Tiders Receive SEC Softball Honors

It presumably came as something of a surprise to Southeastern Conference softball coaches when Alabama won this year's regular season title, even though it did make three in a row for Bama. But surely no one was surprised when the Tide claimed the lion's share of SEC awards.

Alabama did not receive a pre-season vote from a coach to win the SEC championship. However, the Crimson Tide goes to the SEC Tournament at Rhoads Stadium this week as the number one seed after winning the regular season title. And when the SEC handed out individual awards this week, there were 14 of them for Crimson Tide players.

Alabama sophomore Jackie Traina was named the SEC Pitcher of the Year. Tide senior Jennifer Fenton shared the award as SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Patrick Murphy, who can be excused for not voting for Bama in the pre-season since coaches cannot vote for their own teams, was selected SEC Coach of the Year.

Alabama has had a player selected SEC Pitcher of the Year three consecutive years. The previous two years the honor went to Kelsi Dunne. Traina had a 31-2 record for Alabama. She now has the Crimson Tide all-time record of 28 consecutive victories. Traina is second in the nation in vicories and 11th in strikeouts. She led the SEC in "batters caught looking at a third strike" with 47. She was named SEC Pitcher of the Week three times. Traina is a finalist for the 2012 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award.

Fenton was named to the Alabama Dean's List six of her seven semesters at Albama. She has received Academic All-SEC recognition every year. Fenton, a member of Future Teachers of America, has volunteered at the Stallings Rise Center as a teaching assistant for children with special needs.

Murphy led the Tide to its third consecutive SEC championship and fourth overall. Bama went 23-5 to win the title. Alabama is just the second team to win three consecutive SEC softball crowns. Murphy had previously been SEC Coach of the Year in 2006 and 2010.

Traina and Fenton were selected to the All-SEC team, along with sophomore Kaila Hunt. Earning second team All-SEC were seniors Cassie Reilly-Boccia, Jazlyn unceford, Kendall Dawson, and Amanda Locke; and junior Kayla Braud.

Dawson, Reilly-Boccia, and Lunceford were named to the All-Defensive Team.

Reilly-Boccia was named to the SEC Community Service team.

Alabama opens SEC Tournament play at 7 p.m. CDT Thursday against Mississippi State. Semifinals are Friday and the championship game is Saturday.

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