Verdict For Tide’s Jury Is SEC Honor

To be honest, there have been times this year when the jury has been out on Alabama’s senior softball pitcher. But in a key series last week against Tennessee, Leslie Jury was the star for the Crimson Tide staff.

Jury certainly came through for Alabama last weekend as she won the two games in Bama’s 2-1 series win against Tennessee, and the senior right-hander from Anderson, S.C., was recognized for her achievement by being named Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Week.

Jury went 2-0 and allowed just one run over 11 1/3 innings pitched last week and also had a save. The one run allowed was good for an earned run average of 0.62. She had 10 strikeouts.

She started her week with a win in relief against Troy on Tuesday, throwing 2 1/3 shutout innings with just one hit allowed as the Crimson Tide rallied from a 2-0 deficit to eventually win, 5-2. She earned her next start in game two against 11th-ranked Tennessee on Friday, holding one of the SEC’s top power-hitting offenses to just one run on five hits, three of which were singles, to earn her second win of the week.

Tide Coach Patrick Murphy turned to Jury again in a crucial situation in Saturday’s rubber match, as she entered with two outs in the fifth inning with the bases loaded holding a 6-3 lead. Before she could even throw her first pitch, lightning in the area forced a delay of nearly an hour before play could resume. Upon resumption, she struck out the batter to end the inning and leave the bases loaded. She went on to throw 2 1/3 shutout innings with just one hit allowed to earn the save, her third of the season.

This year Jury is 9-3 with a 2.17 ERA and has struck out 97 batters in 100 innings. She has a 2.56 ERA in SEC games, fifth best in the league. She ranks eighth all-time at Alabama in career innings (442 1/3) and is seventh in opposing batting average (.233) and strikeouts-per-game (5.79).

This is Jury’s first career Pitcher of the Week award and the sixth overall weekly conference honor earned by an Alabama player this season. The six awards are the most for Alabama since 2012 and it marks the seventh season in program history in which the team has earned at least six conference honors. It is also the first time since 2011 in which Alabama has had two different pitchers earn SEC Pitcher of the Week awards throughout the season.

Along with Jury this season, sophomore Sydney Littlejohn was named Pitcher of the Week twice, Demi Turner was named Freshman of the Week twice, and Haylie McCleney was named Player of the Week once.

This week Alabama has its final games of regular season play taking on Arkansas in an SEC series at Fayetteville with games Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Jury shares this week’s SEC Pitcher of the Week honor with Florida senior Lauren Haeger. Fellow Gator Kelsey Stewart was named the Player of the Week while Florida’s Nicole DeWitt shares the Freshman of the Week honor with Missouri’s Paige Lowary.

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