Two Tide Softball Pitchers Earn Honors

A pair of Alabama softball All-Americans were named to the ESPN RISE All-Decade team. Current pitcher Kelsi Dunne (Port Orange, Fla.) and Crimson Tide great Stephanie VanBrakle (Chambersburg, Pa.) garnered the honors. The criteria to make the team were based on high school accomplishment, USA national team service, Women's College World Series and other factors.

Upcoming Alabama junior pitcher Kelsi Dunne was one of nine pitchers to earn the honor. The right-hander was the EA SPORTS National Player of the Year in 2007, going 26-1 with 20 shutouts, 11 no-hitters and five perfect games at Spruce Creek High School. She made an immediate impact as a freshman, earning third team All-America honors and was named the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year.

Last season, Dunne sported a 1.63 ERA going 28-5 on the year, striking out 258 batters in only 215 1/3 innings. She tossed an NCAA record back-to-back no-hitters at the Tuscaloosa Super Regional which propelled the Crimson Tide to its sixth Women's College World Series berth. For her efforts on the year Dunne garnered first team All-American accolades.

Stephanie VanBrakle, one of the best hitting pitchers to ever play the game, led her team at Alabama to WCWS appearances in 2003, 2005 and 2006. She also was an EA SPORTS All-American in 2002. A threat in the circle and in the batter's box VanBrakle was the first two-way All-American to suit up for the Crimson Tide. She earned All-American honors in 2005 and 2006.

A power arm combined with a power bat helped lead Alabama to its first ever Southeastern Conference title in 2006. VanBrakle struck out 1113 batters during her career to set the Alabama record. Her 345 punchouts in 2006 is the most at Alabama in a single season. She was one of seven players to earn the All-Decade team honor at the multi-position spot.

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