March 19, 2013
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama softball team (26-3) returns to Tuscaloosa for a week of home games, starting with a single midweek contest against Georgia State (14-8). The non-conference game is slated for Wednesday, March 20, with first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m.
LAST TIME OUT
The Alabama softball team capped off its two-week road swing by sweeping South Carolina this past weekend. The Crimson Tide outscored the Gamecocks, 18-13, hit .270 and pitched at a 4.33 clip. Alabama opened the series with a 6-4 win. Secured the series with a 5-3 win on Saturday and then wrapped up the sweep with a 7-6 victory on Sunday.
WHO TO WATCH
Junior Kaila Hunt led the Tide on the weekend with a .600 average (6-for-10), hitting a home run while driving in two runs. Senior Kayla Braud batted .333 (4-for-12) with three RBI and five runs while junior Jackie Traina provided the punch with two home runs and five RBI. In the circle, Traina went 1-0 with a 4.08 ERA. Sophomore Leslie Jury went 2-0 on the weekend with a 4.67 ERA.
SCOUTING GEORGIA STATE
The Georgia State Panthers come into Wednesday’s game with a 14-8 record overall this season and with a 3-1 record on the road. Taylor Anderson leads the Panthers at the plate with a .365 average and 27 hits, including three triples. Callie Alford leads the team in power hitting with a .639 slugging percentage and six homeruns with 20 RBI. In the circle Kaitlyn Medlam and Katie Worley share responsibility for the Panthers. Medlam boasts a 2.74 ERA, giving up 68 hits and striking out 51 batters in 76.2 innings. Worley, with a 3.84 ERA, has struck out 43 batters in 58.1 innings. Roger Kincaid is in his third season as head coach in Atlanta tallying an overall record of 74-43.
The Tide has met the Georgia State Panthers in three past games with Alabama leading the series, 2-1. Georgia State took the last game between the two teams in a 5-1 decision on April 17, 2012. Kayla Braud connected on an infield single which allowed Jackey Branham to score on a bobble by the third baseman. The panthers recorded five runs on three hits in the fifth inning. It was the first nonconference home loss to an unranked opponent for the Tide since Ohio State downed Alabama in the 2006 Crimson Classic.
MURPHY CLOSING IN ON 800
Alabama head coach Patrick Murphy is rapidly closing in on 800 wins for his career. Murphy enters the week with a 798-220 record in 16 seasons, 15 while at the helm of the Crimson Tide. At Alabama, Murphy has accumulated a 770-201 record. He spent one season at Northwest Missouri State, where he went 28-20 in his first head coaching assignment.
ALABAMA AT HOME
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 385-56 record at Rhoads Stadium and a 440-76 record in Tuscaloosa. In 2013, the Tide is off to an 11-1 start.
ALABAMA IN THE NCAA
In the NCAA statistics, Alabama ranks third in stolen bases per game with 2.62 per game and 76 overall and ninth in scoring with 206 runs and 7.1 per game. Individually, Kayla Braud sits at fourth in the nation in stolen bases with 0.86 per game and 25 total.
SEC TEAM STATS
In the SEC, the Tide places fourth so far in runs with 206, third in hits with 250 and fourth in RBI with 179. Alabama is tied for fourth in homeruns with 30. Alabama has the second lowest strikeout count with 97. The Tide dominates the stolen base category ranking first with 76 in 80 attempts.
INDIVIDUALLY IN THE SEC
Freshman Haylie McCleney continues to lead the SEC in batting average with a .489 mark and in hits with 45. She holds second in runs scored with 35 and third in both triples and total bases with four and 70, respectively. Kaila Hunt is tied for third in doubles with 10 and tied for fourth in total bases with 68. Hunt is also fourth in RBI with 32. Kayla Braud is first in stolen bases with 25 and second in stolen base attempts with 26. In the circle, Jackie Traina is ranked fourth in batters struck out with 116.
TIDE RANKED NO. 4 AND NO. 6 IN WEEK SIX POLLS
The Alabama softball team remains at No. 4 in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 poll after sweeping South Carolina in Columbia last week. Oklahoma repeats at No. 1 with a unanimous pick for the second week in a row. The Tide remains at No. 6 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll giving Oklahoma No. 1 in both polls.
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 weekend series versus long time in-state and SEC rival Auburn, March 22-24. The Tide packs for the road following the Auburn series to take a tour of Texas, stopping for a midweek game against Houston, March 27, before taking on SEC newcomer Texas A&M, March 29-31.