Tide Sends Jackets to Watery Grave
Alabama softball jumped out to a 5-0 record at the Buzz Classic in Atlanta.
There were a number of successful Crimson Tide debuts in the ATL. Team 28 beat Villanova 3-0 Thursday night as transfer Kayla Beaver tossed a no-hitter striking out 14.
That victory was followed by wins over Longwood (13-0) and host Georgia Tech (3-1) Friday. Bama then strongly finished the tourney Saturday with two more wins: over Longwood (7-2) and Georgia Tech (5-1).
Like the UA fight song say, "Send the Yellow Jackets to a watery grave." The Tide did just that, twice, and the Saturday game did feature rain.
Some highlights and debuts that were impressive included a near triple play in the final frame Saturday vs. Tech after Larissa Pruitt leapt over the right field wall to save a grand slam and fired to second base for a second out. A relay to third seemed at first to be a game ending triple play but the game was extended after a review found the Jacket runner had properly tagged up at third.
Beaver was still able to finish the game and the Central Arkansas transfer is 2-0.
Also, freshman pitcher Jocelyn Briski was effective in her start and rerlief appearance over the weekend.
Briski Briski got her first win Friday against Tech, striking out five, walking two and allowing six hits and one earned run in seven innings. Briski also came in in relief in the Tide’s Saturday matchup vs. Longwood, picking up her second win and striking out seven, giving up three hits and no earned runs.
There were also standouts in the batter's box.
In Alabama’s win over Villanova, Abby Duchscherer had her first career multi-hit game and finished with two RBIs. She appears to be the leader for the first base job, with Lauren Esman providing late inning defensive help.
Duchscherer also talliedfour RBIs and four hits in Saturday’s games.
Sophoore shortstop Kenleigh Cahalan hit the first home run of the year for the Crimson Tide Friday, finishing the tourney with six hits and three RBIs. In Alabama’s 13-0 win over Longwood, second baseman Kali Heivillin finished with a career-best five RBIs, with a three-run home run in the fourth and a double in the fifth. In total, the Crimson Tide finished the Buzz Classic with 43 hits, 31 runs scored and 30 RBIs.
It was unique to see the Johnson sisters make big plays in outfield and at the plate. Jenna and Lauren Johnson both made a a pair of highlight-reel catches. In Friday’s game vs. Georgia Tech, Jenna robbed the Yellow Jackets a potential game-tying three-run home run with one out in the bottom of the fourth, jumping up and making the catch with her back against the fence. In Saturday’s game vs. the Yellow Jackets, her younger sister Lauren, made an impressive diving catch in left-center field in the bottom of the fourth.
An injury to speedy center fielder Kristen White had Lauren Johnson getting extra playing time in Atlanta.
The Crimson Tide defense made just one error through its five games at the classic and allowed only four runs. Patrick Murphy will take that.
Alabama will host the 2024 Easton Bash at Rhoads Stadium from Feb. 16-18 where it will play a slate of five games between St. Thomas, Virginia and Southern Indiana. All games an be heard on MeTV 97.5 FM.