TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Needing to win two games to advance to the NCAA Super Regional round, Alabama defeated Stanford , 4-0, to force a winner-take-all game seven but a late rally by the Cardinal gave the visitors the 6-0 win and ended the Crimson Tide's 2022 season.
Both games were pitcher's duels through the first five innings, with Alabama (44-13) coming through with a four-run sixth in the opener that made the difference and Stanford (39-20) scoring six across the final two innings of the second game.
Jenna Lord had three hits between Sunday's two games, including an RBI double in game one that drove in the first run of the game. Kaylee Tow and KJ Haney drove in the remaining runs for the Crimson Tide on an RBI single and two-run double, respectively. In the circle, Montana Fouts (24-8) gave a gutsy performance, throwing 13.1 innings in two starts.
Ally Shipman led the team with six hits in the Regional round, while Lord followed close behind with five and Jenna Johnson with four. Lord led the team with four RBIs, one of eight different players to drive in a run over the weekend.
Neither team could scratch a run across until the top of the sixth when Jenna Lord poked a spinning double down the right field line to drive a run in and make it 1-0. Tow followed with an RBI single to make it 2-0 and then, two batters later, Haney came through with a clutch pinch-hit double to drive in a pair and make it a 4-0 game. That proved enough as Fouts and the Tide defense shut down the Cardinal in their final two innings to secure the shutout and send the series to a deciding game seven.
Game Two was another scoreless pitcher's duel before a two-run double from Aly Kaneshiro in the top of the sixth gave the Cardinal the first lead of the game. Stanford loaded the bases with one out in the seventh, adding four more runs to its lead to make it 6-0. Alabama got two on base in the final half-inning but could not plate a run.
From Head Coach Patrick Murphy
"Congratulations to Stanford on a hell of a weekend. They were great for 14 innings against us. When you look back through all the Super Regionals that we've been in we've had to go through Washington, we've gone through Stanford, we've gone through Arizona State, we've gone through a lot of Pac-12 teams in Cal, Stanford, Washington, you name it. They [Stanford] were the first ones to come in and do it. They earned it and I know they will do well next weekend.
"At the beginning of the year when we have our first team meeting, one of the first things I always say is 'the sooner you realize it's not all about you, the better off you'll be'. There's 297 Division I softball teams and only one gets the raise the trophy at the end of the year. What do the other 296 teams carry their hat on? If it's just about winning and losing, that emotion is only going to last for a few hours. You win a big game and four hours later you're wondering where you'll go eat. If you lose, almost the same thing. Here, we're playing for something bigger than ourselves here. The relationships formed between everybody involved in the program, their teammates and coaches and even you guys, that's something we can treasure for a lifetime. That's what we're trying to teach these young ladies."
- Alabama falls to 64-11 all-time in NCAA regional play.
- This year marks the first time Alabama has not advanced out of the regional round since 2004 and its first regional round loss at home.
- The Tide has qualified for the NCAA Tournament 23-straight seasons, doing so every year under Head Coach Patrick Murphy except 2020 when there was no tournament.
Game One Scoring Summary
T6 | Jenna Lord laced an RBI double down the right field line (1-0, 1 Out)
T6 | Kaylee Tow poked an RBI single into shallow left (2-0, 1 Out)
T6 | KJ Haney pulled a two-run double down the third base line (4-0, 2 Out)
Game Two Scoring Summary
T6 | Aly Kaneshiro hit a two-run double to center field (0-2, 1 Out)
T7 | Sydnee Huff drove in two with a single up the middle and a third scored on a throwing error (0-5, 1 Out)
T7 | Kaneshiro drove in another run with an RBI single (0-6, 1 Out)