 against Louisville, which is a single-game career high.

“I just needed to do whatever I could to have their [the pitchers’] back,” Sides said. “Sometimes the ball just looks like a beach ball, and that was today for me, thankfully.”

Sophomore infielder Skylar Wallace had two RBIs in the Game 1 win, and senior utility Alexis Mack and junior infielder Maddie Morgan also collected one apiece.

The offense continued in Game 2 and was highlighted by senior infielder Taylor Clark’s two-run home run on her senior day, which blew the game wide open. Clark finished the game going 2 for 3 at the plate and leads the Crimson Tide with two home runs this season.

“My first thought, actually, was to look up at my dad because he was calling my name and his hand on the net wanting to give me a high five,” Clark said.

Despite Alabama’s hot offense in Game 2, Penn State was the first one to strike and jumped out to an early 5-0 lead in the top of the first. But a .500 batting average with runners in scoring position through the first four innings allowed Alabama to capture a 10-5 lead.

Coach Patrick Murphy attributed the offense’s success with runners in scoring position to the players mentally preparing themselves in batting practice.

“Every round that we hit in batting practice, live, there’s a specific situation,” Murphy said. “The next round is usually you get four [swings] with a runner at second so you got to score them.”

Five different players collected at least one RBI against Penn State, with Morgan leading the way with six. This is the first time an Alabama batter has posted six RBIs in a single game since Peyton Grantham in 2017. Two of Morgan’s RBIs came off a two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth, which was her first of the season.

Freshman pitcher Lexi Kilfoyl (4-2, 1.94 ERA) was the highlight in the circle for Alabama, throwing a three-hit shutout against Louisville in Game 1, which was her second shutout of the season. Her five strikeouts matched her total from Friday night against Wichita State.

The Crimson Tide closes out the Easton Bama Bash on Sunday against Louisville at 1:30 p.m. CT.