Friday, May 07, 2004
After taking the week off for final exams, the No. 13 ranked University of Alabama softball team (39-16) heads to College Park, Md. to wrap up its regular season with a doubleheader Saturday against the University of Maryland (29-23).
The meeting marks the first meeting between the schools since the 2002 season and the fourth meeting overall. The Crimson Tide holds a 2-1 series lead over the Terrapins and has won the last two meetings against the Terps.
Alabama comes into the weekend looking to continue its momentum heading into the postseason following a series victory over No. 8 Georgia. Senior All-America Jackie McClain and sophomore Stephanie VanBrakle lead the Tide offense. McClain is boasting a team high .409 batting average while VanBrakle has a team leading nine homeruns and 39 RBI.
VanBrakle and Jennifer Wright lead the Tide pitching staff. VanBrakle heads into the weekend with a 14-9 record and a team best 200 strikeouts. Wright leads Alabama with a 1.76 ERA and a 12-1 record.
Maryland is led by Crystal Rizzuto with a .331 batting average. Keri Lounge also paces the Terp’s offense with a .320 batting average. Lounge is tied with Lindsay Klein for the team lead in home runs (6) and RBI (33).
First pitch of the doubleheader is set for noon CST on Saturday. The game can be heard at www.rolltide.com or locally in Tuscaloosa on WVUA 90.7. Live stats will also be available at www.rolltide.com.
Following the doubleheader, the Tide will return home to host the 2004 SEC Tournament. The tournament runs from Thursday, May 13 through Sunday, May 16. Tournament passes are $40 for adults and $30 for students and youth (18 and under) and are available through the end of the first session on Thursday. Session passes are $10 each. Fans can call the University of Alabama Athletic Ticket office at 205.348.BAMA (2262) or 1.877.TIDE.TIX (843.3849). Tickets are also available at www.rolltide.com.
Fan parking for the tournament will be in the main Student Recreational Center parking lot on Campus Drive. Parking on the hill, beyond the outfield fence will be prohibited. There will be a free shuttle service available for fans between the parking lot and the softball stadium.