UAlbany to Take on Alabama in NCAA Regional
TUSCALOOSA, A.L.—The University at Albany will face No. 16 Alabama in the first round of the 2017 NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional on Friday, May 19th at 5 PM ET. The SEC Network will host a live broadcast. The regional games this weekend will take place at Alabama's own, Rhoads Stadium. Friday's games are nearly sold out for a stadium designed to hold 3,940 people, which is by far the largest crowd the Great Danes have seen this season.
DANES RETURN TO THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
UAlbany earned an automatic entry into the NCAA Tournament after winning the America East Championship last Sunday. This will be the Dane's sixth ever trip the the NCAA Tournament. In 2014, the Great Danes won their third NCAA Tournament game at the 2014 Eugeune Regionals defeating Utah Valley 4-3, after falling to Wisconsin 1-0. Three Great Dane seniors, Liz Snow, Caitlin Cooper, and Kayla Bailey will return to the NCAA's for the first time since their freshman year in Oregon.
UAlbany downed Maine 6-1 to claim this year's conference title. Sarah Petzold, Liz Snow, Chelsea Henige, and Devin Durando were named to the America East All-Tournament Team. Devin Durando was named the America East Tournament's Most Outstanding Player.
Player to Watch: Liz Snow is currently currently leading the nation in doubles per game (.5), and is second in total doubles (21) and slugging percentage (.991).
ALABAMA'S REGIONAL RUN
Alabama (42-16) has earned the No. 16 overall seed hosting regionals for the 13th straight year. This is the Crimson Tide's 19th-straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 1999. In NCAA Regional play, Alabama is 84-39. Since 2005, Alabama has won every regional they competed in, which is the longest active streak in Division-I softball. Alabama earned an at-large bid into this year's NCAA Tournament after falling to Ole Miss 4-1 in the semifinals of the SEC. Along with Florida, Alabama dominated pitching in the SEC ranking first in batters struck out looking (143) and second in earn run average (1.58), opposing batting average (.166), and batters struck out looking (504).
Player to Watch: Junior pitcher, Alexis Osorio was named to the Second Team All-SEC. She currently leads the nation in hits allowed per seven innings (2.81), and she ranks fifth in strikeouts per seven innings (5), and sixth in strikeouts (6).
UAlbany will face Alabama for the fourth time in program history. Alabama has a 4-0 series lead on the Great Danes. Last time meeting in 2004 at the Bama Bash in Tuscaloosa, the Crimson Tide grabbed a 5-1 win and a 12-0 win. In 2001, Alabama joined UAlbany in the Northeast competing in West Point, NY.