To some, Wednesday’s doubleheader for the University of Alabama softball team might be just a blip on the schedule, a midweek double dip against out-of-conference teams that won’t play a major role in the greater scheme of the season.
To Chandler Dare, it’s a chance to play again.
The senior outfielder, an American Christian Academy graduate from Moundville, has less than three months remaining in her career. She’s keenly aware of this.
“I’d rather play two (games) than one,” she said. “The more the better. I don’t have many left.”
Winthrop and Georgia Southern aren’t considered softball heavyweights, but Alabama doesn’t want to dwell on that.
“You’ve got to go in with the mind-set that you’re not going to overlook that team, you’re not going to overlook anybody, and I think that can happen,” she said. “We’ve got to go in with the mentality to win the ballgame and hit the ball hard, make the plays.”
Dare is batting .368 and has eight steals in nine attempts. Outfielder Merris Schroder leads UA with a .475 batting average and has driven in 20 runs. Catcher Bailey Hemphill is batting .433 with five home runs and 25 RBIs.
UA pitcher Alexis Osorio (13-1) was named USA Softball National Player of the Week and SEC Pitcher of the Week after going 4-0 last week and extending her streak of scoreless innings pitched to 35. She is expected to see action in the doubleheader.
Alabama, which is riding a 17-game winning streak, moved up a spot to No. 8 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 this week, while remaining at No. 11 in the USA Today/NFCA coaches poll.
Georgia Southern and Winthrop at No. 8 Alabama
Where: Rhoads Stadium
When: 1:30 p.m. vs. Winthrop, 3:45 p.m. vs. Georgia Southern
Records: Alabama 24-2, Winthrop 11-12, Georgia Southern 12-10
Radio: 93.3 FM