Powerhouses Tennessee, Alabama collide in Super Regional beginning Friday at 7 p.m.

Tennessee's Ralph Weekly talks about Ivy and Ellen Renfroe's pitching

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To defend its Women’s College World Series title, Alabama has to beat a program with a perfect Super Regional record.

From Tennessee’s perspective, keeping that record perfect means eliminating the defending champion.

No matter how you slice it, a tough weekend lies ahead.

Two familiar softball rivals square off Friday and Saturday at UT’s Lee Stadium to claim a berth in Oklahoma City (May 29-June 5).

“I hate to be matched up with another SEC team,’’ UT co-head coach Ralph Weekly said, “but Alabama is a great team.

“They have the most valuable pitcher in the College World Series last year (Jackie Traina) and we’ve got some very good pitchers and good hitters.’’

Game 1 of the best-of-three series is Friday at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.

Game 2 is Saturday at 5 p.m. on ESPN. A third game, if necessary, would follow around 8 on ESPN.

All games can be heard on WNML, 990 AM.

The series is a sellout. Should any tickets be released, they will be all-session packets that would be available at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, via UTTix.com, at the ticket office at Thompson-Boling Arena, or by phone at 865-656-1200.

The No. 7 seed Lady Vols (47-10) and 10-seed Alabama (45-13) won regionals on their home fields Sunday. Tennessee beat N.C. State 7-0 while the Tide crushed Western Kentucky 13-1.

UT took two out of three from the Tide during the regular season here in March.

Alabama is making its ninth consecutive appearance in a Super Regional, a format that was introduced in 2005.

Tennessee is making its sixth appearance and won all five of its previous tries — three in Knoxville, one at Stanford and one at Michigan.

Seeded teams won 13 of the 16 regionals over the weekend — No. 15 Louisville, No. 9 LSU and No. 13 South Alabama did not advance.

UAB beat UCLA in 13 innings to win the Louisville regional for its first Super Regional berth — at No. 2 seed Florida. The winner of that series will face the winner of the Knoxville Super Regional.

Louisiana-Lafayette shut out host LSU twice in winning the Baton Rouge regional and travel to No. 8 Michigan.

Florida State rallied from a 6-1 deficit with two outs in the seventh inning to beat host South Alabama in Mobile. The Seminoles head to No. 4 Texas.

Tennessee and Alabama are the only conference members matched in a Super Regional.

Missouri, Kentucky and Texas A&M also advanced to make it six SEC teams in the final 16.

The Aggies visit No. 1 seed Oklahoma. Kentucky travels to 5-seed Arizona State. Missouri, the No. 6 seed, plays host to No. 11 Washington.

No. 14 Nebraska joins Michigan as a second Big Ten survivor and travels to No. 3 seed Oregon.

Tennessee’s seniors will be trying to get to the WCWS for the third time in their four years.

Knoxville Super Regional

Best two-of-three

At Lee Softball Stadium

Friday

Alabama vs. Tennessee, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)

Saturday

Alabama vs. Tennessee, 5 p.m. (ESPN)

*Alabama vs. Tennessee, 8 p.m. (ESPN)

* If necessary

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Comments » 3

voloffaith writes:

Like we've been saying....take them down one elephantette at a time.......

SummittsCourt writes:

No Arizona or UCLA in this year's super regionals + 6 SEC teams and only 3 Pac-12 teams and you can clearly see that the shift of power is going to the SEC in softball. Now the conference needs to finish it out and win the title and hopefully that is the Lady Vols!

ElizabethtonvolnNC writes:

Alabama and then Florida "after" we win??

What a bunch of malarky!

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