TUSCALOOSA It certainly wasn’t the easiest road, but in the end, the Alabama Crimson Tide softball team won four games in a row, including back-to-back games both Saturday and Sunday, to win the NCAA Softball Championships Tuscaloosa Regional and advance to the NCAA Super Regional.
Pat Murphy’s club had to beat Tennessee Tech twice today to win its fifth NCAA Regional title. In the first game of the day, Alabama won 19-10 over seven innings. The Tide finished off the Eagles with a 7-2 decision.
“Congratulations to Tennessee Tech,” Murphy said. “What a great, great opponent. When they take a swing, my gosh, I hold my breath every single time. Like I told the team after the game, it was probably one of the biggest weekends of any kid that we’ve had in what Blair Potter did this weekend because she was amazing and showed more heart and determination than any other player we’ve had in a long, long time. I’m just very proud of her and what she did this weekend.”
With the win, the Tide advances to the NCAA Super Regionals for the third straight season where it will face the University of Washington.
In her second game of the day, Alabama pitcher Blair Potter won her fourth consecutive outing, going to 20-2 on the season. Tennessee Tech’s Bonnie Bynum took the loss, dropping to the 34-12.
“We all knew it would be tough but nothing that we can’t overcome,” Potter said. “We came together and said we’ve got to do it.”
Alabama managed seven runs on just four hits in the championship game after posting 19 runs and 19 hits in its first game of the day. Tech on the other hand had eight hits in the final game, but managed just two runs, leaving 11 players stranded on base to Alabama’s two. Keying the Tide’s offensive explosion over the last four games of the regional was sophomore Kelley Montavlo.
“(Montalvo) was amazing,” Murphy said. “Just came through again and again and played great defense. I think the crowd is starting to realize how good a player she is. She’s incredible. She came to play this weekend for sure, probably our offensive MVP.”
The Tide dropped to the loser’s bracket of the regional on Friday after falling to TTU 4-2. Alabama then knocked off Cal and Florida State yesterday and had to win two in a row against Tech today to advance.