By Stan J. Griffin: March 27, 2015
Dana Duckworth's University of Alabama gymnastics team, fresh off another Southeastern Conference title last weekend and currently gearing up for the NCAA Auburn Regional, had several of its standouts honored by the league office.
The Crimson Tide, which repeated as SEC champs, placed four gymnasts on this season’s All-SEC team the league office announced Thursday.
“Saturday was a total team victory,” said Duckworth. “Everyone contributed to that championship, every single person was vital to our winning effort.”
Senior Kaitlyn Clark, juniors Carley Sims and Lauren Beers as well as sophomore were all named All-SEC, which is made up of gymnasts with the top-two scores on each event and in the all-around at the SEC Championships.
By Stan J. Griffin: March 26, 2015
The University of Alabama, in terms of its sporting landscape, is still labeled by many observers as a "football school."
Of course anyone, quite frankly, with a semblance of a clue knows that is an unfair and inaccurate label as the Crimson Tide has enjoyed much success in numerous sports over the years, including gymnastics, softball, baseball, tennis, golf and even rowing. That multi-sport success continues even today.
And while discussion of college basketball in the Southeastern Conference usually begins and ends with the legendary University of Kentucky program, there is a rich basketball heritage at the Capstone that many other schools would certainly be envious of.
Although the current Crimson Tide hoops program is in a state of transition, with UA director of athletics Bill Battle continuing his search for the next Alabama basketball coach, the numbers speak for themselves regarding the success of the program through the years.
* Alabama ranks second in the SEC (of course behind Kentucky) in terms of overall league victories and league winning percentage.
* Alabama has made 19 NCAA tournament appearances and 13 NIT tourney appearances. Alabama has also won seven regular season league titles and six conference tourney titles.
* More than 20 Crimson Tide players have taken their careers to the next level to play in the NBA or other professional leagues. This includes seven-time world champion Robert Horry of Andalusia, who starred with the Crimson Tide from 1989-92. Others include Derrick McKey, Latrell Sprewell, Antonio McDyess, Buck Johnson, Keith Askins, Gerald Wallace, Mo Williams and Alonzo Gee.
By Stan J. Griffin: March 25, 2015
Mitch Gaspard's University of Alabama baseball team saw missed opportunities translate into a frustrating defeat Tuesday where it failed to score for the first time this season.
The Crimson Tide fell 3-0 to South Alabama inside Stanky Field. With the loss, the Tide moves to 13-10 on the year.
“Give credit to South Alabama because they did what they had to do to get the win tonight,” said Gaspard. “We had some missed opportunities, and we have to start capitalizing on those chances.”
Alabama used five pitchers on the night and limited South Alabama to just three runs, but the Tide was unable to string together hits when they needed them, stranding 10 runners by night’s end. The shutout was the first of the season for Alabama and the first time the Tide was blanked since March 1, 2014, when Louisiana-Lafayette combined for the shutout.
By Stan J. Griffin: March 25, 2015
Although University of Alabama softball coach Patrick Murphy noted that the 11-0 win by his No. 5 Crimson Tide over Georgia Tech Wednesday at Rhoads Stadium was not a perfect effort, there were enough good things to, nevertheless, make it a solid midweek win.
This included a strong start offensively with an early two-run homer by senior shortstop Danae Hays, a strong pitching performance from the duo of Sydney Littlejohn and Leslie Jury and an avalanche of late runs that allowed Alabama to gain a walkoff victory in the bottom of the sixth.
The Tide improved to 23-7 and now gets to focus on a weekend series against Southeastern Conference foe Texas A&M, while the Yellow Jackets fell to 11-21.
"Sydney gave us a really good start and (Danielle Richard) made a heck of a play on the only hit of the game (for Georgia Tech) and throws her out trying to stretch it into a double," said Murphy. (Jury) did a great job in relief and then Danae Hays at the beginning of the game, in the huddle, she said let's start off with a bang and she was the one who did it (with her early blast). In between we had a couple of bad at bats, but then after that I thought we settled down."
The Crimson Tide broke through early with two runs in the bottom of the first inning.
With two outs, Haylie McCleney, making her second-consecutive start in the third slot in the lineup, walked, and then Hays stepped up and smashed a two-run deep fly over the centerfield fence to give the Tide the early advantage.
By Stan J. Griffin: March 24, 2015
Dana Duckworth's University of Alabama gymnastics team, fresh off yet another Southeastern Conference championship, found out Monday where it will begin the quest for its first national championship since 2012.
And a familiar foe will also be waiting to compete with the Crimson Tide as well.
Duckworth's team is the No. 1 seed at the NCAA Auburn Regional Championships the NCAA announced Monday.
“We are very excited to get to stay close to home and to be at a regional where our fans can come and cheer us on,” Duckworth said during a selection show gathering at the team's practice facility. “Most importantly, we are focused on doing our job as a team and advancing to the NCAA Championships final site.”
The Crimson Tide goes into the Auburn Regional, which will be held on Saturday, April 4 at 6 p.m. CT, having won an NCAA-best 29 regional titles. Alabama has also advanced to the NCAA Championships 32 years in a row.