Rhoads Stadium, Tuscaloosa
Game 1: Lipscomb vs. Arizona State, 3 p.m.
Game 2: Alabama State vs. Alabama, 5:30 p.m.
Game 3: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 1 p.m.
Game 4: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 3:30 p.m.
Game 5: Winner Game 4 vs. Loser Game 3, 6 p.m.
Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5, 1 p.m.
Game 7: Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6 (if necessary), 3:30 p.m.
In 2012 it was Jackie Traina.
It was Jadyn Spencer’s turn in 2014.
Last year Bailey Hemphill was the one.
Every year it seems someone rises to the occasion for the Alabama softball team during the regional tournament in Tuscaloosa.
Crimson Tide coach Patrick Murphy is certain someone will step up and deliver for Alabama this weekend.
The fourth-ranked Crimson Tide (52-7) and No. 8 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, hosts the Tuscaloosa Regional, which starts Friday at Rhoads Stadium.
The action starts with Lipscomb vs. Arizona State at 3 p.m. and Alabama vs. Alabama State at 5 p.m.
“The theme of the University of Alabama is ‘Where Legends are Made.’” Murphy said Sunday after the NCAA Selection Show. “Year in and year out at our regional we get a different legend on every team. Jadyn Spencer in (2014), she was (9-for-11) in regional play. She became a legend that year. I could go on and on with stories of different kids. There is going to be a new legend on this team. Somebody is going to come through. It could be Montana Fouts, it could be Madison Preston, it could be Claire Jenkins. You never know who it is.”
Alabama has been stellar when hosting a regional, something it’s done 15 straight years and 17 times overall. The Crimson Tide is 56-9 (.862) all-time in the regionals and has won every regional round since 2005, the longest active streak in Division-I softball.
Alabama has not lost a regional game since 2007, a streak of 37-consecutive games, and is also the only team in Division-I softball to play in every Super Regional round since its inception in 2005.
“When we play at home in the regionals it’s the toughest place to play in America,” Murphy said. “Our fans make it that way and I think our players thrive on our fans.”
Bailey Hemphill enters the regional needing just three home runs to tie the school’s single-season record of 25 (Kelly Kretschman, 1998). She leads the team in just about every offensive category with a .364 average, 22 home runs, 69 RBIs, 59 hits and an .815 slugging percentage.
Reagan Dykes may not be one of the big stat leaders for Alabama, but the senior catcher is one of the big leaders for the fourth-ranked Crimson Tide.
She handles five Crimson Tide pitchers, all with a different style and personality, and keeps the team motivated on the field.
“She’s been like that for four years,” Murphy said “She’s like the unsung hero of our team because to catch that many games as she does takes a lot out of a body and I’m really proud of her.”