The Alabama Crimson Tide softball team looks to make its ninth consecutive appearance in a NCAA Super Regional, an NCAA record, as they travel to Knoxville, TN and face the seventh-seeded Tennessee Lady Volunteers on Friday and Saturday in a best-of-three series. The winner of the Super Regional will grab a berth to the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City, OK.
Eighth-seeded Alabama faced Tennessee faced in the regular season during SEC play, where Tennessee took two of three games from Alabama in Knoxville during the weekend of March 8th-10th. Overall, Alabama leads the series 33-18, and also lead the series when it’s being played in Knoxville by a count of 12-10. This will be Tennessee’s sixth Super Regional appearance and its fourth time hosting. The Lady Vols have never lost a Super Regional. Alabama, meanwhile, has won its last two and four out of the last five.
Tennessee’s pitching is led by two right-handed pitchers; senior Ivy Renfroe and her sister, junior Ellen Renfroe. Ivy currently has a 19-4 record with a 1.75 ERA and 136 strikeouts. Ellen is not too far behind her older sibling with a 17-4 record, a 1.80 ERA and 174 strikeouts. Together they account for just under 300 innings pitched this season. Ellen has a 2-0 record in her career against Alabama. Ivy and Ellen have a third sister on the team, freshman Anna Renfroe, who plays the infield.
In batting, senior Raven Chavanne has to be the star of this Lady Vol team. She currently holds the Tennessee record in batting average (.451), runs (242), stolen bases (141) and on-base percentage (.515), although she has not had as great success against this Alabama team. In fact, the senior class at Tennessee is 4-7 against the Crimson Tide in their careers and 3-3 in the last two years.
The NCAA Knoxville Super Regional will begin Friday at 6pm CT and will be broadcast on ESPN2. The action will continue Saturday at 4pm CT for game two and will be broadcast on ESPN. If Alabama and Tennessee split the series, a decisive game three will be played at 7pm CT and will broadcast on ESPN2. All games will be carried on the Crimson Tide Sports Network on 99.1 WDGM in Tuscaloosa or on their website. All tickets to the games at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium are sold out.
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