Monday, May 2, 2016

Tuskegee faces North Alabama in opening round of region play

TUSKEGEE, Alabama -- The Tuskegee University softball team will be making their third consecutive regional appearance this week, facing a familiar opponent in the University of North Alabama in the opening round of the tournament.

Tuskegee (24-29), the eighth seed in the South Region, faces top-seeded North Alabama (49-5) in the opening round game. The two met earlier this season, in the opening tournament, with North Alabama winning that contest.

The three-time defending SIAC champion Lady Golden Tigers head in to the tournament winning their last six contests, and 14 of their last 16 games. Freshman Kaylin Finch, the SIAC Player of the Year, leads Tuskegee at the plate and on the mound. She is hitting .392 this season with nine homeruns and 40 runs batted in on the season, while also posting an 11-11 mark on the mound with a 3.42 earned run average.

Sharde Thomas, the SIAC Utility Player of the Year, continues to be one of the top hitters in the country posting a .507 batting average this season. She has 17 extra base hits on the season and leads the team with 14 stolen bases. Seniors Kenyah Smith and Chante Warner – a Second Team All-SIAC selection - are near the top of the team in hitting this season, hitting .320 and .316 respectively.

SIAC Tournament Most Valuable Player, Karisa Foye, is hitting .307 following the tournament and is 6-5 on the mound with a 3.07 earned run average – winning her last five outings.

North Alabama leads the country in homeruns and are slugging over .600 as a team; while also averaging 7.5 runs per game. They have nine players hitting over .300, and four players with double-digit homeruns on the year.

Brooklyn Clark, the Gulf South Conference Player of the Year, leads the team in hitting at .486 with 15 homeruns and 74 runs batted in. On the mound, North Alabama is led by Hillary Carpenter (23-3, 1.79 ERA) and Raven Cole (24-1, 2.01 ERA) this season.

The two teams will play the final game of the first session at 4:30 pm on Thursday in Florence (Ala.).

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