Softball championship info

For all you softball fans, Alabama’s first opponent is #6 seed Arizona State on Thursday. The WCWS games will be televised on ESPN and ESPN360.com. Here’s more information from UA.

(UA) TUSCALOOSA — After punching its ticket to the Women’s College World Series and learning they would play No. 6 seed Arizona State in the opening round on Saturday afternoon, Alabama found out Sunday that game would be played at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 29, at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, Okla.

The contest features two of the most powerful offensive clubs in the nation and will be televised nationally on ESPN and ESPN360.com. The Sun Devils (61-5) swept Northwestern in the NCAA Tempe Super Regional to advance to Oklahoma City for the third straight season.

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UA swept through the NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional and Super Regional to advance to their fifth Women’s College World Series and third WCWS in the last four years. Alabama went 5-0 in the regional and super regional play, outscoring its opponents 35-4. The Tide is 56-6 on the season and winners of the SEC Western Division title with a 25-3 league record.

The Crimson Tide owns a 4-2 all-time record against Arizona State, including a 3-0 mark in NCAA Tournament play. UA won the 2000 NCAA Tempe Regional to advance to the WCWS with two wins over the Sun Devils and also beat ASU in the 2005 NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional.

ASU boasts a .332 batting average and has the top slugging percentage in the country at .563. Alabama is second nationally in slugging at .562. The Sun Devils lead the country with 95 home runs and rank second to Alabama in scoring at 6.91 runs per game.

Alabama is also hitting .332 with 76 home runs and a school-record 114 doubles while leading the nation with 159 stolen bases. The Tide is averaging 7.02 runs per game while reaching base at a .439 clip.

Alabama and Arizona State are joined by Arizona and UCLA in one WCWS bracket while Florida, Louisiana-Lafayette, Texas A&M and Virginia Tech are in the other bracket. Florida and Louisiana-Lafayette open play in Oklahoma City at noon on Thursday with Texas A&M and Virginia Tech slated to follow at 2 p.m. UCLA and Arizona follow the Alabama game at 8 p.m. All four games will be televised on ESPN.