Traina didn't have to be great for Alabama to get past South Alabama for a second consecutive day, but she was certainly close enough to it. The sophomore ace allowed singles by Haley Hopkins and Brittany Fowler in the second and fourth innings, respectively, and saw just one runner reach scoring position. The Jaguars never put a runner on third base. For the second consecutive game, Traina struck out 10, the final three coming when she struck out the side to end the game. "She's incredibly competitive," South Alabama coach Becky Clark said. "When she gets on the mound, she does a great job of knowing her job and what she has to do. Nothing really rattles her or veers her away from that."
Sophomore Jackie Traina threw her second consecutive two-hitter to improve to 35-2 on the year. The sophomore struck out 10 batters on the afternoon, which included her 300th strikeout of the season. Traina is just the fourth Alabama pitcher to accomplish that feat. Hannah Campbell took the loss for the Jaguars, dropping to 24-12. "She was pretty sharp," senior Kendall Dawson of Traina. "She wasn't on her `A game', but I think that her lower-level games could still beat a lot of people. I wouldn't say she had her best game. She was missing a little on the outside, but she'll find a way. She's just that kind of strong pitcher that no matter what the strike zone is like, she's still going to find a way to throw to them and get the outs. That's what's amazing about her. She's so mentally solid."
With Michigan winning the Louisville Regional, the Wolverines will come to Tuscaloosa for a three-game series with the Tide with the winner advancing to the Women’s College World Series. “It’ll be fun to get to see them again,” Alabama head coach Patrick Murphy said about facing Michigan. [Michigan head coach Carol Hutchins] is a hall of fame coach, a legend at Michigan. They won the Big Ten for the fifth straight year, so I know they’ll have a great team.” Alabama did not play Michigan the last two years, but split the season series in 2010. Now, the Tide will need to win two games for a trip to Oklahoma City. “It’s been such an incredible ride. To be at a program where we’re in a position to win a regional or win the SEC or be successful every year, that’s such a tribute to where it starts at the top with coach Murphy,” said senior Cassie Reilly-Boccia. “Every year I feel like we’ve gotten better and better since my freshman year. And I thought we were really good my freshman year.”
Borges said he has watched a lot of game film on Alabama, but the part of its game that has stood out the most has been the speed on the field. Opponents averaged less than 200 yards per game against the Crimson Tide defense last season. “They’re fast guys,” Borges said of Alabama. “Coaching down there [Borges was the OC at Auburn from 2004-07], I’m very aware. Plus, they’re very well trained. Their staff, (defensive coordinator) Kirby Smart does a great job and (head coach Nick) Saban is a defensive guy by nature.” Much like Michigan coach Brady Hoke, Saban started his coaching on the defensive side. For nearly 15 years Saban served as a defensive assistant, defensive backs coach and defensive coordinator at several schools. “Alabama has always been good on defense, this staff has just made them better,” Borges said. “When I was at Auburn, every year they were top five I think, a couple years they were No. 1 -- that’s them. That’s what you’re dealing with.”
As usual national media outlets are praising the Baltimore Ravens for getting the steal of the draft in second round pick Courtney Upshaw. Upshaw was projected a top 15 pick after being a main cog in the machine that was the best defense in college football last season at Alabama. The situation was eerily similar to that of Sergio Kindle three years ago as the talented pass rusher out of Texas slid all the way to the Ravens lap in the second round. Except this time Upshaw did not carry any of the off the field concerns that Kindle did back then. Concerns that turned out to be just. It is mostly unclear as to why no other team took Upshaw through out the first round and even the first two picks of the second. Some scouts have said that he is not the "elite" pass rushing presence that teams look for in their first round outside linebacker prospects but Upshaw was the best pass rusher on the best defense in college football.
Ensley native Bennett thinks that's a step that should be considered more often by today's NFL players. But as the chairman of the NFLPA Former Players Board of Directors, he thinks it's only a small step toward a safer game. "We know the bubble helmets protect the head. But no matter what kind of helmet you have, there's no way to protect the brain if you take the wrong kind of hit," Bennett said. "A Kevlar helmet won't stop brain trauma with the wrong kind of hit. But we're making changes on a daily basis. Football is a great game, and we'll make it safer."
This is not PBS, it's not the public channel that you go watch. It's the National Football League, it's a violent freaking game. The point of it is that if the NFL and the league would get behind and start taking care of their older players and taking care of guys, they wouldn't have these issues. As opposed to saying, 'Hey, go out there, do it hard, then bang we're done with you.'
Dallas Cowboys Hall-of-Famers Randy White and Rayfield Wright are the latest to join the concussion lawsuits against the National Football League. To date, there have been 64 concussion-related lawsuits filed against the NFL, which include over 1,300 plaintiffs. The complaint, Lee Roy Jordan et al v. NFL, contains four separate counts: negligence, fraudulent concealment, negligent misrepresentation, and conspiracy. Plaintiffs allege that the NFL intentionally concealed the “causal connection” between head injuries sustained while playing professional football and long-term health problems.
Yes, Newman is brand new to the organization. And yes, it seems unlikely that he would come in and NOT say encouraging things about the future of Kirkpatrick and the rest of the team. But what Newman said about Kirkpatrick is what we've been hearing throughout the entire draft process. Most everyone agrees that this kid can play. Newman's words are only reinforcement. What's important now is that he embrace his role as a veteran and help tutor and mold Kirkpatrick into the star cornerback he hopefully can become.
Coach Hugh Freeze will readily acknowledge that his staff has offered scholarships to a lot of players in the class of 2013. He just doesn't have a clue what that total is. "Heck no," Freeze said. "I haven't even looked at that list." There's 246 (and counting) offers from Ole Miss out to prospective recruits, according to Rivals.com.