Feb. 21, 2013
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The top-ranked Alabama softball team (11-0) will be opening its home schedule by hosting the Easton Bama Bash Present by Drash, Feb. 22-24. The Crimson Tide will welcome Western Illinois (2-0), Iowa (7-3) and Winthrop (2-4) to Rhoads Stadium. Alabama will open its weekend schedule against Western Illinois on Friday, Feb. 22, with first pitch slated at 4 p.m. The tournament will start at 11 a.m., with Western Illinois facing off against Winthrop. A total of 10 games will be played in the Bama Bash this weekend.
LAST TIME OUT
The top-ranked Alabama softball team downed instate foe UAB, 8-4, Tuesday night in cold conditions at the UAB Softball Field. With the win, the Crimson Tide concludes its 11-game opening season road-trip with a perfect 11-0 record. The Tide banged out eight hits and was led offensively by freshman Haylie McCleney who recorded her fifth three-hit game on the year. Senior Kaila Hunt batted 2-for-3 with her fifth home run of the season while junior Jackie Traina also had two hits and a home run.
WHO TO WATCH
Freshman Haylie McCleney continues her torrid start to her freshman year, leading the team after 11 games in average (.615), runs (17), and a perfect 12-for-12 mark in stolen bases. Junior Kaila Hunt has been providing the punch, hitting five home runs while adding 13 RBI. The All-American is slugging an astronomical 1.103.
SCOUTING WESTERN ILLINOIS
The Leathernecks come into the weekend off of a 2-0 start in the Belmont Spring Tournament, before the final two games were cancelled. Junior catcher Monica Rondón leads the team at the plate with two homeruns and six RBI. Senior pitcher Kelsey Michelini leads the team from the circle with a 1.91 ERA. In 11 innings Michelini has struck out four batters. Head Coach Holly Van Vlymen kicks off her eighth season with the Leathernecks sporting a 173-182-1 overall record.
The Iowa Hawkeyes began their 2013 campaign with a 7-3 start, earning four wins at the Lovelace Invitational in Denton, Texas. Sophomore Megan Blank, who was named to the Lovelace All-Tournament Team, leads Iowa at the plate with a .367 average while adding three home runs. Blank also leads the team in RBI with 11. At the rubber, senior Chelsea Lyon heads up the Hawkeye staff with a 2.30 ERA, striking out 20 batters in 27 1/3 innings. Third year head coach Marla Looper has posted a 61-53 overall record and a 25-19 Big Ten conference mark thus far in Iowa City.
The Eagles enter the Bama Bash weekend with a 2-4 record, going 1-3 in the Georgia Tournament and 1-1 in the Spartan Invitational, which was cut short. Senior Chelsey Schoenfeldt leads Winthrop in the batter's box with a .357 average, including two home runs and six RBI. Sophomore Sutton Watson leads the team with the lowest ERA of 2.03, striking out 17 in 20 innings. Head Coach Mark Cooke enters his 23rd year at Winthrop with a Big South Conference career record of 697-649-3.
Western Illinois: In the four previous meetings between Alabama and Western Illinois, Alabama leads the series 4-0. The last time the two met was on March 12, 2000, Alabama sealed the 3-2 victory in Tuscaloosa. Sophomore Kelly Kretschman started the game off strong, homering in the first and sending junior Paula White home for two RBI.
Iowa: Having played each other twice, Alabama and Iowa have split the series 1-1, the last meeting going to Alabama on Feb. 26, 2010. The Tide took the decision, 5-4, with freshman Jazlyn Lunceford scoring twice, once off of a home run in the top of the seventh.
Winthrop: The Tide and the Eagles have played four times in the past with Alabama leading the series 4-0. The last time out between the two teams ended with Alabama taking the 14-1 win in five innings, Feb. 25, 2007 in Tuscaloosa. With a team total of 14 runs on 15 hits, sophomore Jordan Praytor led Alabama at the plate batting 4-for-4, scoring twice and batting in four runs.
BRAUD NAMED A SENIOR CLASS AWARD CANDIDATE
Alabama outfielder Kayla Braud (Eugene, Ore.) was named one of 30 NCAA® softball student-athletes who excel both on and off the field as candidates for the 2013 Senior CLASS Award® in collegiate softball, the organization announced. The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2013 NCAA Women's College World Series® in Oklahoma City May 30 through June 5.
BAMA BASH HISTORY
In Except for 2010, The Crimson Tide has hosted the BAMA Bash every season since 1998. Alabama has taken a liking to the home cooking of the historically early season home tournament. Overall Alabama sports a 62-7 record in BAMA Bash play, including a perfect 37-0 mark since 2004. The last time the Crimson Tide fell in a BAMA Bash contest was in 2003 by the score of 4-0 to Southern Illinois. Alabama has lost just once in the tournament in the last 11 seasons.
Alabama enters the Easton Bama Bash this upcoming weekend with a 262-65 overall regular season tournament record. The last loss for Alabama came from Louisiana-Lafayette in the Citrus Classic on March 4, 2011. The Tide sports a strong 106-16 overall home tournament record. Alabama has not lost at home in a tournament game since March 6, 2010, when it fell to No. 7 Michigan, 4-2. Since that loss Alabama has strung together a 23-game win streak for home tournaments.
NCAA Division I Softball Tournament Win Streaks
17 - Arizona (1996 - `98)
15 - Arizona (1993 - `95)
11 - Alabama (2011 - `12)|
11 - Arizona State (2008 - `09)
11 - UCLA (2003 - `05)
10 - Michigan (2005 - `06)
Alabama has historically gotten off to fast starts and the 2013 campaign is no different as the Tide enters the week with a perfect 11-0 record. UA has started the season better than 5-0, nine times and has gotten off to at least a 10-0 start, nine times. The Tide has eclipsed the 20-win plateau three times, setting a school record with a 27-0 start in 2001. UA started 25-0 in 2007. Last year the Tide raced out to a 26-0 start.
Alabama put together one of its most successful seasons in front of the home faithful in 2012, posting a 34-4 record at Rhoads Stadium, losing to Tennessee, LSU, Georgia State and Florida. UA has won 25 or more games at Rhoads Stadium, 12 times and 30 or more seven times. The Tide finished 31-1 in 2009 and put together its most wins in 2007 with a 39-3 record. Overall Alabama has posted a 374-56 record at Rhoads Stadium and a 429-76 record in Tuscaloosa.
ALABAMA IN THE SEC
After the second week of season play the Alabama softball team ranks high in many categories in the SEC. Alabama takes first in the SEC for stolen bases percentage only being caught once (33-34) putting them at 97 percent. Alabama is tied for third in the homerun category with 15 over the fence. The Tide takes third after the second week in total hits with 99 putting up 76 runs. The pitching effort by the Tide takes first in total batters struck out with 98.
INDIVIDUALLY IN THE SEC
Freshman Haylie McCleney comes in first in SEC batting average with .615, first in hits with 24 and tied for first four ways with runs with 17. The freshman is also ranked third in total bases with 36, and second for stolen bases going 12-12. Junior Kaila Hunt is fifth on the list for RBI with 13. After the second week, junior Jackie Traina is second in the SEC in batters struck out with 59.
TIDE RANKED NO. 1 AND NO. 2 IN WEEK TWO POLLS
The Alabama softball team remains on the top of the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 poll for the second week of the season with 20 first place votes. The Tide remains second in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll to Oklahoma (10-0) who received 16 points to Alabama's four.
ALABAMA ON THE RADIO
The Alabama softball radio broadcasts will make the move to the Crimson Tide Sports Network in 2013. Chad Haynie, entering his fourth year broadcasting UA softball, will provide play-by-play coverage. The flagship station for softball in Tuscaloosa will be 99.1 WDGM. Fans can listen worldwide at 991wdgm.com or on any iPhone or Android device with the radioPup app. Links will also be available on Roll-Tide.com.
NEXT TIME OUT
Alabama will remain at home for the next two weekends playing Samford in a single game match up on Feb. 27 at 6 p.m., before hosting South Alabama the next day and the Easton Classic, March 1-2. Iowa State and St. Johns are the teams that will be competing in the Classic.