Alabama Softball faced criticism all season long as the offense for Alabama looked stagnant and outdated in the modern era of college softball.

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Prior to the start of the Tuscalosoa regional, Alabama scored in just five innings out of the previous 90 that it played. With a record of 33-17 in the regular season, and 10-14 in conference play, it was questioned if Alabama should even host a regional given the season the Crimson Tide had.

Despite the concerns, Alabama hosted the Tuscaloosa Regional, with Clemson, Southeastern Louisiana, and USC Upstate coming to Tuscaloosa. The main concern for Alabama this postseason was whether the bats got hot enough for the Tide to advance to the Super Regional.

Patrick Murphy is laughing at the naysayers on Monday. The Tide had its usual game on Friday, with a 1-0 win over USC Upstate that featured two of Alabama's top pitchers Jocelyn Briski and Kayla Beaver. Briski took Alabama through almost the full game and gave up just one hit through 6.1 innings of play. Briski was awarded the win for Alabama, improving her record to 8-5 on the season. Kayla Beaver was credited with the save and also gave up just one hit. Alabama was two wins away from another Super Regional.

On Saturday, Alabama matched up with Southeastern Louisiana, who beat Clemson on Friday. Alabama held a 1-0 lead in the sixth inning, and the Crimson Tide was four outs away from advancing to the regional championship on Sunday. The crowd got nervous in the bottom of the sixth, however, when SLU stole second which forced the Alabama catcher to make a decision between throwing to second or guarding home plate. Marlie Giles chose to throw to second base, and SLU stole home plate. regulation ended in a 1-1 tie between the two teams. the eighth inning featured the same 1-1 tie, sending Alabama and SLU into the ninth inning. It was there that Alabama decided they had enough.

After Jenna Johnson was walked, Riley Valentine stepped up to the plate and sent a home run over the back of the head of the left fielder to give Alabama a 3-1 lead and no outs. Bailey Dowling singled, and Larissa Preuitt did as well. Kristen White hit another single, and Patrick Murphy sent Dowling home, giving Alabama a 4-1 lead. Kenleigh Cahalan hit another single toward second base, and Alabama sent Preuitt and White to the house, giving Alabama a 6-1 lead. The top of the sixth inning ended with Alabama scoring five runs on five hits.

The Tide allowed two runs in the bottom of the ninth, but the damage was done as the Crimson Tide held on to win 6-3, and advance to the Regional Championship on Sunday.

On Sunday, the gloves came off, and Alabama came out swinging. Briski got the start and gave up one run in the top of the first. What appeared to be a fired-up, ready-to-play SLU team had their fire put out by the tidal wave they faced in the bottom of the first. Alabama scored nine runs in the bottom of the first, and SLU went through two pitchers in the first inning. The Crimson Tide had nine runs on 10 hits, with White, Preuitt, Johnson, Cahalan, Giles, Dowling,  Heivilin, and Valentine all scoring.

The Tide added to its lead in the third, with Preuitt, White, and Cahalan scoring to give the Crimson Tide a 12-2 lead. Alabama would not give up another run, and the Tide retired the Lions in five innings with a 12-2 win to advance to another Super Regional, the 18th appearance in program history, and 18th straight.

Alabama will face tougher competition in the Super Regional as they head to Knoxville to take on the Tennessee Volunteers. The first game will take place on Friday, at 3:00 p.m. CT. You can listen to the game on 97.5 MeTV FM, or the free 97.5 MeTV app.

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