The 17th-ranked Alabama softball team heads into the SEC Tournament riding a wave of momentum after sweeping ninth-ranked Texas A&M last weekend. With a victory over sixth-ranked Georgia in the series finale the previous weekend, the Crimson Tide has won four games in a row. Add in a win over seventh-ranked Tennessee in the final game of the series the weekend before and UA has won five of its last seven, all against teams ranked in the top 10.

The Crimson Tide will play 15th-ranked Auburn in an opening-round game at the SEC Tournament on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in Columbia, Mo. Alabama is the No. 8 seed and will be the home team against ninth-seeded Auburn.

Alabama moved up to No.15 in the official NCAA Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) rankings. RPI is a key component used by the committee that selects and seeds the NCAA Tournament field, with the top 16 seeds hosting.

UA finished its 24-game SEC schedule ranked near the top in every major offensive category in statistics from league games only: second in batting average (.269), slugging percentage (.421), hits (168), home runs (22) and total bases (263); and fourth in on-base percentage (.356), runs (103), RBIs (95), walks (76) and sacrifice bunts (14). Alabama tied for first in fewest strikeouts (99) and sac flies (9) and was sixth in steals (20).

Alabama’s pitching was middle-of-the-pack in league play. UA ranked seventh in earned-run average (3.17) and sixth in opposing batting average (.233). Alabama gave up the fewest home runs (10) in conference games and ranked third in strikeouts (139), but gave up the most walks (120) of any team. UA’s fielding percentage was also dead last at .953.