The Morning Briefing: February 9, 2019

Athletic director Greg Byrne made the honorary first serve at the women's tennis matches Friday.Courtesy of Alabama Athletics

Your daily dose of what's going on with the Crimson Tide, including full TV listings

Today is …

National Pizza Day

National Toothache Day

National Bagel Day

Of course, you could really go crazy and have a pizza bagel …

Today’s Crimson Tide schedule

• Indoor track and field: Alabama at Music City Challenge, Iowa State Classic and Tyson Invitational

• Swimming: Alabama at Auburn Invitational, all day

• Softball: Alabama at Trojan Classic, vs. Maryland 10 a.m. CT, vs. Murray State, 12:30 p.m.

• Men’s basketball: Alabama at Vanderbilt, 7:30 p.m.

How to watch, keep up with the Crimson Tide

• Softball: Alabama at Trojan Classic, vs. Maryland 10 a.m. Live Audio, Live Stats, vs. Murray State, 12:30 p.m., Live Audio, Live Stats

• Men’s basketball: Alabama at Vanderbilt, 7:30 p.m., SEC Network, Live Video, Live Audio, Live Stats

Yesterday’s Crimson Tide results

• The softball team opened the season with a pair of wins at the Trojan Classic, 12-0 over Murray State and 7-1 against host Troy. Crimson Tide hitters went .327 with 18 hits, including four doubles and three home runs, and eight walks. Senior Merris Schroder and sophomore Kaylee Tow each went 3-for-5 on the day, combining for five runs scored, while junior Claire Jenkins hit a pair of home runs to post a team-leading five RBIs.Junior Krystal Goodman (1-0) threw 3.0 perfect innings in her Crimson Tide debut, with no runs, hits or walks allowed in the opener, while freshman Montana Fouts (1-0) held Troy to one run on four hits with nine strikeouts, needing just 83 pitches to throw the complete game.

• Lexi Graber won the all-around (39.375), vault (9.950) and balance beam (9.900) as the gymnastics team won at Arkansas, 196.700-195.800. Junior Shea Mahoney won the floor exercise with a career-best 9.900, while freshman Emily Gaskins won uneven bars with a career-best score of her own, 9.925.

• Freshman Jonathan Berneburg picked up the win in 19.69 as Alabama swimming and diving closed out day one of the Auburn Invitational with a one-two-three sweep of the men’s 50 freestyle. Overall, Alabama finished first or second in every individual event on the day, including three events where it took both places.

• Women’s tennis: Alabama swept its doubleheader, defeating Georgia State 4-3 and UT Martin 6-0 inside the Roberta Alison Baumgardner Indoor Facility.Junior Alba Cortina Pou clinched the first match at No. 4 singles, with the Panthers winning the final three after the outcome had already been decided.

• Men’s tennis: Junior Edson Ortiz teamed with Zhe Zhou to secure the doubles point and then dominated at No. 2 singles to lead Alabama to a 5-2 victory at San Diego State.

Did you notice?

• Lars Anderson announced the subject of his new book:

• GoVols247 reported that Tennessee is expected to hire former Alabama defensive backs coach Derrick Ansley, who spent last season with the Oakland Raiders. He’ll replace Terry Fair and could have a co-defensive coordinator title (paid).

• Former Crimson Tide player Collin Sexton had his second straight 27-point game for the Cavaliers, who lost 119-106 to the Wizards.

•Dane Brugler of The Athletic polled 12 people associated with the NFL draft including six scouts and asked who will be the first tackle selected. Five said Oklahoma’s Cody Ford and four said Alabama’s Jonah Williams (paid).

• The SEC West had 52 players invited to the NFL Combine, one fewer that the entire Big Ten and six more than the entire ACC.

• Pro Football Focus has this interesting statistic about safety Xavier McKinney:

Countdown to the Crimson Tide’s 2019 opener:


On this date in Crimson Tide history:

February 9, 1942: Coming off a Cotton Bowl win, Alabama has 54 players report for spring practices. Coach Frank Thomas notes that with the escalation of World War II he doesn’t know of the Crimson Tide will have a team in the fall. If so, the top returning players will be Al Sabo, George Weeks, Don Whitmire, Joe Domnanovich and Russ Craft. — Bryant Museum

Crimson Tide quote of the day:

“Big Daddy” — The gravestone of Don Whitmire at Arlington National Cemetery. As arear admiral the All-American tackle at Alabama (1941-1942) and Navy (1943-1944) directed the evacuation of Saigon at the end of the Vietnam War in 1975.