Demi Turner wears a protective boot on her right foot when she isn’t playing softball these days. That’s a lot better than it’s been this time of the season the last couple of years.

The senior second baseman for the 13th-ranked Alabama softball team hobbled into the postseason in 2016 and ‘17. She comes into this weekend’s Tuscaloosa Regional as a regular part of the lineup, not as a possible coming-off-injury replacement.

When she was a sophomore, Turner was recovering from a hyperextended elbow sustained when sliding into second base on a steal attempt. Last year, as a junior, she sustained facial lacerations and a concussion from being hit in the face with a ball thrown by a teammate.

“She pinch hit against Washington two years ago in super regionals, and that was like her first at-bat in a long time,” UA coach Patrick Murphy said. “(Last year it was) having to face Minnesota (in regional play) after having to sit out for eight weeks.”

The last time she was this healthy going into the postseason was four years ago, when Turner was a freshman.

“I don’t remember that,” Murphy said with a laugh.

Turner isn’t worried about the boot. She’s played all season with a nagging lower leg injury.

“I’m just glad I can be healthy,” she said. “I’ve been seeing live pitching this whole time. It’s exciting.”

Turner is batting second in the lineup and hitting .278. She has driven in 12 runs, scored 20 runs and is 3-for-3 on stealing bases.

Murphy’s priority for players has been to rest up and avoid anything that might physically hamper their performance in the regional. After the Crimson Tide was eliminated from the SEC Tournament last week, he gave the team off through Sunday before resuming practice this week.

“The goal now is at least eight hours (of sleep) a day,” he said. “Hopefully they’ll do that.

“And there’s no pool time, no sunning, no tanning. They can do all that once we’re done. That will zap you more than anything now that it’s hot. We went from winter to summer in three days. It’s going to be hot, and hopefully we’re the team that’s used to it.”

Turner is excited about being healthy, and about playing at home at least one more weekend.

“If we didn’t get another shot at home, I probably would have thrown up,” she said. “Not really, but the seniors, we’re stoked that we get to play at home again.”

Reach Tommy Deas at tommy@tidesports.com or at 205-722-0224.


TUSCALOOSA REGIONAL
At Rhoads Stadium
Friday
Game 1, Wisconsin (28-21) vs. Oregon State (28-26), 6 p.m.
• Game 2, Middle Tennessee State (39-20) vs. Alabama (33-18), 8:30 p.m.
Saturday
• Game 3, Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 1:30 p.m.
• Game 4, Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 4 p.m.
• Game 5, Winner Game 4 vs. Loser Game 3, 6:30 p.m.
Sunday
• Game 6, Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5, 1:30 p.m.
• Game 7, if necessary, 4 p.m.


ALABAMA
Location: Tuscaloosa
Enrollment: 38,563
Nickname: Crimson Tide
Record: 33-18
Ranking: No. 13
Bid: At large
National seed: No. 12
Tuscaloosa Regional seed: No. 1
Head coach: Patrick Murphy
2018 stats
Team batting average: .276 Home runs: 47 RBIs: 226 Steals: 54 Earned run average: 2.49 Strikeouts: 309 Walks: 203
Top hitters: Elissa Brown (.345, 0 HR, 13 RBI), Gabby Callaway (.313, 4 HR, 31 RBI), Bailey Hemphill (.333, 12 HR, 41 RBI), Kaylee Tow (.350, 11 HR, 31 RBI)
Top pitchers: Courtney Gettins (13-4, 2.50 ERA, 62 SO, 54 BB), Alexis Osorio (13-9, 2.22 ERA, 203 SO, 112 BB), Madison Preston (7-5, 3.04 ERA, 44 SO, 37 BB)

MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE
Location: Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Enrollment: 21,792
Nickname: Blue Raiders
Record: 39-20
Ranking: Unranked
Bid: Automatic (Conference USA tournament champions)
National seed: Unseeded
Tuscaloosa Regional seed: No. 4
Head coach: Jeff Breeden
2018 stats
Team batting average: .304 Home runs: 35 RBIs: 234 Steals: 93 Earned run average: 2.895 Strikeouts: 219 Walks: 123
Top Hitters: Precious Birdsong (.382, 2 HR, 21 RBI), Summer Burgess (.367, 0 HR, 17 RBI), Lexi Cushing (.335, 14 HR, 48 RBI), Morgan Harris (.345, 4 HR, 39 RBI)
Top Pitchers: Amber Baldwin (10-8, 3.06 ERA, 46 SO, 34 BB), Cori Jennings (21-9, 2.23 ERA, 107 SO, 57 BB)

OREGON STATE
Location: Corvallis, Oregon
Enrollment: 30,896
Nickname: Beavers
Record: 28-26
Ranking: Unranked
Bid: At large
National seed: Unseeded
Tuscaloosa Regional seed: No. 2
Head coach: Laura Berg
2018 stats
Team batting average: .264 Home runs: 31 RBIs: 182 Steals: 46 Earned run average: 2.87 Strikeouts: 272 Walks: 148
Top Hitters: Hope Brandner (.300, 11 HR, 34 RBI), Alysha Everett (.304, 4 HR, 20 RBI), Jessica Garcia (.293, 0 HR, 17 RBI), Shelby Weeks (.285, 2 HR, 15 RBI)
Top pitchers: Mariah Mazon (11-16, 2.92 ERA, 132 SO, 56 BB), Meehra Nelson (15-10, 2.50 ERA, 113 SO, 49 BB)

WISCONSIN
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Enrollment: 43,820
Nickname: Badgers
Record: 28-21
Ranking: Unranked
Bid: At large
National seed: Unseeded
Tuscaloosa Regional seed: No. 3
Head coach: Yvette Healy
2018 stats
Team batting average: .265 Home runs: 31 RBIs: 208 Steals: 75 Earned run average: 3.79 Strikeouts: 215 Walks: 108
Top Hitters: Melanie Cross (.268, 4 HR, 28 RBI), Kelsey Jenkins (.415, 3 HR, 32 RBI), Taylor Johnson (.299, 8 HR, 28 RBI), Brooke Wyderski (.358, 6 HR, 42 RBI)
Top pitchers: Haley Hestekin (17-6, 2.45 ERA, 92 SO, 38 BB), Kaitlyn Menz (11-13, 4.23 ERA, 106 SO, 53 BB)

— Compiled by Cameron Greenwood

This topic contains 0 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Tommy Deas 5 months ago.

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.