With Friday’s double shut-out of Stanford by the Alabama Crimson Tide softball team, the lady Tiders advanced to the Women’s College World Series.
After an abysmal showing in their 5-2 loss on Thursday, Alabama took the field determined to crush the Cardinal. That energy translated into a 10-0 win in five innings in the first game of the double- header, invoking the run rule.
However, in the second game Stanford would prove why they were good enough to be there in the first place, Bama managing just one run. That run would be good enough as the Tide’s 1-0 victory in game three took the series for the Tide, in turn taking them to Oklahoma City.
This year’s trip will be the Tide’s seventh trip to the big dance, an amazing feat when considering the program has only been in existence for 15 years. 13 of those 15 years they have made the NCAA tournament field.
Contrast this to the men’s baseball team, which can’t seem to get off the tarmac every year. The Tide limped into the SEC baseball tournament, winning their first game against Arkansas only to be bludgeoned by Florida, and then ousted by the Hogs in the elimination game. Bama managed only two hits in the losing affair, and now wait to hear which regional they will lose in.
One reality I’ll admit is that baseball is different from softball. There isn’t a draft every year taking the top talent from college softball. When you see a college baseball team you’re basically seeing a professional “B-team”, players not good enough to be playing for money (unless they’re in Auburn…I kid because I care).
But still, why can’t the Bama baseball team take note from the softball team and be more of a force? And for that matter, where is the Tide’s women’s basketball team? Do we even have one?
Those questions may not be answered for a while. But what is certain is that Alabama softball head coach Patrick Murphy is fielding a juggernaut year-after-year, teams to be proud of.