April 12, 2012
|Games 40-42 | No. 2 Alabama (37-2, 14-2 SEC) vs. South Carolina (23-20, 3-13 SEC)
||Friday, April 13, 6:30 p.m. CDT
Saturday, April 14, 4:30 p.m. CDT
Sunday, April 15, 1:30 p.m. CDT
||Tuscaloosa, Ala. | Rhoads Stadium (3,950)
||General Admission | $5
WVUA-TV (Gary Harris/Chad Haynie & Whitney Larsen)
||Stream | WVUA 90.7 FM | Chad Haynie & Paden Lapwing
||GameTracker (Fri.) | GameTracker (Sat.) | GameTracker (Sun.)
||Alabama Notes | South Carolina Notes
||Alabama leads, 29-16 | 17-4 at Tuscaloosa
||Schedule | Jennifer Fenton Day (Sat.) | All You Can Eat Buffet (Sun.)
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The second ranked Alabama softball team (37-2 overall, 14-2 SEC) looks to stay atop the Southeastern Conference standings as it welcomes South Carolina (23-20 overall, 3-13 SEC) to Rhoads Stadium for a three game series. First pitch for Friday, April 13 is set for 6:30 p.m. Saturday’s game will start at 4:30 p.m., and Sunday’s finale will start at 1:30 p.m. All three games will be live on WVUA-TV.
LAST TIME OUT
The second ranked Alabama softball team continued its hold atop the SEC standings by winning a three-game series against western division rival LSU. Alabama won by identical 6-0 scores on Friday and Sunday, but dropped the Saturday contest, 3-2. It was only the second loss on the season for the Crimson Tide. Alabama didn’t have its usual strong showing at the plate, hitting only .229 in the three games against arguably one of the best pitching duos in the league. The Tide did hold the Tigers to just a .143 average, one home run and three RBI while UA hit three home runs and drove in 13, outscoring LSU, 14-3. Sophomore Jackie Traina continues her stellar play in the circle, earning two shutout wins while extending her consecutive victory streak to a school record 25 straight decisions, including a perfect 23-0 ledger this season. Traina had a no-hitter broken up in the sixth inning on Sunday and struck out 12 in the one-hit gem. Senior Jennifer Fenton made NCAA history by breaking the national record in consecutive stolen bases without being caught. She entered the weekend one off the record and stole two in the same inning on Friday to etch her name in the record books. She was thrown out on Saturday but now holds the record with 74 attempts without being caught.
WHO TO WATCH
Sophomore pitcher Jackie Traina continued her winning ways as she earned the win in two of the three games this weekend, and pitched an inning of relief in the other. Both her wins came by the way of shutout to extend her consecutive wins streak to a school record 25 straight decisions. Traina is a perfect 23-0 this season and won her last two decisions in 2011. To start off the week, the right-hander struck out eight and scattered four hits in a 6-0 shutout over ranked LSU and then came back on Sunday and nearly tossed a no-hitter allowing a single hit in the sixth inning and fanning 12 en route to earning another 6-0 shutout win. She also didn’t allow a single ball on Sunday leave the infield. LSU couldn’t touch Traina all weekend long as she held the Tigers to a .118 batting average. The All-American is now 23-0 on the season with a 1.21 ERA and has 195 strikeouts in 145 innings.
SCOUTING SOUTH CAROLINA
The Gamecocks enter the weekend with a 23-20 overall record and 3-13 mark in SEC play after losing both games of a doubleheader on Wednesday at Georgia and two out of three games on the weekend at Kentucky. South Carolina opened the Kentucky series with a 9-1 win in five innings, but were shut down in the last two games, losing 7-0 and 10-5 in the second and third games, respectively. On Wednesday, the Gamecocks traveled to Georgia, where they were swept. In the first game, South Carolina hit a two-run single to tie the game in the top of the seventh, but Georgia hit a run scoring double in the bottom of the seventh to win, 4-3. In the second game, it was all Georgia, as the Gamecocks lost, 8-3. The Gamecocks are led at the plate by senior outfielder Lauren Lackey, who is hitting .413 (52-for-126) and 18 runs batted in. Senior infielder Evan Childs leads South Carolina with 10 home runs and 35 runs batted in. Junior utility player Samie Garcia is batting .390 (53-for-136) and has scored 38 runs on the year. Junior Audrey Broyles leads the Gamecocks in the circle, posting a 7-6 record with 38 strikeouts in 72 1/3 innings and a 3.19 ERA. South Carolina is led by head coach Beverly Smith, who is in her second season in charge in Columbia. She has posted a 48-51 record in her two seasons.
Alabama and South Carolina have faced off 45 times overall, with the Tide leading the series, 29-16. Alabama swept South Carolina in a three game series last April, shutting out the Gamecocks in all three games. Alabama opened the series with a 7-0 victory, led by a Whitney Larson grand slam and two home runs by Kaila Hunt. The Tide also won the second game, 7-0, as Jackie Traina threw a complete game and Kayla Braud led the way with a grand slam. Kelsi Dunne threw a no-hitter in the third game, a 1-0 victory for the Tide.
TRAINA AND BRAUD NAMED TOP 25 PLAYER OF THE YEAR FINALISTS
Alabama sophomore pitcher/designated player Jackie Traina (Naples, Fla.) and junior outfielder Kayla Braud (Eugene, Ore.) were named Top 25 finalists for the 2012 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America announced on Wednesday. It is the third year in a row that Braud has been named a top 25 finalist and a career first for Traina.
TRAINA NAMED SEC PITCHER OF THE WEEK
For the second consecutive week and the third time this season Alabama sophomore pitcher Jackie Traina (Naples, Fla.) was named the Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Week, the league office announced Monday. Traina earned two shutout wins over the weekend and pitched a scoreless inning in relief to continue her dominance in the circle. She has now earned the honor four times in her career.
ALABAMA GOES FOR PROGRAM WIN 800
The Alabama softball program will be going for its 800th win as it is in the midst of its 16th season. The Crimson Tide enters the weekend with a 799-239 all-time record. Alabama has won over 50 games nine times, including seven years in a row and 60 or more twice, with a school record 66 wins in 2000.
The University of Alabama softball team has matched the 2011 team for the best start in school history through 39 games. At 37-2, the 2012 team has equaled last season’s squad that opened at 37-2 as well. The 2008 team has the third best start in school history with a 36-3 mark, while the 2006 and 2007 squads each started 35-4.
TRAINA CONSECUTIVE WINS
Sophomore pitcher Jackie Traina has secured the win in a school-record 25 consecutive decisions, dating back to last season. Kelsi Dunne held the previous record of 24 consecutive wins, set in 2010. Traina also holds the Alabama school record for wins to start a season with 23 victories. She broke the previous record of 21 consecutive wins, held by Shelley Laird, when she recorded her 22nd consecutive win on April 6, over LSU.
REILLY-BOCCIA NAMED A LOWE'S FINALIST
Alabama outfielder Cassie Reilly-Boccia(Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) was one of 10 softball student-athletes that were selected as finalists for the 2012 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition. The finalists were chosen by a media committee from the list of 30 candidates announced in February. Lowe's will announce the Senior CLASS Award® winner during the 2012 NCAA Women's College World Series.
HOME RUN POWER
Alabama enters the weekend ranked second in the country with 61 home runs. The Tide has been hitting the longball consistently as of late, going deep in 21 of the last 23 games. Overall the Tide has belted a home run in 34 of the 39 games and has hit two or more home runs in 23 games this season.
Alabama senior Cassie Reilly-Boccia just broke the career walks record as she now sports 164 career free passes. Kelly Kretschman held the UA record with 161 career walks. Despite being just a junior, Kayla Braud is also ascending up the charts. Braud has swiped 128 career bases to rank third all time. Brittany Rogers holds the mark with 198 stolen bases. Senior Jennifer Fenton checks in at fourth all-time with 116 stolen bases. Senior Amanda Locke is powering her way into the home run record book as she ranks fourth all-time with 45 career home runs. Kretschman holds the record with 60 career roundtrippers. Kendall Dawson is one caught theft away from holding the Alabama record for most caught stealing by. She is tied with Lacy Prejean with 39 over her career.
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 1,105 games and start 879 times. Five of the six seniors have started more than 100 games in their careers and three of the seniors have eclipsed the 200-games played mark. Cassie Reilly-Boccia leads the senior class with 228 games played and 215 starts.
Alabama has raced out to a 37-2 start and has been doing it in impressive fashion. The Tide has outscored its opponents 288-87, including a 72-9 advantage in the first inning. UA is averaging 7.38 runs per game and 8.33 hits per contest. Kayla Braud and Jennifer Fenton are averaging just under a run per game while Cassie Reilly-Boccia, Amanda Locke are driving in nearly a run per game, and Kaila Hunt is averaging more than one run batted in per game. In the circle Jackie Traina is averaging 9.4 strikeouts per contest.
In the third installment of the RPI rankings, Alabama currently ranks No. 2 in the country. Cal is currently ranked No. 1 this week. Alabama has seven opponents on the schedule ranked in the top 25 and has a total of 15 in the top 50 of the RPI rankings.
NCAA TEAM STATS
The Tide are ranked highly in several categories at the NCAA level. UA is 15th in batting average (.325) and fourth in slugging percentage (.579), in addition to being fourth in scoring per game (7.38). They are also sixth in stolen bases per game (2.33), as well as second in home run per game (1.56) and total home runs (61). The Tide is sixth in stolen bases per game (2.33) and 17th in ERA (1.72).
NCAA INDIVIDUAL STATS
Alabama has several players ranked nationally. Kaila Hunt is 10th in home runs (14), as well as 11th in home runs per game (.38) .Jennifer Fenton is 10th in stolen bases per game (.71) and eighth in stolen bases (27), as well as tied for 24th in sacrifice flies with teammate Cassie Reilly-Boccia (3). Reilly-Boccia is also 11th in on base percentage (.551). Jackie Traina leads the country in wins (23) and is 11th in strikeouts (195) and 12th in strikeouts per seven innings (9.4). (Stats as of 4-9-12)
SEC TEAM STATS
As a team, the Crimson Tide is at the top of almost every offensive category. The Tide is batting at a .325 clip (325-for-999), good for tops in the conference, while their 325 hits are good for second overall. Alabama leads the league in home runs (61), runs (288), runs batted in (263), and stolen bases (92). UA is also leading the SEC in on base percentage (.446), slugging percentage (.579) and walks (179). Tide pitchers have struck out 290 batters, good for second in the league. Alabama is also second with 54 doubles on the year.
SEC INDIVIDUAL STATS
Kayla Braud is eighth in the conference in batting average (.385) and sixth in runs scored (35). Jennifer Fenton leads the league with 27 stolen bases, while Braud is second with 25 steals. Fenton is also fourth in triples (3) and runs scored (38). Cassie Reilly-Boccia is second in on-base percentage (.551) and fourth in walks (31). Kaila Hunt is second in home runs (14), third in runs batted in (40), and fourth in slugging percentage (.734). Jackie Traina leads the league with 23 wins and opponents have only hit at a .168 clip against her, also tops in the league. Her 195 strikeouts are second in the league, but she leads the league with 44 strikeouts looking.
NEXT TIME OUT
Alabama will cap off its homestand when it hosts Georgia State. The two teams will meet on Tuesday, April 17, with first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m., at Rhoads Stadium.