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Softball Open Thread | Alabama vs Lipscomb/South Alabama (Mardi Gras Invitational)

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Alabama Crimson Tide vs Lipscomb Lady Bison/South Alabama Jaguars
Time vs Lipscomb | 3:00 p.m. CST
vs South Alabama | 5:30 pm CST
Location Mobile, Ala. | Jaguar Field (892)
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GameTracker vs Lipscomb | vs South Alabama
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Our beloved Crimson Tide got the Mardi Gras Invitational started with an 8-0 run rule decision against Memphis yesterday and hope to build off that momentum this afternoon against the Lipscomb Lady Bison and South Alabama.

Lipscomb split their doubleheader yesterday, knocking off Jacksonville State in the opener, 2-0, before falling to Mississippi State 3-1. Senior Whitney Kiihnl was the hero in the win over Jacksonville State, going the distance for the shut out, scattering five hits and striking out nine for her 72nd career victory.

"Whitney threw very well for us today," said Lipscomb head coach Kristin Ryman. "We were happy to see her get off to a good start. She knows she’s going to get everyone’s best efforts this year, so it was big for her and the team to have a good outing today."

They couldn't keep the momentum going into the second half, though, with their only score coming on a solo homer in the sixth after already giving up three runs to the Bulldogs.

Meanwhile, South Alabama's date with Memphis was cancelled due to rain.


Lipscomb comes into the 2012 season coming off of a 2011 Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament runner-up finish. The Lady Bison finished the 2011 season with a 30-20 record and went 15-5 in conference play. Individually Lipscomb returns its top hitter in Caroline Mason. She paced the team in average (.307), hits (43), doubles (10), home runs (9) and total bases (82). In the circle Whitney Kiihnl returns after posting one of the top seasons by a pitcher in 2010 followed by another solid campaign in 2011. Last season she went 20-11 with a 1.69 ERA, striking out 328 in 211 1/3 innings pitched. Head coach Kristin Ryman returns for her seventh season, leading the Bison to a 183-133-1 record over that span. In 2010 she paced Lipscomb to a Tuscaloosa Regional runner-up finish.

Series History
The Tide and Bison have faced off five times previously, with Alabama holding a 4-1 series lead. The two teams last faced off in 2010 at the Tuscaloosa Regional, with Alabama winning 5-2 in their first meeting, then defeating the Lady Bison 6-0 to win the regional. Lipscomb defeated the Tide in 2005, 4-2, for their only win in the series. Kayla Braud leads the team against the Bison with a .500 (3-for-6) lifetime average, adding a stolen base. Courtney Conley has added the punch with two career home runs and a .400 average (2-for-5).

The Jaguars of South Alabama recorded a school record 37 wins in 2011, going 37-17 overall and 15-10 in conference play. They return seven letterwinners off of last season’s team, including starting pitcher and Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year Hannah Campbell, who went 19-7 a year ago. Junior Brittany Fowler, a second team all-conference selection, led the team in hits (53), triples (3), and runs batted in (52). Becky Clark enters her sixth season as head coach, and has compiled a 299-156-2 record in nine seasons in Mobile.

Series History
The Tide and Jaguars have faced off four previous times, with Alabama winning all four games. Last season, Alabama knocked off South Alabama, 6-0, with freshman pitcher Jackie Traina pitching a six inning two-hitter at the All-Alabama Classic. Cassie Reilly-Boccia has nine career at-bats against USA, posting a .444 average with three runs and a RBI. Jennifer Fenton has blasted a home run, scored three runs and swiped three bases while Jazlyn Lunceford has stolen four bases, scored four runs and hit .375 in eight lifetime at-bats.