Softball hosts Bama Bash!

The No. 22 ranked (USA Today/NFCA) Crimson Tide softball team will finally get a chance to showcase their talents in their home stadium as they host the 2003 Bama Bash! this weekend.

After spending the last two weekends on the road and amassing a 6-4 record the Tide returns to the comfy confines of the UA Softball Complex where it has accrued a record of 82-14.

Alabama will host the likes of Southern Illinois, Western Kentucky and Winthrop in this year's Bama Bash!, a tournament the Tide has dominated in year's past. Alabama has won the last two Bash! championships while winning 13 of its last 15 games in the tournament which includes a current 10-game winning streak.

Southern Illinois comes into the tournament a perfect 4-0 record after running the table last weekend at the UCF Triple Crown tournament in Tampa, Florida. After four games, Kendra Moore leads the Salukis in hitting with a .600 average while Katie Louis and Katie Jordan have the lone home runs for SIU. Amy Harre has thrown the most innings (14.0) on the pitching staff while collecting a 0.00 ERA along the way.

Western Kentucky and Winthrop will be playing their first games of the season in the tournament. The Winthrop Eagles were selected to finish second in the Big South Conference. Western Kentucky was tabbed to post a third place finish in the Sun Belt Conference.

The Crimson Tide comes into the tournament on the heels of two straight 3-2 finishes in tournament play to begin the season. Offensively, senior co-captain Lacy Prejean is pacing the Tide with a team leading .393 average and two home runs. Junior first base man Jackie McClain is the team leader in RBI with nine.

Erin Wright has the most wins on the Tide's pitching staff with three but it is Stephanie VanBrakle that leads the staff with a 0.81 ERA.

Alabama and the three schools have little history as the Tide has only played two games against the field. Bama defeated Western Kentucky 8-2 last season in their only meeting and the Tide defeated Winthrop 8-0 in five during the 1999 season in their only meeting. However, the Tide does have a combined record of 17-4 against the three conferences.

Tournament action including live stats can be followed at www.rolltide.com.

Friday, Feb. 14-Session I
11 a.m. Southern Illinois (3rd base) vs. Western Kentucky (H, 1st base)
1:30 p.m. Southern Illinois (H, 3rd base) vs. Winthrop (1st base)
4 p.m. Winthrop (H, 1st base) vs. Alabama (3rd base)
6:30 p.m. Alabama (H, 3rd base) vs. Western Kentucky (1st base)

Saturday, Feb. 15-Session II
11:30 a.m. Western Kentucky (1st base) vs. Winthrop (3rd base)
1:30 p.m. Alabama (3rd base) vs. Southern Illinois (1st base)
4 p.m. Seed #1 vs. Seed #4
6 p.m. Seed #2 vs. Seed #3

Sunday, Feb. 16-Session III
11 a.m. Consolation
1 p.m. Championship


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