Locke SEC Softball Player Of Week

The big news in Southeastern Conference softball in the final weekend of regular season play was Alabama coming from behind with a sweep of Ole Miss (combined with Florida's sweep of league-leader Tennessee) for the Crimsobn Tide to repeat as conference champion.

This week, Alabama and the league are looking forward to the SEC Championship Tournament, which will be at the Ole Miss Softball Complex in Oxford, site of Bama's heroics last weekend. Bama, the number one seed, will play its first game against eight seed Mississippi State at 6:30 p.m. CDT Thursday with ESPN2 televising the contest. The winner of that game will play the winner of the LSU-Georgia contest at 4:30 p.m. Friday (ESPNU). The championship game is at 7 p.m. Saturday on ESPN.

The Crimson Tide of Coach Patrick Murphy is also defending champion of the SEC Tournament.

A key to Alabama success in the three romps over Ole Miss (8-0, 18-1, and 10-1, a total of 36-2) was junior Amanda Locke. The Mesquite, Texas, native was selected as the SEC Player of the Week.

Locke, a designated player/first baseman, was 6-10 batting (.600) and had seven runs batted in. She had a home run, a slugging percentage of .900, and a .692 on-base percentage.

Locke collected a hit in each game. Her three-run homer started the Tide to win in game one. On Saturday she had a career-high four-hit game and also drove in four runs.

As a team, Alabama hit .354, stole 14 bases, and pitched at a 0.41 ERA. Heading into the weekend the Tide needed some help from Florida as the Gators needed to defeat the Tennessee Lady Vols twice for Alabama to have a chance at the title. The Gators and the Tide both swept its weekend series, culminating in a championship for Alabama.

The Tide set the tone after not playing in 11 days as Kelsi Dunne tossed her ninth career no-hitter and third on the season in the series opener. For the weekend the senior allowed one run on six hits and struck out 15 in 12 innings pitched. In a normal week, that kind of pitching to win a league championship would have been Pitcher of the Week worthy, but the honor justifiably went to Florida pitcher Hannah Rogers, who won all three games for the Gators and helped Bama to the championship.

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