Almost everyone expects Alabama to extend its winning record in NCAA Softball Regional competition today. The Crimson Tide has not lost a game in the regional round since 2007, a streak of 31 straight games. Alabama begins regional play at Rhoads Stadium in Tuscaloosa at 4 p.m. CDT Friday against Albany.
Coach Patrick Murphy’s Tide is 42-16 this season and is hosting the Albany Great Danes (27-16) in the second game of the Tuscaloosa Regional. The SEC Network will televise the Bama-Albany game. That contest follows the regional opener at 1:30 when Minnesota (54-3, champion of the Big Ten and ranked No. 1 in the nation) takes on Louisiana Tech, 37-22, at 1:30.
Not to look ahead, but that Alabama regional winning streak would certainly seem to be in danger against the Golden Gophers if the opening games go expected and set up the Tide vs. Minnesota on Saturday.
Alabama has an all-time record of 50-9 (84.7 per cent) in NCAA Regional competition, including a 43-3 (93.5 per cent) record in home regionals. Alabama’s all-time record in NCAA Tournament play is 86-38 (69.4 per cent).
Tuscaloosa Regional play continues Saturday and Sunday.
The winner of the Tuscaloosa Regional round will advance to face the winner of the Gainesville Regional, hosted by No. 1 overall seed Florida. Other teams competing against the Gators include Oklahoma State, Florida International and Florida A&M.
This is Bama’s 19th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance.
Albany, a member of the America East Conference, is led at the plate by Elizabeth Snow with a .439 batting average, 50 runs batted in, and 13 home runs. Top pitcher for the Great Danes is Celeste Verdolivo with a 3.29 earned run average and 82 strikeouts.
The Tide has an all-time record of 4-0 vs. Albany, but the teams have not met since 2004.