It’ll be a showdown of hitting freshmen when the University of Alabama visits Arkansas this weekend.
Crimson Tide outfielder Kaylee Tow tops her team in batting average (.378), runs scored (26), hits (37), on-base percentage (.496) and slugging percentage (.724).
Her eight home runs are tied for the Crimson Tide lead with sophomore Bailey Hemphill, who is 30-for-92 (.326) with a team-leading 27 walks. Sophomore Elissa Brown is third in hitting with a .321 batting average.
Tow is also in the top 10 in six offensive categories in league play:
- Batting average: T3rd, .389
- On-base percentage: 4th, .511
- Slugging percentage: 5th, .667
- Home runs: T5th, 3
- Total bases: T7th, 24
- Walks: T8th, 8
She’s the top freshman in all of those categories except walks, in which she’s second.
Meanwhile, freshman outfielder Hannah McEwen leads Arkansas with a .366 batting average and eight home runs. She has a .634 slugging percentage and .437 on-base percentage.
Although the SEC schedule is only half-completed, she’s already the eighth player in Arkansas history to reach 40 RBI in a single season. She ranks fifth in the SEC with a team-leading 41.
- What: No. 15 Alabama (25-11, 6-6 SEC) at No. 19 Arkansas (31-8, 6-6 SEC)
- When: 7 p.m. ET Friday, Noon ET Saturday, 2 p.m. ET Sunday
- Where: Bogle Park, Fayetteville, Ark.
- Weather forecast: According to the Weather Channel there’s a 60 percent chance of rain with scattered thunderstorms on Friday. There’s no rain expected the rest of the weekend, but it will be chilly and windy.
What’s the best way to keep up with the games
Fans have numerous options:
Radio: 93.3 FM in Tuscaloosa.
Twitter updates: @AlabamaSB
What you should know
• This will be the first meeting with both teams ranked in the top 20. Arkansas’ No. 19 ranking is the best in program history.
• Arkansas hasn’t notched a win against Alabama since 2012, having lost 11 straight in the series. Overall, Alabama is 57-8 all-time.
• Senior Alexis Osorio leads the Crimson Tide pitching staff with a 1.99 ERA over 91.1 innings, striking out 138 batters for an average of 1.51 per inning.
• Freshman pitcher Mary Haff (18-3, 1.03 ERA) is second in the SEC and 14th in the NCAA with 172 strikeouts. Sophomore Autumn Storms (12-5, 1.90) is Arkansas’ only other pitcher with more than seven appearances.
• The Razorbacks are second in the SEC and tied for 11th nationally with 44 home runs. Opponents have hit 20.
• Alabama returns home to host Southern Miss on Wednesday, and a three-game weekend slate against No. 10 Tennessee beginning Saturday.