Tide Softball Gets More Attention

The Alabama softball season had barely begun—the Crimson Tide was opening the season Friday against Samford in the All-Alabama Classic – when there was good off-the-field news for Bama. A Crimson Tide star has received another honor, and television has selected the team for two more appearances.

Alabama Coach Patrick Murphy has made Alabama softball one of the premier teams in the nation. Bama, ranked third in the nation as the season begins, was opening Friday, then was to play Alabama A&M and Jacksonville State on Saturday, followed by South Alabama and Troy on Sunday. All games are at Liberty Park in Vestavia Hills.

It is no real surprise that Alabama sophomore outfielder Kayla Braud is coming in for pre-season honors. As a freshman last year she batted over .500. ESPN recently announced that the Eugene, Ore., native is a preseason second team All-America. The only surprise about that, in fact, is "second team."

Braud was also recently named to the 2011 USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year "Watch List."

Braud will look to build upon her tremendous freshman year campaign. Among Braud's accomplishments last season were she was named SEC Freshman of the Year, tabbed a NFCA second-team All-American, and became a top 10 finalist for ASA/USA Player of the Year.

Last season, Braud was just one of four Division I players to hit .500 or above for the year. On top of that, Braud led the SEC during league games in runs scored (38), and ranked second in batting average (.500), hits (42), and on base percentage (.580). Braud broke the Crimson Tide single season record for batting average with a .505 clip.

It was also announced that Alabama will be featured two more times on television as the Southeastern Conference announced the regional television schedule. With the additional two games, the Crimson Tide will be televised six times during the regular season.

Alabama will open its regional television schedule against rival Auburn. The first game of the midweek doubleheader in Tuscaloosa will air on CSS on Wednesday, March 16 at 3 p.m. CDT. Fox Sports Net/Sports South will air the Crimson Tide's final regular season game of the year when Alabama travels to Oxford to take on Mississippi on Sunday, May 8.

The television schedule for the Crimson Tide features four other contests against SEC opponents, one at home and three on the road. ESPNU will air the Saturday visit to Tuscaloosa by Georgia on March 19, along with Alabama's Sunday matchup at LSU on April 10. On April 23, ESPN2 will cover the contest between Alabama at Florida on Saturday while ESPN will air the Sunday game between the two schools on April 24.

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