Arizona softball will face Alabama to open the 2021 Women’s College World Series on Thursday, and the teams have seen a lot of each other over the past two seasons.
They matched up four times in three different locations across the 2019 and 2020 seasons. Each team came away with two wins.
Both teams still have most of their starters from those squads, so here’s a refresher on how those games went down. Players with asterisks next to their name are still playing for their respective squads.
Feb. 16, 2019 — Alabama won 6-1 in Tucson
This was a sloppy game defensively. The teams combined for six errors. Arizona committed four, including a dropped line drive in left that brought in a run and put Alabama up 3-0 in the fourth.
Arizona got a run back in the bottom half when the Alabama second baseman couldn’t handle a sharp grounder off Dejah Mulipola’s* bat. The Wildcats could have added more in that inning but Montana Fouts* fanned three straight batters to strand two runners in scoring position.
Skylar Wallace hit a two-run double in the sixth and Caroline Hardy hit a pinch-hit homer in the seventh to put the game out of reach.
Taylor McQuillin pitched a complete game for the Wildcats, allowing six runs (three unearned) on six hits and two walks while striking out eight.
Fouts allowed six hits—all singles—and struck out eight in a complete-game effort.
June 1, 2019 — Alabama won 2-0 in Oklahoma City
Fouts allowed three singles and three walks in a complete-game shutout to eliminate Arizona from the Women’s College World Series. Bailey Hemphill’s* two-run double in the third plated the game’s only runs. The big inning was fueled by a pair of walks by Alyssa Denham.*
Arizona loaded the bases with one out in the fourth but Reyna Carranco* struck out and Hanah Bowen* lined out to Hemphill at first.
McQuillin pitched four scoreless innings in relief. The Crimson Tide only had two hits.
Feb. 28, 2020 — Arizona won 2-1 in Tuscaloosa
Both teams scoring in the first inning. Arizona executed a double steal (two of five stolen bases it had that day) and KB Sides* had an RBI double off Mariah Lopez.* The score remained 1-1 until a clutch two-out RBI single by Alyssa Palomino-Cardoza* in the seventh.
Lopez allowed one run on seven hits while striking out nine. Lexi Kilfoyl* allowed four hits, two runs, and five walks in a complete game for Alabama.
Feb. 29, 2020 — Arizona won 6-5 in Tuscaloosa
Jessie Harper* gave the Wildcats a 2-0 lead in the third with a two-run single but Alabama immediately responded with RBI singles by Hemphill and Maddie Morgan* to tie it. Carli Campbell drove in a run with a groundout to put the Wildcats back on top in the fourth, but three more RBI singles gave Alabama a 5-3 lead in the sixth.
With two outs in the seventh, Malia Martinez* belted the game-winning three-run homer to center off Kilfoyl. (The Wildcats did not face Fouts in 2020.)
Denham allowed up two runs in four innings for Arizona, while Lopez allowed three runs in three innings of relief.
So...who had the edge in those 4 games?
- Runs: Alabama, 14-9
- Hits: Arizona, 25-23
- Errors: Alabama, 4-7
- Extra base hits: Alabama, 9-3
- Home runs: Tie, 1-1
- Stolen bases: Arizona, 7-4
- Strikeouts (by pitchers): Arizona, 34-28
- Walks (by hitters): Alabama, 14-12