Alabama Softball Faces Challenge

All-in-all, things are pretty good in the world of Alabama softball. The Crimson Tide is ranked number one in both national softball polls. UA is averaging 8.00 runs per game and 8.96 hits per contest. The Tide has outscored opponents 216-59. Bama leads the Southeastern Conference with a 7-1 league record, and has suffered only one loss in 27 games.

But in the real world of "What have you done for me lately," Alabama is going to try to break a losing streak. The lone loss of the year was in Bama's last outing, and it came at the hands of number 11 Tennessee in the second game of a double header in the Crimson Tide's Rhoads Stadium Wednesday night.

Bama won't be breaking out of the slump in SEC play. Instead, Alabama will be hosting a tournament, the Alabama Challenge, The challenges will come from 25th ranked De{Paul and Longwood.

The Tide opens play against DePaul on Friday at 6 p.m. CDT. UA continues play on Saturday with a second game against DePaul at 1:30 p.m., and follows that up with a game against Longwood at 4 p.m. Alabama finishes tournament play on Sunday against Longwood at 12:30 p.m.

One Alabama player who shouldn't have her head down after the loss to Tennessee is sophomore Jackie Traina. Traina, who had been the SEC Pitcher of the Week last week, had an outstanding performance in leading the Tide to its first game win against the Vols. Traina threw 195 pitches and struck out 15 in 11 complete innings, and then ended Bama's 3-2 win with a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 11th.

Traina is a perfect 16-0 on the year and has posted a 1.03 ERA in the 2012 campaign. She is averaging 9.9 strikeouts per game.

Following this weekend's Alabama Challenge, the Tide will be at Auburn Tuesday for a doubleheader beginning at 4 p.m. CDT.

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