Alabama softball has had so many amazing players pass through Tuscaloosa. Kelly Kretschman changed the program forever and helped turn the Crimson Tide into the college softball powerhouse it is today. Die-hard Tide fans know Jackie Traina and Haylie McCleney, both NCAA three-time All-Americans who became staples in the Women's College World Series.
Alabama began the 2020 season ranked second in the country thanks to some more star power in Montana Fouts, who looks like the next Jennie Finch. But so far another pitcher is stealing the show for the Crimson Tide.
Allow me to introduce her: Lexi Kilfoyl.
Lexi Kilfoyl Named SEC Freshman of the Week
Kilfoyl burst onto the scene by holding the North Carolina Tar Heels scoreless for six innings in the team's season opener on Feb. 7 in the Joanne Graf Classic in Tallahassee, Florida.
A week later at the St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational in Clearwater, Kilfoyl made a statement to head coach Patrick Murphy when she twirled a five-inning, one-hit shutout against the Washington Huskies. Washington was the top-ranked team in the country. Alabama won, 8-0.
On Monday, she was honored by the conference and took home SEC Softball Freshman of the Week. The 6-foot-1 pitcher is the first to win the award since the aforementioned Montana Fouts in May 2019.
Not bad for your first taste of NCAA softball.
Who is Lexi Kilfoyl?
Through her team's first nine games, Kilfoyl is already making the case to be Alabama's ace despite being a freshman. She's definitely pitched like it.
Through two starts and seven total appearances, Kilfoyl posted a team-best 2.84 ERA and 28 strikeouts over 24.2 innings.
That might not look spectacular compared to some of the minuscule ERAs around the league this early, but Alabama has played a bevy of top teams like current No. 1 UCLA, No. 2 Washington, No. 9 Florida State, No. 14 Oklahoma State.
Before Kilfoyl was a highly-touted freshman in the circle for the Crimson Tide, she was an absolute animal in high school. Her towering height allowed her to play varsity for softball, basketball and volleyball.
Ultimately, softball was her sport.
The two-time Florida Gatorade Player of the Year won back-to-back state championships while playing for the Academy at the Lakes in Land O' Lakes, Fla.
As a senior, she was 14-1 with a 0.48 ERA and struck out nearly two batters an inning in the circle. She tore up opposing pitchers at the plate, too, maintaining a .563 batting average with 12 home runs and 37 RBIs.
Everything Kilfoyl does she makes look easy. Even fielding her position comes naturally.
The University of Alabama softball team could be well on its way to winning its second national championship since doing so in 2012. It'll need Lexi Kilfoyl and Montana Fouts as a 1-2 punch to get there, though.
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