SWAC champion ASU headed to Tuscaloosa in NCAA tournament

SWAC champion ASU headed to Tuscaloosa in NCAA tournament
The Alabama State Hornets defeated Texas Southern 8-4 to win the SWAC Softball Championship. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Alabama State Hornets (23-22) recently celebrated winning the Southwestern Conference Softball Tournament this past weekend, but their focus is now fully on the upcoming NCAA tournament.

The Hornets are staying instate, traveling 102 miles northwest to Tuscaloosa, where they will partake in the Tuscaloosa regional.

Alabama, the No. 8 seed in the tournament, won 52 games this season and claimed the Southeastern Conference regular season title.

The Tide has rolled in the regular season, posting top-ranking numbers across the board in different offensive and defensive statistics. ASU will face a pitching staff with a collective earned run average of 1.94 - 21st in the country. Offensively, the Tide is tied for seventh with 75 home runs and ranks 17th with 6.25 runs per game.

But the Hornets boast their own offensive success. Nationally, the Hornets rank 30th in team batting average at .306. Individually, they are led by SWAC Newcomer of the Year Alexis Syndor. The Wallace Dothan JUCO transfer is batting .387 with 27 runs driven in. She’s also scored 34 runs herself.

Amira James leads the team with nine round-trippers. She, too hits over .300 (.327) along with Kristin Gunter (.329) and Alexis Massie (.330).

Justine Jean was the SWAC Tournament MVP and leads the Hornets in the circle. Shes’s 12-12 and leads the team in innings pitched, appearances and strikeouts.

Also in the field with the Hornets and Crimson Tide are Arizona State (33-18) and Lipscomb (44-13-1). Alabama State and Alabama will follow the first game between Arizona State and Lipscomb at 7:30 p.m. That game will be televised on ESPNU.

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