CLEARWATER, Fla. - Alabama softball earned a pair of wins Thursday to open play at the St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational, defeating Liberty 7-1 before posting an 8-0 shutout in five innings over top-ranked Washington.
Seven different players in the Alabama (3-3) starting lineup earned a hit in a balanced 7-1 win over Liberty (1-5) to start the day before the Crimson Tide posted a convincing 8-0 five-inning shutout over top-ranked Washington (6-1) in the nightcap. The win over the Huskies is Alabama's first run-rule shutout over the top-ranked team in the country and its first shutout of No. 1 since the 2017 NCAA Regional round vs. Minnesota.
Tide pitching was stingy in the circle on Thursday, with senior Krystal Goodman (1-0) allowing just one run in the win over the Flames before freshman Lexi Kilfoyl (2-2) held the top-ranked Huskies scoreless on just one hit and two walks with six strikeouts. At the plate, sophomore Skylar Wallace paced the offense with a 4-for-7 day while juniors Kaylee Tow and KB Sides each had three hits, combining to score seven of the Tide's 15 runs. Freshman Abby Doerr made her Crimson Tide debut, blasting a home run against the Flames in her second career at-bat. Senior Bailey Hemphill sent one over the wall against the Huskies, pushing her career total to 49 which sits five shy of fourth-place Amanda Locke (2008-12).
FROM HEAD COACH PATRICK MURPHY
"What a great day for Crimson Tide softball on the biggest stage of the year thus far. Sometimes, a team needs a little more time to gel and come together. We still have a lot to work on. I'm really proud of both Krystal and Lexi for giving us great starts today. It starts in the circle, and they both shined."
- Four of Alabama's seven runs scored came with two outs
- Seven of the Tide's nine starting hitters earned a hit, and five scored at least one run
- Goodman's complete game is her first since game three of the LSU series on May 5, 2019
- Doerr made her Crimson Tide debut, smashing a two-run home run in her second at-bat
- The win marks Alabama's first run-rule shutout over the No. 1 team in the country, and its first shutout over a top-ranked team since blanking Minnesota in the 2017 NCAA Regional round when the Gophers led the NFCA poll
- Kilfoyl retired the first 11 batters she faced until a two-out walk in the fourth inning broke up her perfect game and a single in the next at-bat ended the no-hit bid
- Eight of Alabama's starters reached base at least once, including multi-hit performances from Tow, Wallace and Sides
- Hemphill, Sides and Kilfoyl each drove in two RBIs
- T1st | Hemphill slugged a hard-hit single off the wall in center field, scoring senior Alexis Mack from second (Alabama 1, Liberty 0)
- B2nd | A two-out double followed by an RBI single tied the game (Alabama 1, Liberty 1)
- T4th | Doerr crushed a two-run home run down the right field line (Alabama 3, Liberty 1)
- T5th | Mack laid down a bunt single, hustled all the way to third on a throwing error and then came home on an RBI sac fly from junior Kaylee Tow (Alabama 4, Liberty 1)
- T5th | With runners at the corners and two out, senior Taylor Clark got caught in a rundown between first and second but sophomore Skylar Wallace hustled home from third before the tag to add a run (Alabama 5, Liberty 1)
- T6th | Freshman Savannah Woodard knocked a two-out RBI single up the middle, scoring Sides from third (Alabama 6, Liberty 1)
- T7th | Freshman Jenna Johnson drove in Tow from third on an RBI groundout (Alabama 7, Liberty 1)
- B1st | Wallace dropped an RBI single into left field to score Tow from second (Alabama 1, Washington 0)
- B3rd | Hemphill slugged a two-run home run to left field (Alabama 3, Washington 0)
- B3rd | With two outs and the bases loaded, Kilfoyl drew a walk to move everyone up 60 feet and tack on a run (Alabama 4, Washington 0)
- B4th | Sides laced a two-run double into the left field gap, driving in Wallace and Tow (Alabama 6, Washington 0)
- B5th | Kilfoyl helped her own cause with an RBI triple into the right field corner (Alabama 7, Washington 0)
- B5th | Clark, pinch-running at third after Kilfoyl's triple, came home on a wild pitch to cap the run-rule victory (Alabama 8, Washington 0)
Alabama continues play at the St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational with a pair of games on Friday, facing USF (9:30 a.m. CT) and third-ranked UCLA (3 p.m. CT).
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