Alabama softball faces Auburn Wednesday to open SEC Tournament play
#13/15 ALABAMA (32-17, 12-12 SEC) vs. #15/17 AUBURN (40-14, 11-12 SEC)
2018 SEC Softball Tournament
Columbia, Mo. – Mizzou Softball Stadium
Wednesday, May 9 – 6:30 p.m. CT *SEC NETWORK*
• Alabama is 32-17 overall and 12-12 in SEC play after sweeping ninth-ranked Texas A&M last weekend in Tuscaloosa to close out the regular season.
• The 21 runs scored over the weekend series with the Aggies is the Crimson Tide’ second-highest SEC series total of the season, only trailing the 24 scored during the Kentucky series, March 31-April 1.
• Senior Demi Turner was named the SEC Player of the Week after hitting 7-for-11 (.636) in the three games against the Aggies, including a walk-off RBI single in Sunday’s series finale.
• Freshman Kaylee Tow earned First Team All-SEC and SEC All-Freshman accolades while senior Alexis Osorio and sophomores Elissa Brown and Bailey Hemphill earned a spot on the league’s second team.
• Alabama earned the No. 8 seed in this week’s SEC Tournament, opening play against ninth-seeded Auburn. Wednesday’s game will be the ninth meeting between Alabama and Auburn at the SEC Tournament, with the Tide holding a 5-3 record against the Tigers. This also marks the fifth time in the last six years the two teams will meet at the SEC Tournament.
LAST TIME OUT: ALABAMA SWEEPS TEXAS A&M TO CLOSE REGULAR SEASON
• GAME ONE: ALABAMA 6, TEXAS A&M 2: Alabama trailed early after Texas A&M scored a run in the top of the first, but a three-run home run from sophomore Bailey Hemphill in the bottom half quickly switched it in the Crimson Tide’s favor, 3-1. Each team scored a run in the second and Alabama added some insurance with two in the fifth to bring it to its final score of 6-2. Hemphill’s home run was part of a 2-for-2 day at the plate, driving in four runs. Since returning from an injury in Sunday’s Georgia game, she is 4-for-5 with two home runs and seven RBIs. Senior Demi Turner and freshman Kaylee Tow also earned a pair of hits in the win, with Turner driving in a run on an RBI single in the fifth inning. Senior Alexis Osorio earned the complete-game win in the circle, allowing a pair of runs over the first two innings but only allowing three baserunners past that point.
• GAME TWO: ALABAMA 10, TEXAS A&M 4: Alabama trailed by two after Texas A&M scored a pair of unearned runs in the top of the first, but back-to-back home runs in the bottom half from freshman Kaylee Tow and sophomore Bailey Hemphill moved the Tide back in front, 3-2. Alabama led for the remainder of the game, scoring in four of the six innings they came to the plate. Senior Sydney Booker posted four of the team’s 10 RBIs, legging out a two-run triple in the fourth inning and a two-run single in the sixth. Junior Reagan Dykes also had a pair of hits in the win, including a solo home run in the second inning. The three home runs ties a season high for the Tide. Junior Courtney Gettins went the distance in the circle, scattering 11 hits but allowing just four runs, two earned.
• GAME THREE: ALABAMA 7, GEORGIA 4: It took eight innings to complete Sunday’s series finale between Alabama and Texas A&M, but senior Demi Turner came through with the key RBI single in the bottom of the eighth to give the Crimson Tide the 5-4 walk-off victory. Alabama scored in the first inning and led the entire game until Texas A&M rallied to tie it at 4-4 in the top of the seventh. A scoreless bottom-half of the inning sent the game to extras and Turner came through with the walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the eighth. The hit was the fourth of the day for the Tide second baseman, tying a career high. Run production was spread across Alabama’s lineup, with four different players earning an RBI in the game. One of those came from sophomore Gabby Callaway, who went 2-for-3 on the day. Sophomore Elissa Brown continued to be a force at the leadoff position, going 3-for-5
ALABAMA ALL-TIME AT THE SEC TOURNAMENT
• Alabama is 38-24 all-time at the SEC Tournament
• This is the Crimson Tide’s 22nd-straight SEC Tournament appearance, qualifying for the league tournament every year since the inaugural 1997 season. Florida and LSU are the only other teams to qualify for all 22 tournaments.
• Alabama owns five SEC Tournament titles, winning in 1998, 2003, 2005, 2010 and 2012.
• The Tide has faced every SEC team in the league tournament at least once except Missouri. Alabama has faced LSU more than any other team at the SEC Tournament, with the teams splitting 12 meetings.
• Alabama has a winning record against every SEC team in the league tournament except Florida (3-4), LSU (6-6) and South Carolina (0-3).
ALABAMA SOFTBALL PLACES FOUR ON 2018 POSTSEASON SEC TEAMS
Four Alabama softball standouts were among those voted to the 2018 Southeastern Conference postseason awards list. Freshman Kaylee Tow earned First Team All-SEC recognition and a spot on the SEC All-Freshman team, while senior Alexis Osorio and sophomores Elissa Brown and Bailey Hemphill made the All-SEC second team.
• The four honorees are the most for the Crimson Tide since 2015 and brings the program’s total to 97 in its 22-year history. Alabama has had at least one player selected to the league’s postseason team every year since its inaugural 1997 season.
• Tow was one of just two freshmen on the league’s first team. She is the first Tide position player to earn first team recognition as a freshman since Kayla Braud in 2010. She is the 20th Alabama player to earn SEC All-Freshman accolades since its introduction in 2005, including six in the last four years. Tow is ranked in the top 10 in the SEC in slugging percentage (.692), walks (33), on-base percentage (.491) and home runs (11). In conference play, she is the top-rated freshman in batting average (.353), slugging percentage (.632), hits (24), walks (18) and on-base percentage (.494).
• This year’s award is the third of Osorio’s career, earning first team honors as a freshman in 2015 and second team accolades last season.
• This is the first career All-SEC appearance for Brown and Hemphill, who both appeared on last year’s SEC All-Freshman team.
ALABAMA IN THE NCAA RPI
• Alabama is No. 15 in this week’s NCAA RPI, its highest ranking of the season.
• The Tide only has two losses outside the top 25, against Ole Miss (34) and Northwestern (38).
• Alabama’s lowest-ranked loss is Northwestern at 38. Only Washington (Arizona State - 7) and Oregon (Ole Miss - 34) have their lowest-ranked loss better than 37.
• The Tide has played 26 games against top-25 opponents this season. Of teams ranked in the top 20, this is tied with Oregon for the third-highest total behind Florida (30) and Tennessee (27).
• Averaging out the losses of teams in the top 20, Alabama scores the fourth-best average of 13.765, only trailing Washington (2.875), Arizona (9.538) and Oregon (13.429). The average for all the teams in the top 20 combined is 21.950.
The 2018 NCAA Division I Softball Championship bracket and its field of 64 teams will be announced Sunday, May 13 at 9 p.m. CT on ESPN2, with NCAA Regional play to begin the following weekend.