April 20, 2015
#6/7 Alabama vs. Troy
Tuscaloosa, Ala. – Rhoads Stadium
Tuesday, April 21 – 6 p.m. CT
THE TIDE ON THE AIR
TV: SEC Network + (Online Only)
PXP: Mick Gillispie, Color: Lauren Sewell
Radio: 95.3 FM (953thebear.com)
*streaming audio also available on RadioPup app*
SCOUTING #6/7 ALABAMA (35-10, 12-6 SEC)
– Alabama is coming off a series win over Auburn on the road last weekend, giving the Crimson Tide its fifth SEC series victory of the season.
– Great offense and defense were on display against the Tigers, as the Tide hit .367 as a team with eight home runs and 30 RBI, while the pitching staff limited the SEC’s top power-hitting lineup to just one home run over the weekend while striking out 22 over 21.2 innings.
– Junior Haylie McCleney ranks second in the SEC and sixth nationally with a .492 average, knocking in 58 hits including a team-leading 13 doubles. Freshman Demi Turner is close behind at .452 with a team-leading 66 hits. Sophomore Marisa Runyon has been the key power hitter in the lineup, belting 12 home runs and 56 RBI.
– Alabama’s pitching staff owns a 1.87 ERA, led by Sydney Littlejohn with a 14-1 record and 1.53 ERA. Freshman Alexis Osorio (14-6) is a Top 25 finalist for the NFCA Freshman of the Year award and owns a 1.72 ERA overall, 1.41 in conference play.
SCOUTING TROY (29-19, 11-7 SUN BELT)
– Troy is under new leadership, as Beth Mullins is in her first year as head coach of the Trojans. Mullins previously was an assistant coach at Mississippi State for three years after other coaching stops at Western Kentucky, UAB and Georgia Southern following a stellar playing career at UAB.
– The Trojans snapped a five-game losing streak on March 31 with a 6-1 win over UAB. Since then, they have won 11 of their last 13 games.
– Junior Hannah Day leads the offense with a .324 average and 48 hits, including 10 doubles, a pair of triples and five homers. She is tied for the team lead with 38 RBI along with senior Michelle Phelps, who is hitting .301 with eight home runs.
– Senior Jaycee Affeldt leads the pitching staff with a 15-8 record and 2.59 ERA, throwing 151.1 of the team’s 308.0 innings. She has struck out 125 batters with opponents hitting .235 against her. As a staff, the Trojans own a 3.57 ERA.
ALL-TIME VS. TROY (17-0)
Last Meeting: Feb. 9, 2014 – W, 4-0 – Troy, Ala.
First Meeting: March 8, 1997 – W, 2-0 – Atlanta, Ga.
Last Meeting in Tuscaloosa: April 25, 2012 – W, 12-0 (5) – Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Current Streak: Alabama 17
LAST TIME OUT: AT #7/6 AUBURN
– GAME ONE – ALABAMA 6, AUBURN 0: Alabama opened its weekend series against rival Auburn on Friday with a convincing 6-0 shutout, as three home runs by the offense and a stellar pitching performance by Alexis Osorio allowed the Tide to become the first team this season to shut out the Tigers. Osorio threw the complete game shutout in the circle with a season-high 13 strikeouts and just five hits allowed. Offensively, the Tide earned all of its runs courtesy of three home runs, marking the fourth multi-homer game in the last seven games for Alabama. Haylie McCleney got things started with a third inning grand slam while Chaunsey Bell extended the lead with a pair of solo homer runs in the fourth and sixth innings.
– GAME TWO – ALABAMA 13, AUBURN 3: Alabama trailed Auburn 3-2 after the second inning but the Tide eventually regained the lead in the fifth inning and continued to distance itself from the Tigers, piling on six runs in the seventh inning to secure the double-digit lead. Marisa Runyon hit a pair of home runs, driving in five, and becomes the first player at Alabama to hit two home runs in multiple games during a season since Alex Blewitt in 2010. Danae Hays went 3-4 with four RBI and three runs batting cleanup while Chaunsey Bell had a pair of RBI on a seventh-inning double batting fifth. The Tide got another strong start from Alexis Osorio in the circle, as she threw her second complete game victory of the weekend, allowing just three runs, one earned, on five hits.
– GAME THREE – AUBURN 13, ALABAMA 12: Both offenses were on display in a marathon slugfest to close the weekend series, but ultimately it was Auburn that came out on top, 13-12, in extra innings. Alabama saw its lead erased on three different occasions, as each team battled back-and-forth with a combined 25 runs and 28 hits. McCleney was the Tide’s leader on offense, going 3-4 with two RBI and two runs scored while Runyon, Jadyn Spencer and Leona Lafaele each hit home runs, combining to drive in seven of Alabama’s 12 runs. The Tide used all three of its pitchers but Alexis Osorio took the loss, walking the eventual go-ahead run as she did not record an out in the final inning.
STINGY IN THE CIRCLE
– Alabama’s pitching staff recently completed a streak of 42 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run, stretching from the third inning of game two at Kentucky on April 4 to the second inning of game two against Auburn on April 18.
– Over those 42 innings, opponents earned just 28 hits while striking out 41 times. The only run allowed was one unearned run against UAB on April 14.
– All three Tide pitchers have started at least one game over that stretch and also earned a win.
LOVING THE LONG BALL
– Alabama has hit three home runs in a game five times over the last nine games. Prior to this most recent stretch, Alabama only did that twice this season. In total, the Tide have hit 18 homers in the last nine games.
– Over those nine games, Marisa Runyon has accounted for six of those 18 home runs herself. She leads the team this season with 12.
– Runyon slugged two home runs in the April 8 win over Middle Tennessee, a three-run homer in the first inning and a solo shot in the fourth. It was the first time a Tide player hit two home runs in a game since Jaclyn Traina on March 27, 2013 at Houston. Just nine days later, Chaunsey Bell also had a multi-homer game on April 17 at Auburn and Runyon had her second multi-homer game of the season in game two against Auburn on April 18. Runyon is now the first player at Alabama two have two multi-homer games in a single season since Alex Blewitt in 2010.
ALABAMA RANKED NO. 5 IN LATEST RPI
– A big weekend series win over Auburn helped propel Alabama all the way from No. 8 last week to No. 5 this week in the RPI. This represents Alabama’s highest ranking this season.
– Five of the top 10 teams are in the SEC: Florida (1), LSU (2), Auburn (3), Alabama (5) and Tennessee (10).
– Alabama has played 23 games this season against teams ranked in the top 35 and is 14-9 in those 23 games:
– #1 Florida: 1-2
– #3 Auburn: 2-1
– #4 Michigan: 0-2
– #9 Louisiana-Lafayette: 2-1
– #14 Kentucky: 2-1
– #17 James Madison: 1-0
– #20 Georgia: 2-1
– #26 Texas A&M: 2-1
– #27 South Alabama: 1-0
– #33 NC State: 1-0
MOVING MCCLENEY TO THIRD
In a move that may have surprised many, Haylie McCleney was moved into the three-hole in game three vs. Florida and responded with one of her best games of the year. She has batted there ever since and, including two other games earlier in the season in which she batted third, she has made the adjustment and has performed well out of the three-hole in 19 games this season:
Hitting Lines for Haylie McCleney
Batting 1st (26 games): 36-76 (.474), 26 R, 19 RBI, 17 BB, 9 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 18-19 SB/SBA
Batting 3rd (19 games): 22-42 (.524), 27 R, 19 RBI, 26 BB, 4 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 7-7 SB/SBA
Averages per game (Batting 1st / Batting 3rd)
Hits – 1.38 / 1.16
Runs – 1.00 / 1.42
RBI – 0.73 / 1.00
BB – 0.65 / 1.37
NEXT TIME OUT: VS. TROY / TENNESSEE
Next week, Alabama plays its final home games of the regular season, welcoming Troy on Tuesday, April 21 at 6 p.m. CT before hosting Tennessee for a three-game series starting on Thursday, April 23 at 7 p.m. Thursday’s game will be live on ESPN.
Tuesday, April 21 vs. Troy – 6 p.m. CT
Thursday, April 23 vs. Tennessee – 7 p.m. CT (ESPN)
Friday, April 24 vs. Tennessee – 6:30 p.m. CT
Saturday, April 25 vs. Tennessee – 2 p.m. CT