No. 1 Softball Returns Home to Host Mississippi



March 15, 2012

Games 23-25 | No. 1/2 Alabama (22-0, 3-0 SEC) vs. Mississippi (13-9, 2-0 SEC)

Friday, March 16, 6:30 p.m. CT
Saturday, March 17, 5 p.m. CT
Sunday, March 18, 1:30 p.m. CT

Location Tuscaloosa, Ala. | Rhoads Stadium (3,395)
Tickets General Admission | $5
Television ESPNU (Saturday) | WVUA (Sunday)
Radio Stream | WVUA 90.7 FM | Chad Haynie
Live Stats GameTracker (Gm 1) | GameTracker (Gm 2) | GameTracker (Gm 3)
Game Notes Alabama Notes Get Acrobat ReaderMississippi Notes Get Acrobat Reader
Video Stream TideTV
Series Record 48-2 | 22-1 at Tuscaloosa | UA has won 20 straight
Promotions Schedule Power of Pink | Kendall Dawson Day

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The top-ranked Alabama softball team (22-0, 3-0 SEC) returns home from its cross country trek to host Mississippi (13-9, 2-0 SEC) in a three-game Southeastern Conference series. The two teams will open the series on Friday, March 16 with first pitch slated for 6:30 p.m. On Saturday, ESPNU will televise the contest at 5 p.m., with Mark Neely and Michele Smith on the call. The series finale is set for Sunday at 1:30 p.m.

Alabama went on the road and earned a key win over a highly ranked Oregon squad. The Ducks entered the contest ranked No. 14 in the country but the top-ranked Tide proved to be too much as it downed Oregon, 5-1, on Tuesday night in Eugene. Sophomore pitcher Jackie Traina allowed one unearned run on three hits while striking out 10 to improve to a perfect 13-0 on the season. Senior Cassie Reilly-Boccia hit her fourth home run on the season and junior Kayla Braud smacked a double, walked and scored a run in her homecoming game.

In the last five games senior Cassie Reilly-Boccia has sparked the Alabama offense. The Yorktown Heights, N.Y., native is hitting .500 (7-for-14) over that stretch with two home runs and six RBI. The senior has also scored four runs while slugging 1.000. Also over the last five games sophomore Jackie Traina is a perfect 3-0 in three starts with a 0.95 ERA. The right-hander has allowed 15 hits and struck out 31 over the last 22 innings pitched.

The Rebels enter Tuscaloosa with a 13-9 overall record and a 2-0 conference mark. Mississippi has won five of its last seven games, with the two losses coming against No. 10 Stanford in Palo Alto, Calif. UM opened SEC play with 13-0 victory and a 7-6 extra inning win on the road against Arkansas in a midweek doubleheader. As a team, the Rebels are hitting .329 with 13 home runs and 120 RBI. Mississippi has outscored its opponents 135-102. UM pitchers have a combined 4.06 ERA and have held opposing batters to a .292 average. Individually Corrine Doornberg leads the team with a .444 (28-for-63) average and 21 runs scored. Londen Ladner has supplied the punch with a team-high five home runs and 24 RBI while hitting at a .404 clip. In the circle, Kendall Bruning leads the team with a 2.30 ERA and 67 strikeouts in 85 1/3 innings pitched. First year head coach Windy Thees takes over the program after leading Memphis to the Tuscaloosa Regional last season.

Alabama and Mississippi have met over 50 times with the Tide dominating the series with a 48-2 all-time record. Alabama has won 20 straight against Mississippi with the last loss coming by the score of 3-0 in Tuscaloosa on April 2, 2005. UA holds a 22-1 mark at home against UM. Last season the Tide blitzed the Rebels, outscoring the western division foe, 36-2, in the final regular season series for both teams. Senior Amanda Locke has owned the Rebels over the course of her career, hitting .462 (12-for-26) with two home runs and 14 RBI. Last season Locke was named the SEC Player of the Week for her play in the series.

Alabama put together one of its most successful seasons in front of the home faithful in 2011, posting a 25-1 record at Rhoads Stadium, with the only loss coming in the first game of the Super Regional against Stanford. UA has won 25 or more games at Rhoads Stadium, 11 times and 30 or more six 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 350-52 record at Rhoads Stadium and a 405-72 record in Tuscaloosa. So far this season Alabama is a perfect 10-0 at the friendly confines.

Alabama has historically gotten off to fast starts and the 2012 campaign is no different as the Tide enters the weekend with a perfect 22-0 record. UA has started the season better than 5-0, eight times and has gotten off to at least a 10-0 start, eight times. The Tide has eclipsed the 20-win plateau no 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 17-0 start.

Alabama enters the season with one of the most experienced squads in the country. The Crimson Tide boasts six seniors that have combined to find time in 1026 games and start 808 times. Five of the six seniors have started more than 100 games in their careers. Cassie Reilly-Boccia leads the senior class with 211 games played and 199 starts.

Alabama senior Cassie Reilly-Boccia is rapidly climbing up the career record charts. Reilly-Boccia currently ranks third all-time in walk with 149. Kelly Kretschman holds the UA record with 161 free passes. Despite being just a junior, Kayla Braud is also ascending up the charts. Braud has swiped 123 career bases to rank third all time. Brittany Rogers holds the mark with 198 stolen bases. Senior Jennifer Fenton checks in at fifth all-time with 100 stolen bases. Senior Amanda Locke is powering her way into the home run record book as she ranks fourth all-time with 41 career home runs. Kretschman holds the record with 60 career roundtrippers.

Alabama was once again tabbed the number one team in the country, as noted by the NFCA poll. The Crimson Tide has held the number one ranking at some point during the regular season in five of the last six seasons. The streak started in 2007 and despite not being ranked number one in 2010, Alabama was selected as the number one national seed in the NCAA tournament. UA has held the top ranking this season for three consecutive weeks.

Alabama will remain at home for SEC play as it will host No. 9 Tennessee in a midweek doubleheader. The two conference rivals will meet in a twin-bill on Wednesday, March 21, with both games set to air on CSS. First pitch of the first game is scheduled for 4 p.m.