Even though the University of Alabama softball team is coming off a big series win against then No. 8 LSU, and has won seven of its last 10 games, it might be visiting Tennessee at the wrong time.
The Volunteers enter this weekend’s SEC series with a 16-game winning streak, which dates back to their 2-1 loss at then-No. 25 Arkansas on March 18. It also includes series sweeps against then No. 23 Ole Miss and at No. 20 Kentucky last weekend.
Alabama (36-7, 10-5 SEC) is No. 9 in the USA Today/NFCA poll and No. 10 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll. Tennessee (37-5, 9-3) is ranked No. 16 and 14, respectively.
Alabama is still No. 12 in the official NCAA RPI (ratings percentage index) ranking, while are used in determining postseason seeding, one spot behind Tennessee.
With all three games set to be televised in prime time, the matchup certainly has a big-series feel to it as the final month of the regular season begins.
Alabama softball at Tennessee, game times, details
Game 1: Saturday, 6 p.m. ET
Game 2: Sunday, 7 p.m. ET
Game 3: Monday, 7 p.m. ET
Location: Sherri Parker Lee Stadium, Knoxville, Tenn.
What’s the best way to watch the Alabama softball series at Tennessee?
All three games will be shown on the SEC Network, with announcers Mark Neely and Amanda Scarborough following the teams through the entire series.
Online, the game can be seen on WatchESPN.
What’s the best way to keep up with the Alabama softball games at Tennessee?
Outside of watching them, all three games can be found:
What you should know
- Alabama second baseman Demi Turner isn’t expected to be back this weekend after suffering a fractured orbital bone and concussion against Missouri on April 1. Her .387 batting average leads the Crimson Tide.
- The weather forecast is favorable for the first two games, but according to The Weather Channel scattered thunderstorms will be in the Knoxville area Monday, with an 80 percent chance of rain.
- Pitcher Alexis Osorio was one of just eight juniors, and 34 players overall named a finalist for USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award on Wednesday. She’s 18-4 with a 1.12 ERA, and her 217 strikeouts are fourth nationally and top the SEC.
- With Tuesday’s 8-0 victory over UAB, Alabama notched its 22nd shutout of the season, four shy of the program record (2009).
- Junior Peyton Grantham leads the SEC with four home runs and 14 RBIs against conference opponents.
- Alabama leads the all-time series 36-21, and has won the last three games between the teams. UT is 12-12 all time at home against Alabama.
- Tennessee has already faced six ranked opponents this season. The Volts are 9-3 against them, having won eight straight. However, the Vols have only played one opponent in the top 10 (a 2-1 victory over Oklahoma on Feb. 23).
- Sophomore pitcher Matty Moss is 19-1, with a 1.35 ERA and 126 strikeouts. Freshman Caylan Arnold is 16-4 with a 1.64 ERA and 109 strikeouts. She’s also notched two saves.
- Although Tennessee’s lineup features Meghan Gregg and Brooke Vines, who top the SEC in RBIs with 62 and 45, junior utility player Scarlet McSwain was named the SEC Player of the Week on Tuesday. In four games she tallied 12 RBIs, five hits, two doubles, a grand slam and a 1.000 slugging percentage.
- Next up, Alabama will host Southern Miss on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET), and Washington for two games on Friday and Saturday, the latter of which will be the Power of Pink game.
- Tennessee will host next month’s SEC Tournament on May 10-13.