Alabama Softball Begins Homestand

Alabama softball is likely to be happy to see the month of April arrive. The Crimson Tide has been a travel team of sorts for most of this season, including playing 9-12 Southeastern Conference games on the road. That changes this month as most games will be in Rhoads Stadium in Tuscaloosa, including four this week.

Jackie Traina seemed to enjoy spring break in Texas. The junior pitcher-slugger went 1-1 as a pitcher and had four home runs as Alabama went 3-1 last week. That included winning the series, 2-1, against ninth-ranked Texas A&M. Bama also defeated Houston in a non-conference road game last week.

This week the Crimson Tide of Coach Patrick Murphy hosts Jacksonville State at 6 p.m. CDT Tuesday, and then has SEC newcomer Missouri in Rhoads Stadium for games at 8 p.m. CDT Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday, and noon Sunday. The Friday and Saturday games will be televised by ESPNU.

The games this week are the start of a 10-game homestand for the Tide.

Traina, a returning All-America from Naples, Fla., slugged 1.231 on the strength of her four home runs. In fact, all four of her hits last week were homers, including a two-homer game to start the week at Houston. She batted .308 (4-for-13) with five runs and six RBI. Two of her home runs came at Texas A&M. Against Houston, Traina batted 2-for-4 with two home runs and four RBI. In the circle the right-hander went 1-1 with 20 strikeouts in 15 innings. She only allowed eight hits on the week in three appearances, holding opponents to a .160 average. Her four home runs this week put her season total at 13, which ties her single season best set in 2011.

Last week Tte Tide outscored its opponents, 18-9, hit .257 with six home runs while pitching at a 2.07 clip. Opponents only hit .151 against Tide hurlers.

Alabama senior Kayla Braud led the Tide in Texas with a .429 average, collecting six hits, two RBI and two stolen bases. In the series finale against the Aggies, Braud batted 3-for-4 with a two-run double.

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