April 15, 2013
Tuesday, April 16 vs. Alabama (6:00 p.m. CT)
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss softball team is back on the road again as they head to Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Tuesday for a single game against defending national champion No. 4/5 Alabama.
First pitch is set for 6 p.m. from Rhoads Stadium on the UA campus.
For the Golden Eagles, it will be the fourth game of a nine-game road swing which has already seen the squad go to Auburn and Louisiana-Lafayette last weekend. The team will complete the road trip with two games at Georgia Tech on Thursday before stepping back into conference play on Saturday when they start a three-game set at UCF.
Against ranked foes this season, the young Golden Eagle ball club has fared well, taking a 2-1 decision from No. 25 Florida State in Tallahassee and dropping a pair of close games to Baylor (3-0, 2-1) at the tail end of another nine-game road trip to open the season. The Bears were just on the outside of the top 25 at the time but enter this week ranked No. 16/20.
The Eagles (11-32) and Tide (36-6) are 2-4 all-time against each other but have not met since a pair of games in 2006 when the Black and Gold defeated then-No. 7 Alabama 3-2 in Hattiesburg before falling to then-No. 4 Alabama two months later in Tuscaloosa 5-1.
Over the past eight games, Southern Miss' already young roster has shown a bit of their youth both at the plate and in the circle with as many as seven freshmen in the starting lineup. Senior Danielle LaPointe and freshmen Michelle Stringer and Morgan McKeever are all hitting over .300 over the past eight games, but the Golden Eagles are combining to hit just .213 as a team.
Alabama also enjoyed a free weekend and played a pair of midweek games last week, defeating Mississippi Valley State 8-5 before run-ruling C-USA opponent UAB 11-0 in six innings. The Golden Eagles complete a three-game out of conference spell for the Crimson Tide. This season, Alabama is 27-0 against teams from outside the Southeastern Conference.
At home, the Crimson Tide enter tomorrow's game hitting .367 with 22 home runs and holding opponents to a .198 average while throwing a 1.84 mark from the circle. Freshman Haylie McCleney leads the Tide with a .593 average against nonconference foes.
To get the most up-to-date information on Southern Miss Softball, follow the team on Twitter at @USMSoftball, get live stats via the Gametracker platform from SouthernMiss.com, or like Southern Miss Softball on Facebook.