No. 2 seed Alabama 1st up for UT Martin
Posted: Wednesday, May 16, 2012 12:00 pm
By RANDY CAVIN
UT Martin had to fight its way past a tough Tennessee Tech team to earn the right to play in the NCAA Softball Tournament. Sunday night, the Skyhawks learned who they have to play in the field of 64.
With anticipation mounting in Watkins Auditorium inside the University Center, the ESPN Selection Show finally announced the Tuscaloosa Regional with host school, Alabama, playing the Skyhawks on Friday with a game time set for 3:30. As the pairing was announced, hands went up in the air, smiles went across some faces and some jaws opened wide.
The double-elimination regionals run May 17-20. If the Skyhawks survive the regionals, they would then play in the Super Regionals May 24-27.
The Women’s College World Series will be played in Oklahoma City May 31-June 6 in a double-elimination format. The best 2-out-of-3 Championship Series will be played June 4-6.
The Skyhawks will have a tough task when they face Alabama.
The Crimson Tide are the overall No. 2 seed in the tournament. The Tuscaloosa Regional is the only regional with four conference champions playing in it. Georgia Tech, the ACC winner and South Alabama, the Sun Belt champion, are in the other two teams in it.
The Crimson Tide has a power hitting lineup with eight of their nine starters hitting over .300.
Sophomore pitcher, Jackie Traina posts a 33-2 record with an ERA of 1.73 and 281 strikeouts.
The Crimson Tide is one of the nation’s leading power hitting teams with 90 home runs, but UTM starting pitcher Chelsea Jones say she plans to approach their lineup the same as any other team she has faced.
“I just have to make sure my pitches are working,” Jones said. “Daws (Sarah, assistant coach) calls pitches for us so I just have to pitch whatever she calls. I just need to make sure it works.”
In 2009, they won the OVC Tournament and played in the Louisville Regional and went up against perennial powerhouse Arizona and Purdue.
Published in The WCP 5.15.12