NO. 5 ALABAMA SOFTBALL TO TAKE ON NO. 6 FLORIDA TODAY

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After winning all four games this past week, including a home series sweep against Georgia, Alabama looks to continue its winning ways on the road against No. 6 Florida.

The last time the Crimson Tide traveled to Gainesville, the Gators were victorious in a close 2-1 game in the 2017 NCAA Super Regional. This match up tends to be a good indicator of which team will be crowned SEC champion. Since 2008, either Alabama or Florida have been crowned SEC regular-season champions.

“We respect the heck out of them,” coach Patrick Murphy said. “They play the game the right way, classy, play hard, whenever we play them home or away, it is just a hell of a match up and I think both teams appreciate that.”

The Gators are coming into this series with Alabama with an SEC record of 9-6, which places Florida fifth in the conference. Despite early series losses to Tennessee, LSU and Ole Miss, the Gators have won eight straight games including a win over No. 4 Florida State.

“Coming off of last season from Florida we lost to them, I think we lost to them three times actually,” sophomore KB Sides said. “Based off of where we stand right now, we know this is crucial for us this weekend. We are not hyping it up too much because you do not want to play outside of where your feet are, we are just going to prepare like we would for any other series.”

Alabama will travel with its entire pitching staff as freshman pitcher Montana Fouts continues to work her way back from an injury. Murphy said he liked what he saw in her four innings of work against Georgia on April 15 and will figure out with the doctors how long she can pitch this weekend. If she is cleared to go, watch for Fouts – or the newly named SEC pitcher of the week, Sarah Cornell – to get the start against the USA Softball player of the year finalist, Kelly Barnhill.

Game one of the Friday doubleheader is scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m. on ESPN 2 with game two to start at 6:30 p.m.

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