*Courtesy Alabama Media Relations*
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama softball will enter the 2014 NCAA Softball Tournament as the No. 2 overall seed, hosting South Alabama, USC Upstate and SIU Edwardsville in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Three days of games will start on Friday, May 16.
This will be the 10th consecutive year and12th overall in which Alabama has earned a hosting seed and it is the sixth time in the last seven years the Tide have been ranked in the top four. Alabama has been the No. 2 seed in three of the last four years, including the 2012 national championship season. The Tide holds a 67-34 all-time record in the NCAA Tournament.
Alabama is one of just 10 schools in the country to own an active NCAA Tournament appearance streak of at least 16. Only four other SEC schools besides Alabama have NCAA Tournament appearance streaks of at least 10 years: Georgia (13), Texas A&M (13), Florida (12) and Tennessee (10).
Joining Alabama in Tuscaloosa will be South Alabama (40-12), USC Upstate (45-7) and SIU Edwardsville (30-21). USC Upstate will play South Alabama at 3:30 p.m. CT on Friday, May 16 with Alabama playing SIU Edwardsville at 6 p.m. The full tournament schedule is listed below:
Friday, May 16
3:30 pm USC Upstate (Visitors) vs. South Alabama (Home)
6:00 pm SIUE (Visitors) vs. Alabama (Home)
Saturday, May 17
1:00 pm Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2
3:30 pm Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2
6:00 pm Winner Game 4 vs. Loser Game 3
Sunday, May 18
1:00 pm Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5
3:30 pm (if necessary) Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6
This season, Alabama earned its fifth SEC Championship with a 19-5 record in conference play, winning seven of its eight SEC series. The Tide entered the 2014 SEC Tournament as the No. 1 overall seed, defeating Auburn in the quarterfinals, 8-4, before falling to eventual tournament champion Georgia, 5-3, in the semifinals. Head Coach Patrick Murphy was named the SEC Coach of the Year for the fourth time in his career while senior Jaclyn Traina earned her second career SEC Pitcher of the Year Award, along with All-SEC First Team accolades. Sophomore Haylie McCleney was named All-SEC First Team and All-Defensive, while seniors Molly Fichtner and Kaila Hunt were both named All-SEC Second Team. Traina and McCleney are both Top 10 finalists for the USA Softball Player of the Year Award.