Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Team prepares for home tournament after tough win

The University of Alabama softball team will play its first home game of the season Feb. 21 as it hosts the Easton Bama Bash presented by Drash.

The Crimson Tide will step onto the Rhoads Stadium field in its third tournament of the year with a perfect record after 11 games on the road.

The Tide played its first game in Alabama against the University of Alabama at Birmingham Blazers at the UAB softball field. Alabama defeated UAB despite a Blazer grand slam in the fourth inning. The Tide went on to win the game 8-4.

The team is ready to finally play for a Tuscaloosa home crowd in what will hopefully be a five-game tournament, said head coach Patrick Murphy.

The head coach said there are improvements that need to be made defensively as the team moves past Tuesday’s game against the Blazers and into the weekend tournament.

“Eliminate the walks, and it’d be a shutout,” Murphy said. “Just get ahead of batters. [Jackie Traina] had a lot of kids at 1-2, and then it got to full count, and she missed a couple times. If she gets ahead of them, she needs to finish them off.”

Sophomore pitcher Jackie Traina, who has six wins this season, said the team will transition with practice and training for the best teams as the Tide moves from the game against the Blazers into the Bama Bash.

The team will continue to work on its offense, as consistency is one aspect of the game the Tide will try to improve as it enters the weekend. Although the Tide was able to collect two home runs during the game against UAB, both Murphy and junior Kaila Hunt said the team needs to work on its batting efficiency.

“Obviously, our bats struggled somewhat,” Hunt said. “Last weekend, we struggled a little bit, but just keep being consistent, getting better, having better at-bats, making the plays on defense and all that.”

The team has not lost a game at home in a tournament since 2010 against the University of Michigan on March 6. Since then, the Tide has won 23 games in a row during home tournaments.

The Tide is set to play its first game of the tournament against Western Illinois at 4 p.m. Friday, followed by a game against the University of Iowa at 6:30 p.m. The team will then play the University of Iowa at 1:30 p.m. and The University of Western Illinois at 4 p.m. on Saturday. Winthrop University will be the Tide’s final opponent of the weekend Sunday at 1:30 p.m. A total of 10 games will be played between the four teams.

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