Preview: Alabama Softball Heads West for the Easton Tournament [Audio]
The Alabama Crimson Tide looks to rebound this weekend after losing two of three games at LSU to open SEC play.
Alabama will play five games in the Easton Tournament hosted by Cal-State Fullerton. The action begins later tonight against the host team Cal State Fullerton followed by games against Grand Canyon University and New Mexico on Friday and DePaul and Oklahoma on Saturday.
Looking at the tournament field, Cal-State Fullerton Titans come in with a 20-8 record with quality wins over Arizona State, Northwestern, North Carolina and two wins against Mississippi State while Grand Canyon also enters the tournament with a 20-8 record.
The hottest team in the tournament is Oklahoma. After losing their first two games of the season, the Sooners have won 17 of their last 20 games. DePaul has a 6-14 record including a 12-4 loss to Alabama during the Easton Crimson.
New Mexico is 13-8 but like Oklahoma is playing their best softball of the season. The Lobos started the season 2-4 but have posted an 11-4 record since the second weekend of the season.
Similar to the Panther Invitational in Atlanta, head coach Patrick Murphy is using the trip to California as a homecoming trip for sophomore Alexis Osorio. Osorio grew up in Riverside, California just 34 miles away from the Cal State Fullerton campus.
During her appearance on the Gary Harris Show, former Alabama shortstop and SEC Network softball analyst Danae Hays touched on why Patrick Murphy schedules these types of trips.
“Coach Murphy loves those home visits. I think he just wanted to show them. Hey, you come over to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, I’m going to make sure that we bring your daughter out your way, that way you can kick back and watch her in your hometown.” Hays said.
In an unusual sight for Alabama, Alexis Osorio struggled from the circle against LSU. The sophomore All-American pitcher lost both of her starts in Baton Rouge surrendering 13 earned runs on 20 hits. SEC Network analyst Danae Hays detailed the limited amount of starts Osorio received in the circle against quality competition before the LSU series, but Hays hit a key area that Patrick Murphy preaches to his players.
“He always says that you’re going to have to beat good ball clubs with your C-game and unfortunately Alexis Osorio just was not playing well enough to beat that team with her C-game.” Hays said.
First pitch for tonight’s game at Cal State Fullerton is at 7:30 PM.
College softball notes around Alabama:
-Auburn’s Rachel Walters tossed her first career no hitter in an 18-1 win in five innings at Samford.
-Samford heads to New York to play four games as part of the St. John’s Invitational. The Bulldogs will face Manhattan, St. John's, Howard and Fairleigh Dickinson.
-Jacksonville State opens OVC play at home with a weekend series against 2015 OVC Tournament champions Tennessee Tech.
-UAB opens C-USA play at Southern Miss this weekend after notching their first road win of the season at Jacksonville State Wednesday.
-South Alabama plays their first Sun Belt Conference home series this weekend against Louisiana-Monroe after winning their first road game of the season Wednesday at Southern Miss.
-Alabama State and Alabama A&M open SWAC play at home against Prairie View A&M and Grambling respectively.