Alabama’s Montana Fouts. Photo by Robert Sutton

For the second time this season, No. 4 Alabama lost an SEC series to No. 21 Kentucky.

The series was tightly contested between the two teams as the largest margin of victory was the Wildcats’ three-run victory in game one. Games two and three were very close until the end, including a 13-inning marathon on Sunday, which fell Kentucky’s way after Alabama failed to get that all-important winning run.

“We had really good pitches that we just didn’t swing at for whatever reason,” coach Patrick Murphy said. “It is such a mental game, especially hitting and they walked Bailey [Hemphill] a couple of times, but then after that we need behind her to get going. That’s probably the key to our offense right now is either in front of her or behind her because I think they are going to get good pitches, they just need to swing the bat.”

Kentucky’s pitching and defense held the offense with the No. 2 rated on-base percentage in the SEC, off of the base pads. Alabama could only muster six runs in the three-game series with Kentucky, the lowest run output in an SEC series this season. Despite a tough weekend at the plate, the Crimson Tide is looking forward to it’s next challenge, LSU.

“We just are pumped to go into LSU even with that loss,” junior Elissa Brown said. “We are really proud of how we came out and fought, those 13 innings was a tough game but we are just going to use it as fuel going into LSU and come out strong this weekend.”

The Tigers host Alabama after a stretch wherein it won four out of its last five games. LSU has relied heavily on offense as the Tigers rank first in the SEC in multiple offense categories, including batting percentage (.324), slugging percentage (.547) and on base percentage (.430).

“Their lead off is as fast as Elissa; she has 44 stolen bases,” Murphy said. “Their two-hole is one of the best, she is a transfer from Missouri and she’s having a hell of a good year. There’s the girl that played third and got changed to second – she’s having a good year. She has 16 home runs, she leads the SEC in home runs and RBIs, so it’s a strong lineup top to bottom and really, they are winning games offensively. They are usually winning games with their pitching and defense. That’s probably the best offense that we have seen from LSU, so it’s going to be a tough lineup to hold down.”

The last time Alabama won a series at Baton Rouge was in 2005 when the Crimson Tide swept LSU on the road. Game one between Alabama and LSU will begin on Friday, May 3 at 6 p.m.

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