Alabama softball heads to Mardi Gras Mambo

Blake Byler, Staff Reporter

No. 2 Alabama (9-0) softball is off to a hot start.

The Crimson Tide followed up a massive opening weekend with an impressive showing at home, finishing 5-0 in the Easton Bama Bash. Two of those five wins came against No. 7 Virginia Tech. 

That gives Alabama three wins over top-10 opponents this season.

This weekend, Alabama will travel to Youngsvillie, Louisiana, for another multi team event, the Mardi Gras Mambo. Alabama will play five games: Nicholls State and Southeastern Louisiana on Friday, Northwestern State and Louisiana Tech on Saturday, and No. 20 Louisiana on Sunday.

Alabama will also take on the Ragin’ Cajuns in a game separate from the Mardi Gras Mambo on Thursday night. The game will be held on Louisiana’s home field. 

Alabama head coach Patrick Murphy graduated from Louisiana and is excited to return to his alma mater.

“It’s a homecoming of sorts for myself and my associate head coach, Alyson Habetz,” Murphy said. “She played both basketball and softball at Louisiana, and that’s where I got my coaching start, so we’re really looking forward to seeing a lot of good people down there.”

Alabama has momentum heading into this road trip because of senior Montana Fouts, the SEC Pitcher of the Week.

Fouts started two games in last week’s Easton Bama Bash, finishing 2-0 with 24 strikeouts and a save. Fouts’ strong start has been complemented by junior pitcher Lexi Kilfoyl, who is also 2-0 on the season, with both wins coming against top-10 teams.

“For the pitching staff, give us a great start, and give us a chance to win,” Murphy said. “That’s all we ask. Keep us in the game for as long as possible, until we can score a run. I think in the nine games, we’ve done that as a pitching staff. They’ve been terrific.”

In addition to the bullpen, Alabama had some great batting performances to start the season, showing off the completeness of this team.

The Crimson Tide has four players batting .435 on the season, three of whom are newcomers to the program this year. Junior outfielder Jenna Johnson is the only returning player batting .435. 

Tennessee transfer Ally Shipman and Ohio State transfer Ashley Prange have proved the value of the transfer portal. Both players are batting .435, while Shipman leads Alabama in RBIs with 15. 

Prange is tied for second on the team with nine RBIs and is tied for home runs with three, along with Shipman and freshman Megan Bloodworth.

Bloodworth and fellow freshman Dallis Goodnight have been key for Alabama so far, with Bloodworth’s three home runs and Goodnight’s .435 batting average. Alabama’s depth at every position has made it one of the most dangerous teams in the country through the first two weeks.

The matchups with the Ragin’ Cajuns will be another test for Alabama. Louisiana is 6-0 on the season and has only given up two runs so far, but the Cajuns have yet to play a ranked team. 

“Looking forward to getting back down to Lafayette this weekend,” Murphy said. “I know they have a good team. They’re undefeated, and they’re going to have a crazy crowd just like we did this weekend.”

First pitch for Thursday night is 6 p.m. CT and will be televised on ESPN+. The five games on the weekend will not be televised, but there will be live broadcasts.

Questions? Email the sports desk at sports@cw.ua.edu.