The Alabama softball team will play on Monday, but not in the game they expected.
The weather has something to do with it. After Saturday’s final game dragged into the wee hours of the morning at the Women’s College World Series, a chorus of voices, including that of Oklahoma coach Patty Gasso, said the tight schedule was not fair. for none of the participants.
The complaints, and a rare injection of common sense, were enough to prompt the NCAA to extend WCWS for a day. The decision was correct, raising the NCAA’s all-time batting average to around 0.0008.
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It also only happened because there was so much attention on her first women’s event (sorry, Women’s Basketball Final Four.) If it had happened somewhere in the state of Dakota from South, the Crimson Tide and the Seminoles could have had a 3 am. first throw anyway.
The state of Florida has something to do with it as well. Shaking up the late bedtime, the Seminoles kept Alabama out of the National Semifinals with a 2-0 victory. The loss didn’t knock out Alabama, but it put a little more pressure on the Crimson Tide with the possibility of an imminent elimination.
FSU has always been tough to take out of Oklahoma City, especially during their surprise title race in 2018. Crimson ace Tide Montana Fouts will take over with two days off, which should boost confidence.
Alabama must also find (or move) some offensive confidence. The Crimson Tide only had two hits, never had enough base runners to apply their patented smallball pressure, and looked too anxious late in the inning. The Alabama hitters saw just seven shots in the sixth inning, just eight in the seventh frame, and only had one hard enough ball, a Jenna Johnson volley, to show it.
Maybe after a 20 game winning streak, the law of averages and a solid FSU pitch were due. Perhaps there was overconfidence in Bailey Hemphill (who had a hit and a walk, and almost beat another single in the field), although it would be too quick to praise it. de Hemphill for three weeks and then say Alabama should stop relying on her.
This team just needs more production elsewhere, especially in the lower third of the order. But while Sunday was disappointing, it wasn’t fatal, which was the best news after a wet and weird day.
Contact Cecil Hurt at [email protected] or via Twitter @cecilhurt