Feb. 10, 2010
COLUMBIA, Mo. - The No. 9 ranked Missouri softball team will open their season this Saturday against the No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide at the Alabama Softball Complex in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The three-game series will begin with game one of Saturday's doubleheader, beginning at 1 p.m. CT. Game two of the doubleheader will kickoff approximately 30 minutes following the conclusion of game one. The third and final game of the series has been moved up to Noon CT on Sunday.
The 2010 Tigers
The 2010 Missouri Tigers softball team returns 15 players from last season's Women's College World Series (WCWS) squad, including six starters and three of the team's four pitchers. One key returnee is junior outfielder and 2008 All-America honoree Rhea Taylor, who hit .404 last season and swiped 36 bases in 40 attempts. Senior Jana Hainey and sophomores Chelsea Thomas and Kristin Nottelmann return to the circle for the Tigers. Last season, the trio combined for 39 of the team's 50 wins, while posting an ERA of 1.53 between them. Joining this year's squad are seven newcomers, which includes six freshmen and junior transfer Catherine Lee. Lee, a C/1B, adds another powerful bat to the Mizzou lineup. Lee posted a .375 career batting average in her two years at Georgia State, while slugging .810 and hitting 17 home runs during her freshman campaign.
Scouting the Crimson Tide
Alabama enters the 2010 season ranked No. 2 in both the USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) and ESPN.com/USA Softball polls. The Crimson Tide return 13 players from last season's Final Four team - a club that matched the program's longest WCWS stay in school history. Leading the way are two returning All-Americans from last year's squad - senior Charlotte Morgan and junior Kelsi Dunne. Morgan lead the Alabama offensive attack in batting average (.406), home runs (11), runs batted in (59), slugging percentage (.673) and on base percentage (.505), while also posting an 18-6 record with a 1.80 ERA and 124 strikeouts in 144 innings from the circle. Dunne became the first player to throw back-to-back no hitters in the NCAA Super Regionals and went an astounding 28-5 with a 1.63 ERA and 258 strikeouts on the season. Alabama brings in five newcomers to fill out their 2010 roster.
The All-Time Series
The Tigers and Crimson Tide have met up five times, all coming within the past 10 years. Alabama leads the series by a 3-2 mark. Missouri took the first meeting between the two schools back in 1999 with a 1-0 victory. The following season, Alabama secured a 5-4 early-season win to even the all-time matchup at one apiece. The two teams wouldn't meet again until 2005, which saw the Tigers win by a score of 6-1. The Crimson Tide have won the past two matchups, giving them the 3-2 nod in the all-time series.
Last Time They Met
Alabama and Missouri last met in the 2008 NCAA Super Regionals. The No. 3 Crimson Tide eliminated Missouri from postseason play with a 6-1 victory in game one and a 7-1 win in game two as they advanced to the WCWS.
Tentative Weekend Schedule
·Game One: Saturday, Feb. 13 at 1 p.m. CT
·Game Two: Saturday, Feb. 13 at 3:30 p.m. CT
·Game Three: Sunday, Feb. 14 at Noon CT
Follow the Games
Live stats and score updates will be provided at www.mutigers.com and www.rolltide.com.
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