Alabama Blanks Chattanooga to Open NCAA Tournament Regional
No. 6 seeded Alabama took down Chattanooga in Rhoads Stadium, 3-0, in its opening game of the 2022 NCAA Tournament Regional. The Tide was hitless into the fourth inning of play until a solo home run from sophomore infielder Bailey Dowling - her team-leading 10th on the year - finally sparked the Alabama offense.
"Obviously, we were hoping not to have to use Montana [Fouts]," Murphy said. "But it's zero to zero and we don't have any hits, and they have four. And with [runners on] first and second, I wasn't gonna take that chance. It's a good win to start the regional and we're just hoping to get better every game.
Redshirt freshman right-hander Alex Salter (4-0) got the start for Alabama's opening game of the Tuscaloosa Regional. She threw 3.1 scoreless innings before being pulled, giving up just one walk and recording a strikeout in the second inning.
Fouts' relief appearance almost shut down the Chattanooga offense completely as she recorded seven strikeouts across the final 3.2 innings. She faced 15 batters and gave up just three hits en route to her 23rd win of the season.
Alabama's first team hit of the game came off the bat of shortstop Bailey Dowling as she led off the fourth inning with a solo shot just over the left-center-field wall.
Freshman second baseman Megan Bloodworth tacked on an insurance run for Alabama with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly, scoring catcher Ally Shipman from third base in the fourth as well.
After stealing second, sophomore M'Kay Gidley scored the Tide's third run of the game as a pinch runner for Dowling in the fifth inning off of an RBI line drive from freshman Jenna Lord.
On Saturday, the Crimson Tide's next game will feature the winner of Game 2 on Friday between Murray State and Stanford. Alabama's second appearance in the 2022 NCAA Tournament Regional is scheduled for Saturday, May 21 at 2 p.m. CST.