Baseball, Softball Get ESPN Showings

It's not exactly the blockbuster news that ESPN made with the announcement of its $300 million, 20-year deal with the Texas Longhorns, but ESPN will be televising Southeastern Conference baseball and softball this spring.



Alabama softball, which won last year's SEC regular season and tournament titles and is expected to again be one of the nation's top teams, will appear four times in regular season competition. The Crimson Tide baseball team will make one regular season appearance as part of the conference agreement.

The Alabama softball team will have host a single ESPN broadcast and will be featured in three contests on the road.

"We are always excited and honored to have a chance to play on television," Alabama Softball Coach Patrick Murphy said. "Our sport has grown so much in the past few years and a lot of that has to do with our games being on TV. Our fan base has grown from Alabama to Rhode Island to Oregon."

Alabama will open its national ESPN slate in a home game against Georgia. The two teams will play a three-game set at Rhoads Stadium with the Saturday, March 19, game being aired at 7 p.m. CT on ESPNU.

Alabama will once again be showcased on ESPNU, on Sunday, April 10, when the Tide heads down to face the LSU Tigers in Baton Rouge. The Sunday matinee will start at 1 p.m. CT.

The highly anticipated series between Alabama and Florida will once again be shown to a national audience. Of the three games in Gainesville, Fla., two of the contests will be aired live. The Saturday, April 23, game will be shown on ESPN2 at 4 p.m. ET and the Sunday, April 24, contest will air on ESPN at 1 p.m. ET. 

ESPN will once again cover the SEC Tournament that will be held in Oxford, Miss. The coverage will include three SEC Softball Championship quarterfinals, on Thursday, May 12, that will air on ESPNU with the final game of the day on ESPN2. Both semifinals on Friday, May 13, will air on ESPNU and the championship game on Saturday, May 14 will be seen on ESPN.  

  The lone ESPN appearance for Alabama baseball will have the Tide hosting Tennessee on Thursday, April 14 on ESPNU, with first pitch slated for 6:30 p.m. Central Time.

The Crimson Tide baseball team will appear on the second week of the ESPNU's Thursday Night SEC Baseball Game of the Week broadcast schedule.

  ESPNU's Thursday Night SEC Baseball Game of the Week coverage will begin Thursday, April 7, and runs through May 19.  In addition to the Thursday night games, SEC baseball will have 11 other games, including the SEC Championship Sunday, May 29 on ESPN2.

UA's 2011 baseball season will get underway on Friday, Feb. 18 when the Tide hosts Alcorn State in the first of a three-game series at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. First pitch for the home opener is scheduled for 6:05 p.m.

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