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

Tide freshman a softball ‘monster’

Alabama freshman pitcher Jackie Traina was named the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week for the second week in a row. This past weekend, Traina led the Crimson Tide as her team won all five of its games.

“She hates to lose,” head coach Patrick Murphy said. “She’s very competitive. It’s her will to win and her competitive fire that makes her successful. She has a lot of raw strength, but once she gets used to the routine of building up her strength more with weights she’ll be even better.”

Traina is a unique player when it comes to her success on the field. From the very beginning, she committed to Alabama differently than any other player before her. The story all started when Traina visited the Capstone back in September, where she saw the five seniors on the softball team all wearing the same shirt that said, “Keep Your Forks.” The phrase reminded them, in the midst of senioritis, to keep working hard because something better was about to hit the plate—their metaphorical dessert.

Traina remembered the story of when she committed, retelling that Murphy was told there was a package waiting for him at the hotel. Inside was a jewelry box with the letters L-O-V-E on it. On the “L” was a picture of Jackie pitching, the “O” was houndstooth, the “V” bore a picture of Jackie with her dog, and on the “E” was an Alabama A.

A note inside the box listed all the desserts Traina loves, like tre mousse and chocolate cake, as well as other things she loves, like friends. Standing out inside the box, though, was a crimson fork with a note telling her to keep her fork ready.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” said Traina. “We have a lot of fun on the field, my teammates make me play better. I came up with the box idea from my high school coach, who’s been my pitching coach my whole life [she] thought of it. It was fun, it was a fun way to commit for sure.”

Traina hit .400 (6-for-15) with a team-best four home runs and tied for the team lead with 10 RBI over the weekend. In the process, she broke the Alabama single game home run record by belting three homers against Western Michigan.

Traina also posted a 2-0 record and a 0.53 ERA. She finished the weekend with two four-RBI games, and had an extra base hit in three of the five contests.

So far this season, Traina is batting .488 (20-for-41) with a team-best eight home runs and 25 RBI. She also leads the team with a 1.098 slugging percentage and 45 total bases.

“Jackie is a monster,” sophomore outfielder Keima Davis said. “Athletically, mentally, she’s an animal. I know there’s more to come. I don’t think anyone has seen anything yet. Her production is off the charts. I just can’t wait to keep seeing her play out there. She’s not going to let anything bring her down mentally. She’s a fighter, she’s not going to give up, she’s not going to stop.”

In the circle, Traina is just as successful, with a 5-0 record and a 1.48 ERA. The right-hander struck out 42 in 33 innings pitched, and she has held opposing batters to just a .183 batting average.

Traina will be playing with the Crimson Tide in the ESPN Rise tournament against Notre Dame on Friday at 10 a.m.


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