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I knew it was a bad sign when I switched the television over to ESPNU for Saturday night’s softball showdown between the country’s two top-ranked teams and saw the college lacrosse contest that preceded the game had gone to overtime. That was a harbinger of bad things to come, as Alabama leapt out to a commanding early lead and defeated Georgia for the second straight day.
Following a scoreless first frame, Morgan Montemayor was roughed up in the second stanza, in which she walked three and gave up a stolen base, a double, and not one, but two three-run homers to give the Tide a 6-0 lead. Honestly, that was your ballgame right there.
To their credit, the Bulldogs battled back. Georgia carded two runs in the top of the third canto when shortstop Laura Trout drew a leadoff walk and center fielder Taylor Schlopy drove a two-run shot to left center field. One more run was added in the fifth frame on a leadoff walk, a wild pitch, and an RBI single, and yet another leadoff walk in the seventh stanza led to a fourth and final run following an Alabama error, a single, and an RBI groundout.
Georgia played error-free softball in the field, scored in three of the last five innings, held the Crimson Tide scoreless in five of the six stanzas in which the home team batted, and matched the Bulldogs’ hosts in hits (5-5). One awful inning proved too much to overcome, though, and the Red and Black lost both the game and the series as a result.
We knew, of course, that Alabama fielded a superb softball team, and that Tuscaloosa would be a tough place to play. Back-to-back losses to ‘Bama do not mean that the Bulldogs will not go on to Oklahoma City; they almost certainly will. Friday’s and Saturday’s setbacks do not necessarily mean that the Red and Black will not win the Women’s College World Series; they very well might. Consecutive defeats to the Tide do, however, mean that, right now, Georgia is not the No. 1 team in college softball, and, with all due respect to our neighbors and our allies in the ongoing war against all things Auburn, that this losing to Alabama nonsense has got to stop.