Bama Softball Has Bloomed In April

April has been very, very good to Alabama softball. The Crimson Tide has played 15 games thus far in the month and Bama has a perfect 15-0 record in the span.

Alabama has risen to fourth in the nation as Bama now has a 39-9 record, including an 18-4 record in Southeastern Conference games. The Tide will step out of conference play Wednesday night to host Georgia Tech, a top ten team (ranked ninth in one poll, seventh in the other). The Yellow Jackets have a fine 43-8 record, including a 16-2 mark in ACC play. Tech has already clinched the ACC championship this year.

First pitch Wednesday at the Alabama Softball Complex is at 6 p.m.CDT.

It is nothing new for Alabama to be strong in April. Coach Patrick Murphy's Crimson Tide is 63-3 in the month of April over the past four seasons. In addition to this year's 15-0 record, Bama went 16-2 last year (with a 10-game winning streak), 16-1 in 2008 (with a 16-game winning streak), and 16-0 in April 2007.

During April's 15-game winning streak, Bama is batting .343 and Crimson Tide pitching has an earned run average of only 1.75 and has held opposing batters to a mere .171 batting average. Alabama has outscored its opponents 127-32 and smashed 29 home runs.

Freshman Kayla Braud leads the charge over the streak with a .458 (22 for 48) average, scoring a team-best 20 runs and swiping 16 bases. Senior Charlotte Morgan has drilled seven home runs, driven in 24 runs while adding a .378 (14 for 37) average. In the circle Kelsi Dunne is a perfect 8-0 with a 1.03 ERA. The junior has struck out 68 in 40 2/3 innings and allowed just 16 hits for a .119 batting average against.

Morgan has moved into sole possession of the SEC career RBI record with 249. The old mark was 241. Morgan is also in the hunt for the SEC home run record as she currently sits in third with 56 homers, trailing Florida senior Francesca Enea (58) and former Alabama great Kelly Kretschman (60).

Morgan is a primary reason that Alabama already has broken the Crimson Tide season record for home runs. Bama has 82 this year. The previous record was 79 in 2007. The SEC record is 86, set by Florida last year.

Morgan has 15 home runs this year, sophomore Amanda Locke 12, and junior Whitney Larsen 10.

Georgia Tech is led by Jen Yee, who leads the nation with a .579 batting average and 25 home runs. Top pitcher is Hope Rush with a 24-5 record and 1.45 ERA.

Alabama holds an all-time 11-3 advantage over the Yellow Jackets. Last year Bama took two wins over Tech, 8-0 and 10-0 in Atlanta, with Morgan getting a no-hitter in the second game.

This weekend, Alabama hosts Tennessee in a crucial three-game series, a doubleheader Saturday and single game Sunday.

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