Demi Turner is looking forward to her last SEC Softball Tournament.
“I love it,” she said. “Everyone should. It’s another dogfight.”
No matter who Alabama would have played, the senior second baseman would be excited about the event.
“I don’t care,” she said. “We shouldn’t care. It’s just another game.”
That was what she said before finding out for sure that the 13th-ranked Crimson Tide’s opponent in its opening game would be 15th-ranked Auburn. The in-state rivals will face off again Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in Columbia, Mo.
Alabama lost two out of three at Auburn in the Crimson Tide’s opening series of SEC play. The Tigers won the final game on a walk-off single, scoring two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to win 2-1.
Does Turner want another shot at the Tigers?
“Of course,” she said. “Who wouldn’t?
“We didn’t prove it to them at the very beginning of the year. It’s another opportunity to do that.”
Auburn won two out of three against Alabama in that mid-March series. Alabama finished the regular season stronger, sweeping Texas A&M on the heels of winning the final game of its series at Georgia to close with four straight victories against top-10 opposition. That finish gained Alabama the No. 8 seed in the league tournament, making UA the home team against the ninth-seeded Tigers.
The Crimson Tide feels good about how it’s playing going into the postseason.
“I think there’s a lot more confidence all around the lineup: bottom of the order, top of the order, I think it’s just a different team,” UA coach Patrick Murphy said.
Outfielder Gabby Callaway didn’t lose faith even as Alabama lost two out of three to Florida, Arkansas, Tennessee and Georgia.
“I think that’s all credit to the coaches,” she said. “They didn’t let us get down about it. They made it clear they were going to fight through it with us and we were going to figure it out. They were building us up the whole way, reminding us we had the pieces.
“It’s not that we’re not good; it just wasn’t happening for us. It was going to happen.”
Now it’s happening.
“I think we’re still on an incline,” Turner said. “If we can play like we are now, it’s going to be hard to stop us in my opinion. I’m excited to see where we go from here.”
Reach Tommy Deas at email@example.com or at 205-722-0224.
No. 13 Alabama vs. No. 15 Auburn
Where: Mizzou Softball Stadium in Columbia, Mo.
When: Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.
Records: Alabama 32-17, Auburn 40-14
TV: SEC Network
Radio: 93.3 FM