Tide looks to keep top ranking in SEC against LSU

The No. 2 Alabama softball team looks to stay in first place in the Southeastern Conference this weekend against LSU.

Last season, the Tigers (27-8) swept the Crimson Tide (35-1) in a three-game series, but head coach Patrick Murphy said the team hasn’t thought about any other games except the ones they are facing during that week, so now is the time to focus on LSU.

“LSU has two very good pitchers that we’re going to work hard to score against,” Murphy said. “I told the team at the very beginning of the season that softball and baseball are marathons, not sprints. If you look past one opponent and look forward to another, you’re going to get your butt beat.”

The No. 24 LSU Tigers are currently 10-1 in SEC play, while the Tide is 12-1.  The Tigers are coming off of an eleven game winning streak.

Murphy said the games mean a lot to the team since they are both first in the SEC West.

“It’s going to be a heck of a series,” Murphy said. “You never know where you’re going to be at in a season, and it just so happened that both of us are tied for first.”

Players said they were looking forward to practicing three times this week. The team hasn’t been able to hold normal practices during the mid-week for about three weeks due to their recent road trips.

“[While] being on the road, playing and playing, not getting to practice, we don’t get to work on the little things, but being back and practicing, we can work on them now,” senior Amanda Locke said.

Murphy said the team needs to work on their defense at practice to prepare for the weekend.

“Our defense is way too sloppy,” Murphy said. “It’s going to come back and bite us if we don’t clean it up. We need to finish teams when we have them down.”

Senior Kendall Dawson said she hopes this is the series the team has been looking for to show they are at the top of their game.

“We want to peak at a good time and make sure that that’s the right time,” Dawson said.

Even though the Tide is 35-1, Locke said the team is always looking to improve.

“Our team is getting better every day,” Locke said. “We’re working on the little things, but we’re never satisfied. We’re never going to have twenty people on their game at the same time. We hope to have that, but it’s a game of failure.”

The Tide will host the rival Tigers this weekend beginning Friday at 7 p.m.

“We know they have a lot of fans and support,” Dawson said. “Their fans are going to be loud, just like ours will, so it’ll be a fun game.”