TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — It’s a precarious situation the University of Alabama softball team is in.
After taking series losses to Florida and at Arkansas, Alabama has slipped to below .500 in league play, and into the bottom half of the standings. At 7-8, the Crimson Tide are ninth, with nine games to go in the regular season.
In order to move up, it has to knock off some tough competition. All three opponents are ranked in the top 10 in the polls.
Alabama is No. 17 in both the USA Today/NFCA and ESPN.com/USA Softball polls. It’s No. 16 in the latest NCAA RPI rankings.
This weekend’s opponent, Tennessee, is No. 7 and 10, respectively, and No.9 RPI.
Alabama heads to No. 6/7 Georgia (No. 8 RPI), and subsequently wraps up the regular season at home against No. 9/9 Texas A&M (No. 12).
Alabama needs to start improving its standing if it wants to make a splash in the SEC Tournament at Missouri, or host an NCAA regional.
- What: No. 7/10 Tennessee (38-8, 8-7 SEC) at No. 17 Alabama (27-13, 7-8 SEC)
- When: The teams will play a doubleheader Saturday beginning at 5:30 p.m. ET, and play Monday at 7 p.m. ET.
- Where: Rhoads Stadium
- Weather forecast: Conditions should be ideal temperatures in the 70s for Game 1, and in the 60s for Game 2. Sunday’s game was rescheduled due to the threat of inclement weather, and according to The Weather Channel there’s a 40 percent chance of rain Monday evening.
What’s the best way to keep up with the series
Fans have numerous options:
TV: SEC Network will show Monday’s game.
Radio: 93.3 FM in Tuscaloosa.
Live video will be available.
Live stats will be available.
Twitter updates: @AlabamaSB
What you should know
• Outfielder Kaylee Tow has been named a top-25 finalist for the Schutt Sports/NFCA Division I Freshman of the Year. She leads Alabama in batting average (.369), hits (41), home runs (10), slugging percentage (.739) and on-base percentage (.485).
• Over the last 10 games, sophomore Gabby Callaway is hitting .448 (13-for-29) with six runs scored, three doubles and three home runs.
• Alabama senior pitcher Alexis Osorio is just 14 strikeouts away from No. 1,000 of her career. She would be just the fourth player in program history to reach the milestone.
• The Lady Vols have lost five of their six conference road games this season. They’ve also lost three of their last four games at Alabama.
• Tennessee senior shortstop Meghan Gregg had 13 home runs and a .391 batting average. She’s the program’s all-time leader in home runs (52) and RBI (248), and the NCAA’s active career leader. Gregg is also tied for third in third in doubles (57) and fourth in total bases (473). Junior second baseman Aubrey Leach leads the SEC in batting avg. (.464), runs scored (62) and on base percentage (.584).
• The Crimson Tide are 13-4 at home this season and 3-3 over the last six games.