For the fourth time in the last five years, Alabama will play in the Women’s College World Series as the Crimson Tide departed from Tuscaloosa early Tuesday morning en route to Oklahoma City and the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.

“I’m so excited to get on that plane because I know what’s waiting for me when I get off,” said senior Danae Hays, who won a national title as a freshman in 2012. “I wish it was Thursday night right now because I want to play so bad.”

Alabama will open play on Thursday, May 28 against third-seeded Michigan (56-6) at 6 p.m. CT. The game will air live on ESPN2 while fans can also listen locally on 95.3 FM or online at The Tide and the Wolverines played twice earlier this season in Tuscaloosa, with Michigan winning both contests.

“It’s just really special to go with these amazing girls and all the staff that has helped us get to this point,” said junior Haylie McCleney. “We have a big group so for everybody to come and be a part of something so special is great.”

This is the 10th overall WCWS trip for Alabama, which includes a national championship in 2012 and a runner-up finish in 2014. Five of the eight schools in the final field of eight are from the SEC, tying a WCWS record for most teams from a single conference that was originally set by the Pac 12 in 1999. Other SEC teams joining Alabama are Florida, Auburn, LSU and Tennessee. Oregon, UCLA and Michigan round out the rest of the field.

Oregon and UCLA will play each other following Alabama’s game with Michigan on Thursday and the two winners will face off on Friday, May 29 at 8:30 p.m. CT (ESPN2) while the two losers will play on Saturday, May 30 at 1:30 p.m. CT (ESPN) in an elimination game.

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