Tide Softball Takes Power To Auburn

It's hard to pitch around the Alabama softball team. The Crimson Tide ranks among the national leaders in power hitting. That has helped Bama to a number one ranking.

There couldn't be a better time for Alabama to exhibit that power than when the Crimson Tide goes to Auburn Tuesday for a Southeastern Conference doubleheader. Bama is 30-1 overall and 7-1 in SEC play. The Tigers are 24-9, 3-5 in the conference. The teams will meet at Jane B. Moore Field with the first game starting at 4 p.m., the nightcap at 7 p.m. and shown on ESPNU.

Alabama ranks third in the nation with 50 home runs. The round-trippers in 31 games ranks second at 1.61 homers per contest. Alabama also ranks second in slugging percentage at .613.

Sophomore Kaila Hunt is the Alabama home run leader with 10, and 16 other Tiders have at least one homer. The previous record for number of players with a home run in a season was 13.

The Tide has outscored its opponents 237-71, including a 60-7 advantage in the first inning. UA is averaging 7.97 runs per game and 8.9 hits per contest. Kayla Braud and Jennifer Fenton are averaging over a run per game while Amanda Lock and Kaila Hunt are driving in a run per game.

It's not all hitting, though. In the circle Jackie Traina is averaging 9.6 strikeouts per contest.

Alabama is coming off a 4-0 record in a non-conference weekend, winning the Alabama Challenge. Before that, Bama had split in a doubleheader with Tennessee, the Tide's only loss of the season.

Alabama senior Jennifer Fenton was Most Valuable Player in the Challenge. Fenton, who bats second in the lineup, batted .412 (7-17), scored four runs, stole three bases, and had eight runs batted in. She contributed a home run, double, and triple. She had two multi-hit games and two multi-RBI games.

The week before she had been the SEC Player of the Week.

Auburn lost two of three games to Kentucky last weekend. The Tigers won the third game in the series to end a five-game losing streak.

The Tigers are led by senior catcher Elizabeth Eisterhold, who is batting .380 (35-for-92) with a team high 10 home runs and 32 runs batted in. The Tigers have hit 30 home runs on the year and have knocked in 148 runs. Senior pitcher Angel Bunner leads the Tigers in the circle with a 10-2 record, with a 1.81 ERA and 62 strikeouts in 81.1 innings of work.

Alabama has dominated the series, holding a 38-13 advantage against its instate rivals, including 15 straight victories. Last season, the Tide swept the Tigers in a doubleheader.

Kayla Braud has batted .467 against the Tigers adding seven runs and three stolen bases. Courtney Conley has smacked two home runs and driven in five while Lunceford has gone deep twice and knocked in seven.

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