TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Alabama softball rallied from an early deficit to defeat Kentucky, 4-3, in Friday's opening game of the Super Regional series at Rhoads Stadium.
Alabama (49-7) fell behind early after Kentucky (43-15) scored a run in the third and added another in the fourth to take the 2-0 lead. A one-out single from Bailey Hemphill in the bottom half of the inning was the Crimson Tide's first hit of the day, and then back-to-back singles from Kaylee Tow and Jenna Johnson loaded the bases for KB Sides who blasted a triple to left-center to unload the bases and give Alabama the 3-2 lead. A single through the right side two batters later from Maddie Morgan drove in Sides to make it 4-2.
A one-out solo home run in the top of the seventh drew the Wildcats within one and then a pair of singles put the potential go-ahead run on base. A flyout to center brought Kentucky to its final out and then the Tide intentionally walked Kayla Kowalik to set up the force at any base. The next batter took the count full before a called third strike on the payoff pitch ended the game.
Montana Fouts (25-3) earned the complete-game win, striking out 11 for her 20th game with double-digit Ks this season. Jenna Johnson went 2-for-3, her fourth multi-hit game of the season, and Sides triple was her first of the season and fourth of her career.
Game two of the Super Regional is set for a 1 p.m. CT start Saturday on ESPN.
FROM HEAD COACH PATRICK MURPHY
"It was a hell of a Super Regional opening game. Twists, turns, ups, downs and a great crowd. We are just happy to have gotten the win in game one. It showed a lot of grit and resiliency from our team."
- Alabama is 23-13 all-time in Super Regionals, including a 20-5 mark at home
- The Tide has won game one of the Super Regional series 10 times, winning eight of those series. Seven of those series wins came in two games with one stretching to three
- Alabama improves its current win streak to 17 games, 15 of which have come over ranked foes
- Montana Fouts now has 20 games with 10+ strikeouts, 14 of which have come against ranked teams
- T3 | Kentucky's Tatum Spangler drove in the first run of the game on an RBI single (0-1, 2 Out)
- T4 | Renee Abernathy hit a two-out solo home run (0-2, 2 Out)
- B4 | KB Sides hit a bases-loaded triple to left-center (3-2, 1 Out)
- B4 | Maddie Morgan drove in Sides from third with a single through the right side (4-2, 2 Out)
- T7 | Abernathy hit her second home run of the game, a solo shot (4-3, 1 Out)
UP NEXT - NCAA SUPER REGIONALS (TUSCALOOSA, ALA.)
• Saturday, May 29 vs. Kentucky - 1 p.m. CT - ESPN