Across the Diamond: Alabama Softball Tries to Rebound at Arkansas
Last weekend, Alabama softball barely missed out on what would have been a marquee series win against Florida.
Although Arkansas does not have the high-profile name brand that Florida possesses, they present Alabama with another opportunity to win a road series in SEC play and pick up a series against a top 25 RPI team.
Entering the weekend, Arkansas has an overall record of 31-9, a 6-6 league mark and is ranked 21st in this week's NCAA RPI rankings.In 2017, all 13 teams from the SEC appeared in an NCAA regional, coming into this weekend, the conference has a chance once again to send every league member to an NCAA regional.
Every SEC team is ranked in the top 32 of the RPI, has no worse than a .500 overall winning percentage, but has at least three losses within the conference.
Bailey Hemphill's Consistency
In her sophomore season in Tuscaloosa, Bailey Hemphill has proven to be a steady force in the Alabama Crimson Tide lineup.
The Lafayette, Louisiana native is tied for the team lead with eight round trippers and is the team leader with 31 RBIs and 27 walks.
During her visit with reporters Wednesday evening, Hemphill discussed how being more aggressive at the plate has helped her this season.
"I feel like I'm not as hesitant as I was last year." Hemphill said. "Last year, I was kind of thinking a little, like guessing what she's going to throw me and now, I'm just kind of seeing the ball and reacting to what I can hit."
Arkansas Scouting Report
Following their series loss at South Carolina, Arkansas bounced back to shutout Saint Louis in two games of a doubleheader.
Similar to Florida, Arkansas's strength as a team comes in the circle as they are led by one of the top pitchers in the SEC.
True freshman Mary Haff has taken the SEC by storm as she is 18-3 with a 1.03 ERA and is second in the conference with 172 strikeouts.
From the plate, true freshman Hannah McEwen leads the Razorbacks with a .366 batting average, eight round trippers, 41 RBIs and 33 runs scored.
Friday - 6 PM
Saturday - 11 AM (ESPNU)
Sunday 1 PM
College Softball around Alabama
The Auburn Tigers travel to Missouri for a three-game sereis. After being swept at LSU to open conference play, Auburn has won 13 of their past 16 games and have taken their last four SEC series.
The Troy Trojans look to build on a four-game winning streak as they host Coastal Carolina for a Friday doubleheader and a Saturday single game. The Trojans swept Appalachian State last weekend and defeated UAB 6-4 Tuesday evening.
South Alabama continues a four-game home stand with a three-game series against Louisiana-Monroe. The Jaguars took care of Southern University 11-2 in six innings Wednesday evening. South Alabama will also try to snap a six-game Sun Belt Conference losing streak after getting swept at Louisiana and Texas State.
Jacksonville State puts a six-game Ohio Valley Conference winning streak on the line Friday afternoon at Austin Peay. With a 9-1 OVC record, JSU is only a few percentage points behind Eastern Illinois who is 6-0 in the conference and is one game ahead of Austin Peay at 8-2 in conference play.
UAB and Samford attempt to end recent losing streaks as both teams host conference series this weekend. The Blazers fell to Troy and Chattanooga in midweek play and will entertain Western Kentucky while Samford got swept at Texas and hosts Western Carolina for their third Southern Conference series of the season.