Courtesy of UA Athletics
No. 3 Alabama (52-8) saw its 20-game winning streak come to an end in the Women’s College World Series semifinal game on Sunday, June 6. No. 10 Florida State (47-11-1) shut the Crimson Tide out 2-0 after several weather delays.
“Maybe the delay hurt us a little bit,” Head Coach Patrick Murphy said. “I thought we were ready to go.”
In the loss, senior Maddie Morgan said she believed the team wasn’t playing freely.
“I think we were honestly pressing it a little bit too much,” Morgan said.
Sophomore Lexi Kilfoyl (13-4; 1.66 ERA) made her first career start in the Women’s College World Series against the Seminoles. It was her second start of the postseason. Kilfoyl collected nine strikeouts and gave up seven hits and a pair of walks.
Kilfoyl’s second walk came in the bottom of the fifth inning with bases loaded, which allowed Florida State to plate its first run. The Seminoles added an insurance run in the sixth frame.
“Kilfoyl gave us a chance to win,” Murphy said. “And on the offensive side of it, we didn’t support her.”
The Crimson Tide offense scratched two hits on the game from Morgan and graduate student Bailey Hemphill. Overall, Alabama was 2-for-23 at the plate with an .087 batting average. The leadoff batter only reached base in one inning.
Alabama’s biggest scoring threat came in the fifth frame. The offense had runners on first and second base with one out, but the Seminoles retired the next two batters. This was the only inning the Crimson Tide had a runner at second base.
“You’re not going to win very many games when you only get one runner to second,” Murphy said. “Tip your cap to their pitchers, and we need to do a better job tomorrow.”
Morgan said she found a positive in the loss. The offense recorded at-bats against both of Florida State’s pitchers; Kathryn Sandercock (27-3; 1.08 ERA) and Caylan Arnold (10-6;1.60 ERA).
Earlier in the season, Hemphill surpassed former All-American and Olympian Haylie McCleney for the most career walks in the program. Hemphill became the conference leader for career walks in Sunday’s game. Her walk in the fourth inning was the 237th in her career.
“We really need to bring some good energy tomorrow night,” Murphy said.
Alabama and Florida State will compete for a spot in the national championship series Monday, June 7. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT and will be televised on ESPN.