Tide Softball Vs. AU In Home Finale

The No. 5 ranked Alabama softball team (40-8, 16-6 SEC) concludes its regular season home schedule this weekend with a three-game series against Auburn (28-21, 8-14 SEC). The Crimson Tide and the Tigers will square off in a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 1 p.m. CDT at the Alabama Softball Complex followed by the series finale at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Alabama is coming off an impressive doubleheader sweep of Georgia Tech in Atlanta, games in which Kelsi Dunne pitched a two-hitter followed by Charlotte Morgan pitching a no-hitter.

The Tigers come to Tuscaloosa with an overall record of 28-21 and an 8-14 mark in SEC play after splitting a doubleheader with Mississippi Sate on Wednesday in Starkville. Auburn dropped game one by a score of 2-1 in 10 innings and picked up the 8-3 win in the second game to snap and eight game losing streak.

In 43 games between the instate opponents, the Crimson Tide sports an

Alabama has historically been dominant in front of the home fans and this season is no different. The Crimson Tide sports a 23-1 record at the UA Softball Complex and has out-scored its opponents 163-30 in games played in Tuscaloosa. Alabama is batting .347 and sports a 1.07 ERA. Opponents are batting .208 and post a 7..46 ERA.

Junior Charlotte Morgan leads all members of the Crimson Tide with a .509 (29-for-57) home average, adding five home runs and 21 RBI. Freshman Cassandra Reilly-Boccia leads the team with 22 RBI and has added a .375 (18-for-48) batting average with one home run. Fellow newcomer Amanda Locke paces the team with six home runs at the Alabama Softball Complex. Locke is batting .408 (20for-49) at home with 15 RBI. In the circle Kelsi Dunne is a perfect 11-0 with a 0.20 ERA. Dunne has fanned 78 in 71 innings pitched. Morgan is 7-1 with a 1.74 ERA and 49 punchouts in 52 1/3 innings.

As a team in SEC play, Alabama ranks first in on-base percentage (.409), stolen base attempts (60), stolen bases (52), hit by pitch (30) and is tied for first in doubled allowed (13). The Tide checks in at second in the league in runs scored (120), doubles (30), RBI (110), ERA (2.30), strike outs (148), strike outs looking (39), opposing batting average (.222), wins (16) and fielding double plays (11). Alabama is third in the SEC in batting average (.290), slugging percentage (.445), runs allowed (57), hits allowed (114) and home runs allowed (12). Individually in SEC play, Kelley Montalvo paces the league in on-base percentage (.579) and doubles (7) and is tied for the league lead in runs scored (22) and triples (2). Montalvo checks in at second in hit by pitch (7) and is third in walks (21). Charlotte Morgan leads the conference in batting average (.446) and RBI (32) and is tied for the lead in sacrifice flies with three. Morgan is second in the SEC with 29 hits. Brittany Rogers leads the league in stolen base attempts with 21 and her 18 stolen bases pace the conference as well. Sophomore hurler Kelsi Dunne is tied for first with 15 starts and her 11 wins ranks second. Dunne ranks second in batters struck out (90) and third in strike outs looking (28) and opposing batting average (.209). Amanda Locke is second in fielding double plays with seven and Kellie Eubanks is tied for third in the category with six.

Alabama is on pace to break the all-time NCAA attendance record of 55,746 set in 1999 by Fresno State. The Crimson Tide sports a 2009 total attendance to date of 53,511 in 24 home games played for an average to date of 2,230. In 2008 the Tide led the country with 51,024 in 27 home games played for an average of 1,890. The single game record was also shattered this season when the Tide welcomed 3012 fans to the game against No. 1 Washington on March 7. Alabama will look to break the record this weekend when it welcomes Auburn for a three game series. The 55,747th fan will receive numerous prizes, including two season tickets for life and select gift certificates.

Alabama head coach Patrick Murphy is rapidly approaching 600 career victories. The 12th year head coach sits at 593 heading into the weekend. If the Tide is able to get seven more wins this season Murphy will have become just the second coach among the current SEC coaches to accomplish the feat in just 12 seasons at the helm.

As a team Alabama checks in as one of the top teams in the country in numerous categories. The Crimson Tide leads the country with 2.91 stolen bases per game. UA ranks eighth in win-loss percentage (.826) and batting average (.324), 10th in scoring (6.28 runs per game), 19th in slugging (.493), 23rd in fielding percentage (.972) and 24th in ERA (1.80). Individually Charlotte Morgan leads the country in sac flies (5) and ranks 19th in RBI per game (1.10). Kelley Montalvo ranks third in walks (44), 11th in on base percentage (.547) and 25th in runs per game (1.00). Kelsi Dunne checks in at 17th in shutouts (8), 25th in victories (19) and 30th in ERA (1.39). Brittany Rogers is second in stolen bases with 38. (as of 4/24)

Alabama has had no problems getting on base this season and in addition to all the hits, it is the walks that have propelled the Tide to one of the best on base teams in the nation. Alabama has walked 182 times and sports a .430 on base percentage. Four Tide players sport more walks than strikeouts. Kelley Montalvo, who ranks third in the country with 45 free passes has struck out just 10 times and holds a .533 on base percentage which ranks 11th in the country. With just seven more walks Montalvo would break the single season walk record of 51 held by Kelly Kretschman from the 2000 season. Cassandra Reilly-Boccia has walked 24 times and struck out 19 while Kellie Eubanks has walked 21 times and been punched out 19 times. Charlotte Morgan has been issued a free pass 19 times and struck out 13 times to sport a .503 on base percentage.

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