Tide Vs. Gators For Softball Title
Generally speaking, Rhoads Stadium is very, very good to Alabama softball. Nevertheless, Florida has been a hard out for the Crimson Tide in the sport.
Bama and the Gators will play three games this weekend. First pitch on Friday is at 6:30 p.m. CDT. The teams will play at 3 p.m. Saturday with television by ESPN2 and at 2 p.m. Sunday with television by ESPNU.
Alabama has clinched the SEC Western Division title with a 21-4 conference record. Florida is at 20-5 and if the Gators take two games from the Tide, the teams would be tied. Also in that scenario at 22-6 would be Tennessee, which has completed its conference schedule.
Alabama is ranked third in the nation in one poll, fourth in another with a 45.5 overall record. The Tide is 24-3 at home this year. The Gators, 43-8 overall, are 11-3 in road games.
While Bama may have been a bit disappointed in losing one of three games to Arkansas at Fayetteville last weekend, the Gators lost two of three at home to Kentucky to allow the Tide to take first place going into the final weekend of the season.
If Bama can get two wins against Florida, it will give Alabama its third straight outright league title in regular season play.
Including a non-conference win against Troy last week, Alabama batted .313 on the week and continued to hit for power as the Tide smashed seven home runs and drove in 27. Alabama outscored the opposition on the week, 31-15 and held its opponents to a .219 average.
Senior Amanda Locke once again paced the Tide at the plate, hitting four home runs and driving in seven while hitting .417 (5-for-12). Locke has hit six home runs in her last seven games. The senior from Mesquite, Texas, has 16 homers this year, tied with Kaila Hunt for the team lead. She ranks third in Tide history with 52 career home runs.
Jackie Traina batted .600 (3-for-5) with a home run and Hunt hit .571 (4-for-7) with three RBI.
Freshman Leslie Jury pitched a one-hitter in the shutout against Troy on Wednesday while Traina bounced back on Sunday to strike out 10 and earn her 29th win of the season. The 29 wins tie for fifth most in school history in a season.
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