May 2, 2013
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama softball team (40-10, 12-9 SEC) will wrap up the regular season as it hosts Kentucky (36-16, 11-10 SEC) for a three-game weekend series. The two teams will open the three-game set on Friday, May 3, with first pitch slated for 6:30 p.m., at Rhoads Stadium.
LAST TIME OUT
Alabama was swept for the first time since 2011 as it fell to LSU in three straight games this past weekend in Baton Rouge. All three losses were by one run as the Tide still hasn’t found an answer for Tiger Park. UA fell in the first game in eight innings, 3-2, and then dropped game two, 2-1, before getting edged in the series finale, 4-3. Alabama hit .268 and posted a 2.49 ERA but was outscored, 9-6, in the series. Sophomore Danielle Richard hit .800 (4-for-5) with a home run and two RBI while senior Kayla Braud batted .600 (6-for-10) with two runs.
The Last Meeting
March 11, 2012
No. 1 Softball Sweeps Kentucky with 12-2 Win
The number one ranked Alabama softball team banged out 14 hits and smashed four home runs en route to sweeping Kentucky with a 12-2 win, Sunday afternoon at the UK Softball Complex. With the win the Crimson Tide stay perfect at 21-0 and 3-0 in Southeastern Conference play.
WHO TO WATCH
Over the month of April the top of the order has paced the Crimson Tide. Freshman Haylie McCleney batted .528 (19-for-36) with 14 runs, a home run, 11 RBI, 10 walks and four stolen bases. Senior Kayla Braud batted .512 (22-for-43) with 17 runs and five stolen bases. In the circle, sophomore Leslie Jury has led the team over that span with a 4-2 record and a 2.41 ERA. Alabama batted .351 in the month of April with 12 home runs while outscoring its opponents, 91-47.
The Wildcats enter Tuscaloosa with a 36-16 overall record and an 11-10 SEC mark. Kentucky is coming off a series loss to No. 11 Missouri this past weekend. UK is batting .268 with 50 home runs and 65 stolen bases while outscoring its opponents, 251-261. In the circle the Wildcats pitch at a 2.58 ERA and have held opposing batters to a .226 average while striking out 277 in 361 1/3 innings pitched. Individually, Lauren Cumbess paces the team with a .353 average, 11 home runs and 38 RBI. Griffin Joiner follows with a .318 average, adding nine home runs and 38 RBI. In the circle, Kelsey Nunley sports a 22-7 record with a 2.02 ERA and has struck out 159 in 208 1/3 innings. Nunley has held opposing batters to a .216 average but has given up 13 home runs and walked 84. Head coach Rachel Lawson is in her sixth season in Kentucky and has posted a 189-149 record.
The two teams have met 40 times with Alabama holding an impressive, 38-2, all-time advantage. The Tide is a perfect 18-0 at home against the Wildcats. Last season Alabama swept Kentucky in Lexington, earning one win in extra innings and then two by the way of run-rule. Kayla Braud batted .462 with four runs while Courtney Conley provided the punch with two home runs, four RBI and a .400 batting average. Jackie Traina earned two wins with a 1.40 ERA and struck out 21 in 15 innings.
ROAD TO LEXINGTON
Alabama has clinched a berth into the Southeastern Conference tournament, which will be held at John Cropp Stadium in Lexington, Ky. The Crimson Tide currently reside in fifth place in the league standings, four games back of first and 1.5 games back of current No. 4 seed Missouri. The 7-10 seeds will open the tournament on Wednesday, May 8, while the rest of the field will play on Thursday, May 9. If the tournament were to start today, Alabama would face Missouri at 6:30 p.m., ET, on ESPN.
Five Alabama seniors (Jackey Branham, Kayla Braud, Courtney Conley, Keima Davis and Lauren Sewell) will be playing their last regular season games of their storied careers at Rhoads Stadium this weekend. The class has compiled 205 wins entering the weekend for an .837 winning percentage. The class has won three regular season SEC championships, two SEC tournament titles and one national championship.
ALABAMA AT HOME
Alabama enters the weekend with a 22-4 overall record at Rhoads Stadium this season. The Tide has outscored its opponents, 220-66, while hitting .365 with 28 home runs. Alabama has stolen 64 bases in Tuscaloosa and pitches at a 1.96 ERA while holding opponents to a .201 average. Individually, Haylie McCleney is batting .500 with 35 hits and 32 runs while Kayla Braud follows with a .456 average, 36 hits, 34 runs and 19 stolen bases. Kaila Hunt leads the team with 31 home RBI while batting .420. Danielle Richard has hit the most home runs with five while driving 15 with a .360 average. Leslie Jury paces the Tide in the circle at home with a 1.48 ERA and an 8-2 record.
In the sixth installment of the RPI, the Alabama softball team checks in at No. 7 overall, dropping two spots from last week. Seven Tide opponents reside in the top 25, while three check in at the top 10.
ALABAMA IN THE NCAA
The Alabama softball team is ranked seventh in the NCAA in scoring, averaging seven runs a game. The Tide is eighth in stolen bases per game, collecting 2.12 per contest. UA also ranks 15th in batting average (.332) and 21st in slugging percentage (.513). Individually Haylie McCleney ranks sixth in batting average (.474) and 12th in runs per game (1.12) while Kayla Braud checks in at 15th in batting average (.446) and 14th in stolen bases per game (0.68).
ALABAMA IN THE SEC
Alabama ranks third in batting average (.332) second in on base percentage (.426) fourth in runs (349), third in hits (442), fourth in RBI (303), fourth in home runs (55), second in walks (201) and second in stolen bases (107).
INDIVIDUALLY IN THE SEC
Freshman Haylie McCleney is tied for the league lead in hitting with a .474 average. The freshman also ranks fourth in on base percentage (.538), fourth in runs (56), second in hits (73) and fifth in stolen bases (27). Senior Kayla Braud ranks third in batting average (.446), fifth in hits (70) and tied for first in stolen bases (35). Junior Jackie Traina ranks fifth in strikeouts with 183.
NEXT TIME OUT
Alabama will await its seed for the Southeastern Conference Tournament that will be held in Lexington, Ky. The 10-team field will begin play on Wednesday, May 8 and continue through Saturday, May 11. Alabama is the reigning tournament champions.