Softball Heads to Lexington for SEC Tournament



May 7, 2013

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The No. 8 seeded Alabama softball team (41-12, 13-11 SEC) will open the Southeastern Conference Tournament against No. 9 seeded Texas A&M (39-14, 10-13 SEC) on Wednesday, May 8, with first pitch slated for 3 p.m. CT, at John Cropp Stadium in Lexington, Ky. Pam Ward and Michele Smith will be on the call for ESPNU. 

Alabama is coming off a series loss to Kentucky this past weekend to wrap up the regular season. The Crimson Tide was blanked in the opener, 5-0, and then bounced back in a big way with a 14-0 rout in game two. Alabama went down 5-0 in the finale but rallied to push the game to extra innings, just to fall in the eighth, 9-5. Junior Ryan Iamurri batted .750 (6-for-8) with a run and a RBI. In the series finale the junior equaled her career high with three hits, a game after going 2-for-2 against the Wildcats. Senior Lauren Sewell tossed 4 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, making an appearance in each game of the series.

The Last Meeting
Texas A&M1
March 31, 2013
College Station, Texas
Softball Earns Series Win with 4-1 Victory
Alabama junior All-American Jackie Traina allowed one run on two hits and also went deep to lead the No. 4 ranked Crimson Tide to a 4-1 victory over No. 9 Texas A&M, Sunday afternoon from the Aggie Softball Complex. With the victory, UA improves to 32-5 overall and 8-4 in Southeastern Conference play.

The last 10 games have not been kind to the Crimson Tide, posting a 4-6 record over the span. Senior Kayla Braud batted .529 (18-for-34) over that stretch with 12 runs, two doubles, four RBI and two stolen bases. Junior Ryan Iamurri has batted .500 (7-for-14) while freshman Haylie McCleney has hit .429 (12-for-28) over that span with a home run and seven RBI. Senior Lauren Sewell is 1-0 with an unblemished ERA, allowing just five hits in 8 1/3 innings pitched.

The Aggies of Texas A&M concluded the regular season with a 39-14 overall record and a 10-13 mark in SEC play. Texas A&M is hitting .303 with 88 home runs while outscoring its opponents, 324-160. In the circle the Aggies pitch at a 2.57 ERA and have held opponents to a .235 average. Individually, Cali Lanphear leads Texas A&M with a .359 average, 18 home runs and 52 RBI. She has also scored 43 runs and is slugging .863. Nicole Morgan follows with a .331 average, adding 15 home runs and 51 RBI. In the circle, Mel Dumezich is 26-6 with a 2.15 ERA. The right-hander has struck out 212 in 195 innings and held opponents to a .204 batting average. Head coach Jo Evans is in her 17th season at College Station and has compiled a 669-318-2 record while managing the Aggies. She is 982-528-2 in 28 years of coaching.

Alabama will be joining LSU as the only two teams in the conference to participate in the tournament each season. The Crimson Tide has posted a 32-19 record in the SEC Tournament and has won five titles (1998 2003, 05, 10 and 12). The senior class enters the tournament with a 7-1 record over the last three years. Junior Kaila Hunt enters with a career .462 average in the tournament, with a triple and eight RBI. Senior Kayla Braud has posted a .435 average in the tournament with seven runs and five stolen bases. 2012 SEC Tournament MVP Jackie Traina is 2-1 with a 0.69 ERA. She has struck out 21 in 20 1/3 innings and held opponents to a .236 average.

Alabama is 8-0 in neutral site games in 2013. The Crimson Tide has hit .353 with 11 home runs and 29 stolen bases while outscoring opponents, 58-16. Freshman Haylie McCleney leads the team with a .630 average, scoring 13 runs with two home runs and 10 stolen bases. Sophomore Danae Hays closely follows with a .600 average, adding two home runs and nine RBI. In the circle, junior Jackie Traina is 3-0 with a perfect 0.00 ERA. She has struck out 26 in 16 1/3 innings and only walked two.

Alabama junior infielder Ryan Iamurri has been a mainstay in the Tuscaloosa community, helping with numerous projects though SAAC and on her own. Iamurri has helped with the Field of Angels, which is an organization that helps disabled or mentally handicapped kids play baseball. She has also worked at the University RISE Program, volunteered in a kindergarten class, and worked with Project Angel Tree and the annual Halloween Extravaganza. Iamurri also coaches little league. She was elected the SAAC president for the next academic year.

Alabama enters the with a tournament title streak on the line. The Tide has claimed 13 consecutive tournament titles dating back to the 2012 Easton Bama Bash and including the 2012 SEC Tournament, Regional, Super Regional and Women's College World Series. The last loss for Alabama in a tournament game came from the Oklahoma Sooners in game one of the 2012 WCWS Championship Series on June 4, 2012 (4-1). The last tournament that Alabama did not wind up winning, was the 2011 Women's College World Series that saw the PAC-10's Arizona State take the crown. 

NCAA Division I Softball Tournament Win Streaks 

17 - Arizona (1996 - ‘98)

15 - Arizona (1993 - ‘95)

13 - Alabama (2012 - ‘13)

11 - Arizona State (2008 - ‘09)

11 - UCLA (2003 - ‘05)

10 - Michigan (2005 - ‘06)

In the seventh installment of the RPI, the Alabama softball team checks in at No. 6 overall, moving up one spot from last week. Seven Tide opponents reside in the top 25, while five check in at the top 10.

The Alabama Crimson Tide is ranked eighth in the NCAA in scoring with 368 runs scored. The Tide is also ranked seventh in stolen bases per game with 109 (2.06 per game). Freshman Haylie McCleney is sixth on the batting average list with a .469, she is also tied for ninth on the NCAA runs per game ranking with 1.13 per contest.

At the end of the regular season, Alabama ranks third in the Western Division with a 13-11 SEC record. The Tide is third in the SEC batting averages with a .330 as well as hits with 466. Alabama holds fourth in runs scored, plating 368 runners. The Tide takes second in on base percentage with a .425 and fourth in RBI, 321. The Tide is second in stolen bases, taking 110-of-124. Alabama's pitching staff has the third lowest ERA with 2.24

Freshman Haylie McCleney is third in the sec batting averages with a .425 and fourth in on base percentage with .541. She is tide for third in runs scored with 60 runs as well as tied for third in hits with 76. Senior Kayla Braud ranks third in batting averages with .452 and is tied with McCleney for third in hits with 76. Braud is second in stolen bases with 36-of-39. Junior pitcher Jackie Traina is fifth in the SEC for Batters struck out, 190.

NEXT TIME OUTAfter the tournament the Crimson Tide will await its NCAA tournament seed which will be announced on the selection show. The show will air on ESPNU at 9 p.m., on Sunday, May 12.