Trojans battle with No. 5 Alabama Crimson Tide

Published 5:49 pm Tuesday, March 31, 2009

TUSCALOOSA — With a conference sweep behind them and with another huge conference set coming this weekend, the Troy softball team is set to tangle with No. 5 Alabama on Wednesday at the UA Softball Complex.

The Crimson Tide will be the highest ranked opponent Troy has faced thus far in the 2009 season and head coach Melanie Davis sees the game as extremely advantageous.

“The contest against the University of Alabama provides our team with a tremendous opportunity to face one of the best softball teams in the country,” she said. “The experience gained should help us prepare for the additional tough Sun Belt competition we will face in the coming weeks.”

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The Trojans (28-7, 11-1 SBC) enter the contest playing extremely well, winning 19 of their last 21 games. During that time the pitching staff boasts a 1.22 earned run average, while the team is hitting .306 as a unit.

Troy used that momentum to sweep three games from Western Kentucky last weekend, giving the team a stellar 11-1 record to date in Sun Belt Conference games. Mid-way through their conference schedule, the Trojans stand firmly atop the SBC standings.

Ashlyn Williams is once again pacing the Trojans in the circle. The sophomore from Hattiesburg, Miss. leads the league with a 20-5 record and is on pace to shatter Troy’s single-season strikeout record of 304 set by Jocelyn McCallum in 2005. The reigning Sun Belt freshman of the year has struck out 231 batters already this season.

Heidi Johnson and Tot Elmore are leading Troy’s offensive charge, but six Trojans are at the .300 batting average plateau.

The Crimson Tide (27-6, 7-4 SEC) are coming off a series loss to No. 1 Florida, but still boast one of the most talented squads in the country. Jazlyn Lunceford (.487) and Brittany Rogers (.458) are both hitting over .400, while Charlotte Morgan leads the team with 30 runs batted in.

On the mound, Kelsi Dunne stands at 13-1 overall with a 1.40 ERA. She is joined by Amanda Locke (6-0) and Morgan (8-5).

The game also serves as a homecoming of sorts for Trojan senior Allison Moore who is a native of Tuscaloosa and spent the first three seasons of her collegiate career as a pitcher/infielder for Alabama.

First pitch for Wednesday night’s game is set for 6 pm.