Tide Catcher SEC Player Of Week

There are times when one things, "It could not be anyone else." This week in Southeastern Conference Softball Player of the Week selection was one of those times.

Alabama catcher Molly Fichtner earned the honor for her work in helping Bama beat the NCAA leader in earned run average. Missouri All-America pitcher Chelsea Thomas came into Tuscaloosa with that distinction and Thomas was as good as advertised.

Fichtner, however, was a primary reason that Alabama defeated Thomas and Missouri two out of three games at Rhoads Stadium last weekend.

The junior from Houston went 7-for-8 at the plate (.875 batting average) with three runs, a home run, and five runs batted in. The home run was her first as a Crimson Tide player.

In the series opener against Missouri, Fichtner batted 3-for-3 with an RBI. In game two she batted 1-for-2.

In the rubber game on Sunday she had a career day. Fichtner went 3-for-3 with two runs, four RBI, and her first Alabama homez run.

Fichter added two walks in the series for an .818 on-base percentage and had a slugging percentage of 1.111.

Alabama improved to 35-6 overall and 10-5 in SEC games.

Alabama will play two midweek games at Rhoads Stadium this week and have an off weekend from conference play. The Tide will welcome Mississippi Valley State on Tuesday and then play UAB on Wednesday. Both games will begin at 6 p.m. CDT.

Last week's schedule also included a win over Jacksonville State, giving the Tide a 3-1 record last week.

The Tide outscored its opponents, 33-19, on the week, hitting .362 with three home runs and 10 stolen bases. UA pitchers had a 4.20 ERA and allowed opposing batters to hit .272. For the second straight weekend the Tide won a series against a top-10 opponent. (Bama had taken two-of-three from Texas A&M the previous weekend.)

In addition to the performance by Fichter, last week freshman Haylie McCleney batted .583 with five runs and five RBI while senior Kayla Braud batted .500 with six runs and four stolen bases. Junior Jackie Traina was 2-0 against Missouri.

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