Alabama Softball Opens With 8-0 Win
"We respect them big time and we know they are a good team from a good conference," Alabama Coach Patrick Murphy said. "I think all the young ladies that play for us play summer ball so they know what a big deal the national tournament is and if you get in the losers bracket you have to play like 12 games to get back where you need to be."
The game seemed to turn on a third inning double play when, with the bases loaded, third basemen Kelley Montalvo whipped a Lauren Flores ground ball to catcher Ashley Holcombe at home who fired to Alex Blewitt at first base.
"With the bases loaded we made two really good defensive plays," Murphy said. "The pick off was number one and the other one was to (Alex) Blewitt at first base. Really good defensive play kept us in and we found a way to get a big inning, and I thought it took some pressure off us when we scored four runs."
Montalvo also got it done with her bat, sending the first home run of the regional over the fence in the bottom of the third inning.
"I just tried to stay with myself and see it big," Montalvo said. "I just swung with everything I had, and I didn't really know it was gone until I was rounding first and Aly (Habetz) threw her arms in the air. I felt pretty good after that."
Junior Brittany Rogers added some offensive fire power of her own, with a career-best three doubles during the game. She was the first Tide player to have three doubles since Montalvo had three vs. Florida State on May 19, 2007 in the NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional.
Alabama's Charlotte Morgan picked up the win, going to 16-2 on the season. UTC's Brooke Loudermilk took the loss, falling to 18-8.
Alabama plays Jacksonville State in Friday's first game, starting at 2:30 p.m. while Chattanooga faces off against Florida State at 5 p.m. in the regional's first elimination game.
Jacksonville State upset FSU, 4-3, in the first game of the regional on Thursday.
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