TEXAS EVENS SUPER REGIONALS, FORCES DECISIVE GAME THREE
Alabama was ready to celebrate.
Through three innings, the Crimson Tide were ahead, but a come from behind effort by Texas helped the Longhorns to a 7-5 win in game two of the NCAA Super Regionals.
“Obviously our backs were to the wall today,” Texas coach Mike White said. “We had to come out fighting, being down 4-0 it didn’t look too good against very good pitching from Alabama.”
Rhoads Stadium was rocking as Alabama cruised to four-run lead through two innings. The momentum changed when starting pitcher, Miranda Elish, was hit in the face after her catcher, Mary Iakopo attempted to throw out the runner stealing second. Elish would be rushed to the hospital “as a precaution” in a statement released on Twitter.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Miranda Elish,” White said. “She took that shot to the face, she’s going to be ok, we just have to run some more tests and see what happens from there but she was in good spirits and sent us a message straight away about the game. Obviously, nobody feels worse than Mary Iakopo but those things happen, it was a total accident and she came out and did it for her team.”
In the bottom of the third, junior Krystal Goodman was replaced by freshman Montana Fouts after Goodman allowed back-to-back singles with one out in the inning. With her third pitch in relief, sophomore Mary Iakopo trimmed the deficit to one with a three-run home run.
“She gave up two hits in that inning and that was their best hitter in my mind,” Alabama coach Patrick Murphy said. “Just to try and stop the momentum and it did the opposite.”
Fouts would allow the game tying home run to Hoover native MK Tedder. Tedder’s last home run was March 2 against Princeton.
“You know we had a kid that was really struggling at the start of the year,” White said. “She was really struggling because she came from a different coaching staff last year and they had a different philosophy on everything and of course she had to learn our philosophy and it totally changed her swing. But, you can start to see the improvements and that kid was in the batting cages more than any other kid we’ve had on this team.”
Tedder’s home run gave the Longhorns a second life as they would take the lead after a four-run fourth inning.
“You can feel a little shift after the first home run,” junior Bailey Hemphill said. “It kind of put the momentum towards them and then they tied it up and the wheel just kind of started falling off. Just kept one after another but tomorrow we just need to be more conscious of keeping momentum on our side and just making the plays we have to make.”
Game three between Alabama and Texas is scheduled for Saturday May, 25 at 1 p.m. Whichever team wins game three, will punch its ticket to the Women’s College World Series.
“You gotta have a short-term memory, period,” Murphy said. “Like KB [Sides] said, ‘pitch-to-pitch and at-bat-to-at-bat’ and you can’t dwell on negatives cause it will ruin you in a hurry. That’s over and done with, learn from it and be better tomorrow.