Last week, the Alabama women’s softball team came up short in its bid to win the school’s second national title in three years. One thing is for sure, however, Kaila Hunt did her part.
The senior infielder and former Greenbrier star did what she has done since she stepped foot in Tuscaloosa – hit the ball. In game one, Alabama managed only four hits off Florida star Hannah Rogers, but Hunt had two of those hits. She then came back with an even better performance in Game Two. Florida clinched the national title with a 5-3 victory, but Hunt went 2 for 4 with a home run and she drove in two of ’Bama’s three runs.
It certainly was not how Hunt wanted to close out her career, but she will still go down as one of the finest players in Alabama history.
Hunt arrived at Alabama four years ago as an outstanding player, but she was certainly not as heralded as many of her teammates. She still managed to play her way into a starting role as a freshman, and put together a wonderful season. She hit .299 with 10 homers and 36 runs batted in. For her efforts, Hunt was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team. She followed that up with a monster sophomore campaign in 2012. That season, Hunt helped the Crimson Tide win the national title by hitting .312 and leading the SEC in HR (21) and RBI (77). She earned All-SEC and All-American honors at the conclusion of the season. As a junior, Hunt hit at a .372 clip with 15 HR and 60 RBI and became just the sixth Alabama player to earn All-American and Academic All-American honors in the same season.
This season, her numbers were down slightly as teams did their best to pitch around her. Hunt was still able to hit .330 with 12 long balls and 42 RBI. She also did her best to rewrite the Crimson Tide record books. She leaves ’Bama ranked in the top 10 in 10 offensive categories for her career, and in the top four in seven of those categories. And, she did this despite not being in the top ten in games played or games started for her career.
You can debate who Greenbrier’s all-time best softball player has been, but there is no debate on who has accomplished the most after high school. On top of all of her individual accomplishments and honors for her work in the classroom, Hunt was also a winner at Alabama. During her four years in Tuscaloosa the Crimson Tide went 209-45. They also won two SEC Titles, went to the Super Regionals all four years, advanced to the College World Series three times, and won the 2012 National Championship.
Congratulations to Kaila on her tremendous career at Alabama. She even had me cheering for Alabama. Well, they were playing the Florida Gators for the title, so I guess I would have been cheering for them anyway.