Fall Brawl

The Alabama softball team will host Jefferson State Community College and Wallace State Community College on Sunday in the first of two Fall Brawl Tournaments at the Alabama Softball Complex.

"We are ready to play somebody different," said Alabama Coach Patrick Murphy. "We want to gain experience and see how different people are in different situations. We want to see our pitchers against different batters with umpires. Just the overall experience of playing in a game, get rid of the jitters and make them want to practice for another week so they get another chance next Saturday."

There will be three games played with the two visiting schools squaring off against each other at 12 p.m. The Crimson Tide will play its first game at 2 p.m. against Wallace State. Alabama will then match up against Jefferson State in the final game of the day at 4 p.m.

"We just want to go out there and play our hardest and see what happens," said junior Chrissy Owens. "It is always fun to play different opponents instead of our team."

Alabama held a scrimmage on Thursday afternoon in preparation for the Fall Brawl. The early part of the scrimmage saw little scoring as Owens, a right-hander from Miami, Fla., silenced the offense. Owens pitched four innings and only allowed one hit with six strikeouts. She walked the first hitter she faced but went on to strikeout three straight to close the top half of the inning.

"I think we looked pretty good," said Owens. "The scrimmage was successful because we saw some of the things we need to work on and what we are doing well. We came out and practiced really hard this fall and it has paid off. I have seen our hitters in batting practice hitting home runs so that is exciting."

The freshman were impressive at the plate for the Crimson Tide. Charlotte Morgan, a freshman from Moreno Valley, Calif., went 3-for-3 at the plate. Jessica Smith, a freshman from Pell City also reached base in all three of her plate appearances with three walks.

"We had some really good two-out, two-strike approaches that were a lot better than they were last year," said Murphy. "It was the first time they saw live pitching other than batting practice. We need to get a little better defensively and eliminate some freebies like walks, passed balls and wild pitches. It is starting to come together a lot better.

This weekend's Fall Brawl will be the first of two tournaments this fall for the Crimson Tide. They will also host Wallace-Dothan and Shelton State on Saturday, Oct. 14 in the Fall Brawl II. Tickets to the tournament games are $5. For further information call 348-BAMA (348-2262).

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