NEWS Where Alabama softball's NCAA regional hosting bid stands

  • Thread starter Michael Casagrande | mcasagrande@al.com
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Michael Casagrande | mcasagrande@al.com

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Alabama has hosted 14 straight NCAA regionals.

Alabama's streak of hosting NCAA regionals was challenged last year before landing the No. 16 seed.

That run of 14 straight years of first weekends at home is again in peril.

Entering the SEC tournament at Missouri, Alabama is the No. 15 team in the RPI rating. The top 16 seeds host the four-team regionals to begin the path to the Women's College World Series.

Alabama (32-17) faces RPI No. 17 Auburn at 6:30 p.m. CT Wednesday in the SEC tournament. The Tigers (40-14) have won seven of the last nine meetings with Alabama including taking two of three earlier this season in Auburn.

The Tide sat at No. 17 in the RPI two weeks ago. It moved up one spot last week despite losing a three-game series at Georgia.

Coach Patrick Murphy's team had lost its previous four SEC weekends before No. 9 Texas A&M came to Rhoads Stadium on Friday. Alabama went on to sweep the Aggies including a 5-4 Sunday win that came via Demi Turner's eight-inning, game-winning hit.

Either way, Alabama should make its 20th straight NCAA tournament appearance next week. It won the Tuscaloosa Regional last May before falling at Florida in the three-game super regionals. Teams must get a top-8 seed to assure hosting in the super regional round.

To make a run, the Tide will have to pick up the pace at the plate.

It sits 11th in the SEC in hitting with a .278 team batting average. The 340 team hits are last in the league by a healthy margin of 23. Just about every other major offensive statistical category has Alabama in the bottom half of the SEC.

Freshman Kaylee Tow is the leader at the plate with a .357 batting average that ranks 16th in the SEC. Her 11 home runs are tied for seventh with an on-base percentage of .491 to rank sixth.

In terms of pitching, the Tide is ninth in team ERA at 2.44. Alexis Osorio remains the ace in her senior season with a 1.97 ERA in 26 appearances. Her 196 strikeouts are good for fourth best in the SEC.

Michael Casagrande | mcasagrande@al.com
Where Alabama softball's NCAA regional hosting bid stands